This blog post was written by Joshua Hobson, Marketing Manager at our partner Fluid Digital.
Downtime on your eCommerce store can be damaging. You will lose sales, your reputation will be damaged and your customers will be frustrated.
Research by Pingdom found that the average uptime for eCommerce stores was 99.03%. This sounds like a high percentage but over a year, 99.03% uptime would result in 3 days 15 hours and 39 minutes of downtime. For the majority of retailers, this is just not acceptable.
This issue isn’t unique to Magento (every platform experiences downtime) and there are simple actions you can take in order to minimise the risk and prevent downtime on your store.
#1 - Always upgrade to the latest Magento version
The most important reason why you want to be upgraded to the latest Magento version is for making sure your store always has the latest security upgrades and patches. The vast majority of Magento upgrades will come with a security update and so minimises the risk of hacks, cyber attacks or simply an unstable eCommerce store.
There are a number of reasons why you should always upgrade to the latest Magento version, but security is certainly one of the key reasons.
#2 - Make sure you migrate to Magento 2 before June 2020
Magento is ending support for Magento 1 after June 2020, and so you need to make sure that you have migrated to the new Magento 2 platform in order to make sure that your site is supported.
After June 2020, your site will easily become targets for server attacks, site attacks, spam attacks and payment hacks. With a lack of support from Magento, there will be very little you can do to prevent and defend these attacks.
There are other key risks of remaining on Magento 1, but the lack of support and risk of cyber attacks is the most important.
#3 - Plan ahead for peak trading periods
During your peak trading periods such as Black Friday, your eCommerce store will experience high volumes of traffic and there is always a risk of downtime. Whether your server cannot handle the peaks in traffic, or your site becomes more susceptible to cyber attacks, you need to prepare.
One thing you should be doing with your eCommerce agency is planning your Magento support retainers in advance so that you are prepared for these.
There will always be an element of reactive work needed in your retainer for downtime fixes and bug issues, and Black Friday and the Christmas retail period is no exception. You should work with your agency to reserve a percentage of your retainer for reactive work, especially ahead of the peak trading period.
#4 - Have a website security solution in place
If your eCommerce gets breached, you’ll have to get your website into maintenance mode or even take it down completely. The reason being, you’ll need to find out what was compromised and remediate it.
The best policy is to be transparent and inform your customers of what is happening. Under no circumstance should you leave your customers vulnerable. Do have in mind that investigating and fixing a breach can require some time.
Having a website security solution in place will help you detect any issue before it becomes a problem. In case of a breach, the solution should help you identify what was breached, allowing you to quickly fix it.
Depending on which website solution you chose, it will also protect you from attacks. So make sure you do your research and select a solution that will cover all your needs.
Shameless pitch - FGX-Web monitors and protects Magento stores. Most of our plans come with a breach warranty. In the unlikely case of your eCommerce site getting breached, you’ll be able to use the warranty to cover the investigation and card fees.
#5 - Work with an established Magento agency
It’s important to make sure that your team is supported by an established and experienced Magento agency who are able to work with you to minimise any risk with your eCommerce store.
Whilst an agency will be proactive and work with you to improve your conversion rate and user experience, they should also work with you to make sure all of the relevant Magento upgrades are scheduled in and your technology is secure.
Finding the right agency for you can be challenging, but here are some questions you should always ask when on the search for a new agency.
Every eCommerce store is different and some retailers will have different security needs than others. Working closely with an eCommerce agency like Fluid Digital and a cybersecurity partner such as Foregenix, you can make sure that you minimise this risk.
Joshua Hobson, Marketing Manager at Fluid Digital
Joshua is the Marketing Manager at eCommerce growth agency, Fluid Digital, with experience working with both eCommerce and high street retailers on their eCommerce strategy.
We are an eCommerce growth agency based in Manchester working with online brands to build and grow successful eCommerce stores.
We design and build online stores using the power of Magento with straight-forward, proactive advice and support, alongside a range of specialised eCommerce marketing strategies to increase sales and drive high-growth.
With over 10 years eCommerce experience, we help high-growth retailers succeed online. With our team of digital experts, we’ve got the people, the skills and the passion to deliver eCommerce success.