Not truly understanding what’s needed for a project to succeed, a relationship breakdown with your web agency, a change in business direction – these are just a few reasons why your website project hasn’t turned out the way you wanted it to.
But the outcome of this can be detrimental. Poor security, substandard site performance, unhappy users, lost sales, regular downtime, damaged reputation – the list goes on.
So, if you think your website is experiencing issues but you can’t quite get to the root of the problem, the steps you implement next are important to get things back on track.
In this blog…
We look at:
- Common signs your web project ran off course
- How to get your website back on track
- How we can support you in the recovery of your website
Common signs your web project ran off course
1) You’re experiencing security breaches
When users visit your site, they expect a safe and secure experience. But yet, research shows that cyber-attacks are still common:
- Four in ten businesses and a quarter of charities in the UK report experiencing cyber-attacks or security breaches during 2020-2021.
- Around a quarter of these identified attacks are experienced by the business at least once a week.
- The most common attacks are phishing attacks (83 percent) followed by impersonation (27 percent).
Site security boils down to keeping the information on your site secure and making it as hard as possible for scammers or hackers to get into your website and access your data.
The amount of personal data stored and processed by eCommerce stores is higher than a lot of other websites. As such, customers put a lot of trust in merchants to keep their data safe. If you’re experiencing cyber-attacks or security breaches, there’s a good chance your website security needs to improve.
Ensure every element of your eCommerce store is up to date by protecting your website from attacks, fraudulent activity and ensuring you are PCI compliant. A provider like Sansec could be used as a quick win to secure your Adobe Commerce store if it is under attack.
2) Downtime is a regular occurrence
When a website is not functioning well enough for the user to complete a task or it has completely crashed, your site is experiencing downtime. If your website is down, you’re losing customers and they’re unlikely to return to buy from you again.
Although you should strive for zero downtime, it is inevitable every so often – even online giants such as Facebook experience it from time to time. However, if you’re experiencing regular downtime, it’s crucial to find what’s causing the issue so it can be fixed. After all, a site that isn’t working is a site that isn’t selling.
3) Your site’s performance is substandard
There’s probably a reason why you’re experiencing a decrease in engagement and conversions or an increase in bounce rates. Site performance is a big part of creating a positive online experience that encourages users to continue their shopping journey.
There are many issues that could be linked to site performance including:
- Slow page speed
- Unresponsive buttons
- Broken links
- Hard to navigate pages
- Large image sizes
- Small text
- Inaccessible content
These issues can create small delays which cause your user to bounce from your website, quickly impacting conversions. Site speed in particular is becoming more and more important in the digital world. We are becoming ever more impatient, and users expect websites and apps to respond instantly. In fact, the ideal website load time for mobile sites is one to two seconds while 53 percent of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load. Quite simply, if your store is slow, you are losing sales.
4) Payment gateways are not working as should be
The average cart abandonment rate around the world is over 69 percent which means for every 100 visitors, 69 percent of them will leave your store during the checkout process. This could be due to several reasons but is often linked to payment gateways not working as expected. If you’re experiencing high cart abandonment rates, it’s worth exploring if your payment gateways are the issue.
eCommerce stores regularly offer a variety of payment methods including multi-currency options, buy now, pay later schemes and one-click checkouts. However, it’s important to choose payment gateways that are recognised, secure and trusted. Knowing how to resolve any issues that may occur will ensure your business can receive payments with ease while keeping your customers’ data safe.
5) Integrations are failing
High quality, reliable integrations are a must for creating a high performing solution. If this isn’t the case, a bad integration will result in a bad site.
As a Magento eCommerce agency, we’re well aware of the unique challenges a business can face when dealing with a poor integration. Scoping is an important part of the integration process, and we always recommend taking part in an extensive scoping exercise if your integrations are pulling your website performance off track.
6) Your relationship has broken down with your agency
If you’re experiencing poor communication, missed deadlines, disagreements or the general breaking down of the relationship with your agency, it could be time to make a move to save your web project.
During every stage of your project, you should feel reassured that your agency is being transparent and providing value. There are certain signs to be aware of during communications with a potential agency to spot whether they’re right for you. For example, if an agency’s project quote is half the cost of other agencies you’ve been engaging with or promised timescales are estimated to be significantly shorter, this could be a red flag. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
We always recommend requesting a full cost breakdown to ensure everything you expect has been considered. It’s also important to understand how and where your budget will be allocated to achieve your objectives.
Seek out an agency that’s right for you and whose strengths align with your project, industry and objectives. Each website project is unique, and your agency’s approach should be tailored to you. These preventive measures could be the difference in stopping your agency relationship and website project from turning sour further down the line.
How can Pinpoint help?
Team Pinpoint have a lot of experience taking on recovery projects. We work with businesses to assess what’s going wrong and put a plan in place to recover performance.
More often than not, when a business seeks our help to recover their website project, they have minimal scope and no clear documentation or objectives of what they actually wanted to achieve. It’s our job to define exactly what you want your website to do for your business, how far you’re already off this and how we can get you from A to B.
This is done in a number of ways…
Extensive code audit
We conduct a site and code audit before anything else. This is especially important when taking on a website from another agency for us to understand exactly how your site has been built. Through technical consultancy, code profiling and performance optimisation, we assess your site’s functionality and identify where improvements are needed to get things back on track.
This process is completed by one of our experienced developers and allows us to spot:
- Site performance issues
- Security concerns
- Opportunities for future development
- Threats that could prevent future development
A detailed roadmap can then be created encompassing priority and planned work to get those quick website wins.
Are we dealing with a hacked site?
One of the first things that we consider is your site’s security. Site security is a constantly moving goalpost, but the Magento platform offers certain features that help to uncover vulnerabilities. When reported and fixed, these will be patched and in the next version a fix for that issue will be provided.
Our Head of Development, Douglas Radburn, shares some tips to help keep your site secure:
- Make sure you’re up to date on the latest version of the platform.
- Work with a third party to make sure your hosting is secure – if someone is sat on your server because your site isn’t hosted, they can make as many changes as they want.
- When code is being changed, make sure it is being done so correctly and no data is being exposed.
- If you use third parties onsite, it’s important to be aware of retention policies and what their processes are if there is a breach.
- Make sure you have backups as regularly as you can afford to lose data – it’s also important to make sure your internal policies are up to scratch and followed.
- Finally, prepare for the worst just in case it does happen.
Magento best practice
As an Adobe Commerce agency, we always follow the platform’s best practices. One of the top factors that can quickly throw your website off course is falling behind on updates. Adobe Commerce isn’t a hosted platform which means you or your web agency need to look after updates, upgrades and hosting.
Containing fixes, enhanced security measures and improved or new functionality, updates are designed to ensure your site is always performing at its best. When it comes to taking care of your eCommerce store and ensuring your customers are safe and secure while shopping with you, updates are a must-have. Otherwise, your site could become vulnerable to exploitation.
We regularly take care of upgrades and updates through a retainer plan. If you want to find out more about Magento upgrades and how we tackle them, read our blog: Dispelling The Myths of Magento Updates.
Here for the long haul
When we take on recovery projects, we usually do so on a retainer basis. Many different types of retainers exist but they all tend to take a similar format – a monthly agreement that commits your agency to an ongoing service. Designed to cover everything you need to keep your website running as it should be, retainers ensure your site can evolve alongside your business and customer needs.
When it comes to website recovery projects, we work to deploy the fixes that will have the biggest and fastest impact first before working with you on future phases to get you where you want to be. Our retainers allow us to create a predictable stream of releases on your site and covers:
- Technical support
- Bug fixes
- Further site development
If you think your website could need a helping hand or you want to find out more about our experience tackling recovery projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ve created solutions for businesses who have moved from other agencies such as Casio and recovered full projects for the likes of Pen Heaven.