The answer to “Why maintain?” is not a shocker, but here’re the top four reasons that we think will push you to discuss maintenance of your Magento site in the next meeting, seriously:
Your development team is constantly busy innovating new features that are directed towards offering better user experience. Making them focus on Magento support, is as difficult as cutting a cake with a hoe.
Problem requests associated with Magento maintenance requires faster turnaround time. But when the attention gets divided between development and maintenance, maintenance generally takes the backseat, leading to poor performance and then a loss of traffic.
Functionalities are meant to make lives simpler so with each additional functionality complexity of a site grows exponentially. This takes away the focus of your development team from new services till finally, you realize support service is no longer a scope of your organization.
Daily codebase and database backup, monthly server cleanup and security patch installation are just a few of the cloud management functions your team may need to turn toward. If they need to first pick up the nuances, then it translates to delayed release and higher project cost.
Thinking about maintenance in a classical way will make it a chore. To get out of the rut and bring efficiency in maintenance, you need to have a fresh perspective built on the continuous delivery model.
In contrast to the primeval methodology of releasing a version after the development of all the functionalities, features, and services, the continuous delivery model keeps a version ready for release on any given day.
With a deployment pipeline that blends automated coding, unit tests, and integration with manual acceptance tests, the model allows for complete visibility and instant feedback to thrash an issue the moment it crops up. This underscores two core purposes of the model: proactive approach and concerted harmony.
Bringing the business analysts, account managers, marketing and development team on one page, the model assigns accountability to everyone involved. It becomes easy for the entire organization to identify and resolve a problem before it occurs, without disturbing the current user experience. As a result, it offers two-fold benefits - it changes the perception of ongoing maintenance to ongoing cultivation, and gifts you a number of small wins, in shorter intervals with a sum total of ROI that far exceeds your expectations.
This change in paradigm happens when you cross over a set of barriers that includes business readiness, lack of understanding, technical hurdles, lack of integration and, the tallest, organizational culture. It takes time to win over each of them. But till that time you can’t let your site be the cradle of poor user experience and dartboard of customer complaints.
You need to make sure that your site runs, delivers, and continues to make your customers’ life convenient. While the continuous delivery model is your aim towards establishing a long-term efficient maintenance mechanism, in the short term, you have to follow the best practices for maintenance.
Meant for a longer run, the 10 best practices extend their support to your continuous delivery model, as well. These practices are designed to help you run your business without compromising on your service quality, new feature releases, and customer relations.
Take a closer look at the 10 best practices for maintenance and support
10 Best Practices for Maintenance and Support
- Keep Install Clean
Regularly archive or purge the server and database logs and remove the images that are not used any longer. For a stress free maintenance, monitor the server closely, particularly the 404 error log. This helps in setting up the right redirects.
- Periodically Optimize Database
A regular optimization of database is a must. Ensure you have a robust backup and set it up periodically for database, schedule during non-peak hours. Never short play reindexing, setup a cron job for that.
- Update Magento Platform
Security patches are released regularly. These are to be implemented without losing time. Updating security patch makes your site well-guarded from attacks.
- Update Magento Extension
Extensions are super useful, but they need to be checked frequently and proactively. This will help identify updates and reduce the risk of non-performance with updated platform.
- Update Staging Site
Updating staging site is the practical next step. All your functionalities and services are first checked on the staging server. Therefore, this step is unavoidable to ensure that the functionalities work smoothly in the live environment.
- Load Test Performance
Find out how infrastructure performs and what the response time is. Perform frequent load test by adding artificial traffic to the product and checkout pages. Alter server resource allocation and make sure there is consistency within site.
- Sleepless Server Monitoring
To ensure your site is always working automate site monitoring with tools such as New Relic and Ruxit that keeps an eye on your site 24/7 and trigger alerts whenever there is an important update or change.
- Set Deployment Process
Regular site deployment should be a part of a strong process. Your team should keep a track of the code version and test the system in the development environment with all the custom code pulled in to code control.
- Ensure Site Security
Get an extra layer of security with a two-factor authentication. Tools like Rublon and Extendware let you set it up with the updated version of Magento. Besides, use SFTP to protect data and run periodic site audits to identify any threats.
- Keep Emergency Contact
In case of internal team, keep a contact to receive and understand queries. When you are working with a partner know your project or account manager well.
Magento support is all about ensuring the seamless performance of your site and resolving issues before they become apparent or critical. It calls for a spirited approach towards arriving at insight-led resolutions. To say the least, it's not the job of your development team. Therefore, to keep the lifeblood of your software fresh, it’s better to partner with organizations whose primary focus is providing support services to large complex Magento projects. Such partnerships, keep your issues at bay and the development process free of hurdles.What do you think? Is there any step you wish to add? Share your thoughts in the comment column below.