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Magento Merchants possess a great level of technical knowledge which is required to strategically manage and grow an online eCommerce business.  

However, with there being such a huge amount of Indepth information for a Magento Merchant to learn, a significant proportion of people on the business side have a limited understanding of the technologies used within an eCommerce site.  

This article aims to solve some of the merchant-developer communication problems found in many businesses. We recommend that merchants ask their staff within their technical team the following questions to help ensure their site is performing to the very best standard… 

1. What is our current resource load and how much of load balance we can handle? 

Merchants who run promotions need to be prepared for load balance. If your server is already running low on capacity, it may slow down, deny access to some users or even crash during an important marketing campaign. To make sure you have sufficient CPU power, RAM and disk space, you should provide traffic forecasts to your developers and ask…  

can we handle load balance? 

2. What are the strategy we are following for page speed, so they are loading fast?

 Page load time is critical to ensuring good SEO and low bounce rates. Developer should be able to explain what strategy they are following for cache system. If you are using cloud resource (CDN) you will maximize your speed if you are using Nginx (rather than Apache) and have implemented APC caching. Load resources of page should probably be using a Content Distribution Network (CDN). 

3. What are the benefits of Magento Enterprise Edition we are using? 

It is surprising that many users who are using Enterprise Edition not taking advantage of page caching, one of the main key features to improve page load times. Most often, it is turned off because website design (theme) conflicts with it.  

If that is the case, you should be asking how you can modify your design to allow for it. Also make sure your team knows how to segment each feature unique to Magento Enterprise Edition.  

4. How can a layman update content on the website? 

Website should have set up CMS blocks that are easy to update for content, which can be updated frequently.  

5. How secure our servers are? 

If you have not had this conversation with your developer or server administrator, have it soon! They should make sure only the ports are required should be open, all passwords should be unique, and, wherever possible, user can access system from specific IP address only. 

6. If we want to roll back the site to previous version, what options we have implemented? 

If the answer is, ‘we aren’t,’ you may want to consider a new development resource! The best answer is that a version control system  or backup in place. Your team should have both a production/live server, staging server and a development server in place. All new changes should be done on development server and move to staging server once done. 

7. Who has access to the server? 

If your developer or server manager doesn’t know, it is time for them to find out. Ideally, only they will have root access. If FTP access is set up, each user should have their own user name and password. Access to the staging/development server can be a little broader, while access to production/live server should be limited and should be handle by highly-trusted users. 

8. Which version of Magento are we using? 

If you’re are using older version of Magento release, you may be missing out really important features or security patches. Magento versions should be updated on regular basis, visit the Magento web site to see the latest version of Enterprise Edition.  

9. What modules/plugins have been installed on the store and what are their functionalities? 

It’s important to know which module/plugins have installed to make sure you are using each one to its fullest extent. You may have functionality available to you that you are not aware of. Also, if you are using lot of modules/plugins, make sure you are using all features. Sometime modules conflicts with each other you need to do best practice to use them, your developer can easily find these by looking in the appropriate folder on your server. 

10. Are any core code or templates overwritten? 

Overwriting core code is at the heart of many performance problems and can lead to problems when making any upgrades in functionality (new extensions or when moving to a new version of the platform). 

Final Note 

Ask these vital questions to try to bridge the merchant-developer communication gap. 

Jarvis Cole are the leaders in eCommerce recruitment and specialize in recruiting all types of eCommerce job roles. If you are a company looking to expand your new online eCommerce store by utilizing the best eCommerce talent in the marketplace, get in touch with us today! 

Magento Team

Author Magento Team

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