If you are one of those smart e-commerce merchants who have recognized the wide-ranging capabilities of the Magento 2 platform, and have adopted it for your business, then the next step for you is to learn how to make the most of this wonderful platform. Because Magento 2 comes equipped with so many features, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of optimization options you have for managing your store. The key is to prioritize your goals and approach the store management process step-by-step. As you do, here are a couple of tips that you should definitely try as a Magento 2 store owner/manager to get the most out of the platform:
Get Your Store Configuration Right
Before you do anything else in your Magento 2 store, make sure that you’ve configured all the necessary, general store details. This means that you’ll have to spend considerable time in the Stores -> Settings -> Configuration section of the admin panel. In this section, you can configure settings at 4 levels: Website, Store, Global, and Store View. Even though there are plenty of configuration options present here, you only need to worry about a few in order to get the store up and running.
Start by configuring basic information details like your business information, payment details, domain details, shipping information, etc. Set a default country, and also specify the list of countries where your store can sell products. For your domain related settings you should set your base URL, as well as Secure Base URL, if your website is SSL certified. Don’t forget to enable the use of secure URLs on storefront and in admin.
Next comes managing the design aspect of your store, which involves setting up things like logo, theme, etc. This is the part where you set your store’s theme to either a responsive theme, that you’ve purchased from Magento Marketplace, or to a custom-built theme. If you have a logo image ready to upload, which you should already have, do it in the Header section. Also, upload your logo image in the Emails section, because you want this logo to appear on all the email communication too.
Moving on to the SEO section, the minimum you should do is to ensure that the Default Robots for the store is set to INDEX, FOLLOW. Next, is setting the footer of your website in the Footer section. This is where you specify the copyright details for your website.
Other important configuration parts include: currency setup, email addresses setup, shipping settings, payment methods setup, and tax management. Prior to diving into other store management aspects, it’s critical that your store is at least configured right. Go over the Configuration section of your store to make any necessary additions, changes, or updates.
Upgrade Your Website Hosting Solution
Shared hosting is not recommended for Magento 2 websites. The platform needs the push of high-quality resources, like CPU and RAM, in order to deliver the high performance that’s expected. Opt-in for a dedicated server or a Virtual Private Server. To check whether your current hosting solution is appropriate for the Magento 2 website or not, there’s a simple exercise that you can do.
Take a fresh copy of the Magento 2 version that your website is built on and install it on the same hosting solution which your live Magento store is running. Now, compare the speeds of the fresh Magento 2 copy and your live website. If they are equally slow, the problem lies with the hosting solution. If the fresh copy is faster than your website, the issue isn’t with the hosting plan but embedded somewhere in the code architecture of your website.
Use Third-Party Extensions With Caution
Yes, it’s true that extensions are a big help in customizing the Magento 2 platform to your own individual business needs, but when you don’t choose wisely in this regard, you might end up compromising the performance and security of your overall website. Consider searching through Magento Marketplace to see if there’s an extension that meets your needs. This is a reliable repository of quality extensions.
If you find that your business needs can’t be fulfilled by any of the extensions there, then you will be looking at hiring Magento development services to develop the kind of extension you’re looking for. This is where you need to be careful about who you choose to work with. Stay away from amateur and unprofessional Magento developers. Only work with professional and experienced Magento developers if you want your custom extension to work right and work well, functionality and performance wise.
Take Necessary Measures to Secure Your Store
Magento 2 is one of the most secure e-commerce platforms to work with. Whether it’s the use of SHA-256 hashing algorithms in password management or the ease of setting up file permissions for users, Magento 2 offers various tools to maintain a secure environment in the store. Of course, when it comes to security, it always pays to be extra cautious..
Always install Magento 2 security updates as, and when, they are released, don’t slack off here. Ask your hosting provider to remove any unnecessary software from the server that’s hosting your website and use the safest password you can think of for the admin panel. Even though the smartest passwords can fall victim to hacking attacks, it’s a good idea to supplement the security of the admin panel with a two-factor authentication. To further protect the admin panel against hackers and bots, enable the CAPTCHA technology offered by the platform for the admin login.
Create and manage backups for your store files from the admin panel by simply going to System -> Tools -> Backups. This way, in the event your store does get hacked, you’ll still have all your database and media and system files intact.
Make sure that whatever device you use to access the admin panel is free from any malware and viruses. Limit access to the panel by defining user roles from here, System -> Permissions -> User Roles. Configure Admin Action Log to keep a close eye on all the activities taking place in the admin panel. It’s especially necessary when there are multiple admin users. Keep analyzing the traffic to your store and watch out for any suspicious activity.
Sign-Up for Magento Business Intelligence Essentials
Magento BI (Business Intelligence) Essentials is a cloud-based subscription service that offers superior data analytics and reporting to help merchants get helpful insights from their store data. We’re living in an age where information is power. Magento BI Essentials simply empowers you to make information-based decisions. You get a free 7-day trial, after which, there’s a monthly price that’s based on the Gross Merchandise Volume of your store.
If you’re already familiar and experienced with advanced data analytics, go with Magento Business Intelligence Pro. Don’t run your store without the power of data and the useful insights that are derived from it.