Getting started in the online retail market can be quite demanding, but thankfully there are various tools at our disposal, one of which is Magento Ecommerce.
As good as it is, users still need to have some in-depth knowledge in order to build a great site. Here are our top 7 tips to help you on your way.
1 - HTTP/2
Hundreds of HTTP requests are made by websites and apps, but being an old technology, it’s not optimised for the performance of a modern website.
HTTP/2 was actually developed a number of years ago but hosting companies have largely been slow to adopt it. It features multiplexing, which allows for faster data transfer; compression, to reduce the size of data headers; and prioritisation, which improves page rendering. For Magento Ecommerce, finding a hosting company which supports HTTP/2 is a real bonus as it will mean a faster and more secure site. Note that HTTP/2 requires SSL/TLS.
2 - Secure PhpMyAdmin
A lesser known fact about phpMyAdmin is that it isn’t secure by default. Many people use phpMyAdmin for management of their MySQL database, so ensuring that it’s secure is a vital step.
Securing phpMyAdmin requires configuration of the .htaccess file and the creation of a htpasswd file. There are numerous guides available that can help you to do this properly.
Once secure, the phpMyAdmin login page will only be accessible by authorised users and a username/password must be entered to enable access from there.
3 - Magento Ecommerce Security
One of the key features of Magento is the fabulous Magento Connect. Connect assists in Magento development and deployment by allowing users to download and install extensions. Extensions are a similar idea to the plugins and modules with which you may be familiar on other platforms.
By installing extensions you increase the functionality of Magento, including useful security options. There have been many website security breaches over the last few years so we can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your site secure.
Some of the extensions we recommend are “Enhanced Admin Security: Two-Factor Authentication”, “ET IP Security”, “Magento Secure Frontend Cookie” and “SecureTrading”.
4 - Demo Store Notice
A relatively simple and possibly obvious one, but getting it wrong can have serious consequences. When enabled, the site will display a notice advising users that the store is in demo mode and that orders will not be fulfilled. When disabled this notice disappears.
Please pay attention to this as you don’t want to receive orders before you’re ready and worse still, don’t want to drive away custom by leaving the sign on when you’re open for business!
5 - SEO
SEO is important for all websites but optimising a site for search engines can be difficult using “out of the box” software. Fortunately, there are also extensions available to tackle this. One of our recommendations is Creare.
Magento is actually already SEO-enabled so Creare has been able to build on this, offering a sitemap, optimised category headings and addressing issues such as duplicated content and unwanted 404 pages.
6 - Search Engine Friendly URLs
In addition to the SEO Extensions, you can also configure Magento so that the URL’s created by the software are search engine friendly. No extra software is required, simply going through the system configuration menus, you can find the Search Engines Optimization tab and turn on “Use Web Server Rewrites”.
7 - Social Media
Social media is a core element of digital promotion for most businesses. Once again, extensions come to the rescue, with applications available allowing users of your Magento site to share product information and to follow you.
These simple and often free changes to your Magento site will ensure that it is running at maximum efficiency.