NEW MAGENTO SECURITY UPDATE: SUPEE-6788

The latest Magento Security Update, also known as SUPEE-6788, fixes several security issues primarily around access to sensitive data such as database credentials, integration passwords, or customer passwords.  One of the more critical parts of this update addresses a vulnerability in how third-party extensions traditionally access an admin URL.  This patch addresses this vulnerability. Consequently, it has the potential to break third-party extensions, modules, and customizations.  To ensure the security update does not break your site, Magento has released this security update with this fix “disabled”.  This allows you and a Solutions Partner, like Crimson Agility, to address any vulnerable extensions, modules or customization before “enabling” it.

We highly recommend that you:
1. Install the Security Update on a development instance and validate all functionality, then move it to your live Magento instance immediately.
2. Evaluate extensions, modules, and customizations on your Magento instance for the vulnerability.
3. Address the vulnerable extensions, modules, and customizations as soon as possible.
4. “Enable” the fix for the admin URLs once all the vulnerabilities have been addressed.

If you’re interested in upgrading to the latest version of Magento, we invite you to schedule a complimentary upgrade assessment and estimate with one of our Certified Magento Professionals.

4 CONSIDERATIONS WHEN RE-PLATFORMING YOUR ONLINE STORE TO MAGENTO

As a successful online retailer you have likely encountered growth pains and identified deficiencies and shortcomings in your e-commerce platform as you’ve grown and expanded.  All online retailers reach the point in their evolution where it makes sense to move from a “starter” platform to a more scalable and flexible e-commerce platform.

There is a growing trend amongst online retailers that have started a successful journey with a “starter” platform like Shopify, ZenCart or BigCommerce and are now finding it difficult to scale the next level.  They are considering re-platforming to an e-commerce platform that will propel them to the next level.  Increasingly, successful online retailers are migrating to the Magento e-Commerce platform.

The reason Magento is such a popular choice amongst small and medium sized retailers is its focus on performance, security, customer experience and flexibility.

If you’re like many of these merchants, you’ve found many of the solutions you need with Magento. Here are 4 important considerations to make when re-platforming to Magento:

1. Magento Server Performance – decide if you will host your site on your own servers or with a Magento Hosting Partner. If you don’t have dedicated staff for managing your servers and infrastructure, we recommend a hosting partner like ZeroLag that specializes in Magento and is focused on performance, security and providing excellent support. A hosting partner and a solutions partner specializing in Magento will help ensure your server is sized appropriately for performance and reliability.

2. Magento Data Migration – data is the lifeblood of your e-commerce system and fortunately it is fairly easy to extract your data from your current e-commerce platform and migrate it to Magento using Cart2Cart. Use this service to bulk transfer your product catalog, customers, and orders to Magento.  Work with a Magento Solutions Partner like Crimson Agility for more complex data migration requirements and to ensure your Magento Product Catalog is optimized for SEO and a great customer experience.

3. Magento Theme – if data is the lifeblood, the Magento theme you select is the face of your e-commerce platform.  Once of the advantages of using Magento is that Magento boasts the largest community of theme and extension developers of any other platform. This can also make selecting the right theme a difficult task.  We can help you select a mobile-friendly (RWD) theme that performs well and aligns with your vision for your brand and online presence.  One that we recommend is the Porto theme for Magento. Ask us for a list of live sites using Porto across many different industries.  When deciding what your online store is going to look like, there are many approaches – they vary widely in terms of the effort required and cost. If you require a design consultation to discuss what approach aligns with your vision and budget – call us.

4. Magento Customizations – Magento E-Commerce offers the flexibility to add your own enhancements or select from thousands of extensions developed for Magento by the Magento community. As in most things, there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to customize Magento.  Not following “best practices” when customizing Magento or failing to refrain from the temptation of adding too many or poorly developed extensions can be the beginning of the decline for your new Magento instance. Always work with a Magento certified developer and Magento solutions partner to ensure your sites remains high performing, reliable and upgrade-safe.

Having a solid plan and proven methodology when re-platforming to Magento can transform a complex process into an event that will increase your sales and grow your online business.

If you’re interested in migrating your e-commerce website and online business to the Magento platform, we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Certified Magento Professionals.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A RESPONSIVE E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN

As a large segment of e-commerce shifts away from traditional desktop and laptop computers and toward mobile devices and tablets, it is becoming imperative to incorporate responsive web design (RWD) into your e-commerce strategy. Your customers want to be able to have the same great experience whether they are working from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The best way to make this happen is to ensure your Magento site employs a responsive web design for e-commerce. With 9 out of 10 customers expecting a consistent experience over multiple contact channels, a responsive Magento site tends to lead to an increase in conversion on mobile devices and tablets, happy customers and repeat business.

If your Magento site is not responsive today, you could be missing opportunities for 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50% of your site visitors.  Review your analytics right away and determine the percentage of your site’s visitors using mobile devices.

Making your Magento site’s appearance and functionality the same across all devices is a growing expectation of your customers, but there are several other important reasons for having a Magento responsively designed theme for your business:

  • There are over 1.2 billion people accessing the web via mobile devices today, and roughly 27% of total U.S. e-commerce spending will come from mobile devices in 2015.
  • In order to rank higher in Google mobile searches, it is necessary to keep the content of the site true to form. Low quality mobile pages that add excess loading time lose out in Google searches.
  • About 40-60% of traffic is mobile, meaning that ranking lower in Google searches can be crippling to your e-commerce goals. A mobile-friendly site is critical to maintaining your hard-earned search rankings.
  • Responsive Web Design (RWD) means there is one theme to manage.  Managing one theme/domain is significantly easier than having to manage separate ones for each platform. Users on a tablet, smartphone, desktop and laptop will all have the same shopping experience, which means they will be comfortable with the functionality and will likely continue to return to your site.
  • The improvements in mobile e-commerce and the growing popularity of mobile devices have driven this tremendous growth and are shaping the expectations of consumers.

By updating your Magento theme to a responsive design, you will maximize site traffic leading to improved conversions and mobile-friendly customer experiences, as well as gains in mobile SEO and search rankings.  A well-designed responsive Magento site will help take your e-commerce business to the next level of success and efficiency.

If you are looking to make your website mobile-friendly and responsive, we will ensure that your new mobile-friendly responsive design (RWD) aligns with your brand and vision to maximize your online presence. We invite you to schedule a complimentary assessment today with one of our certified Magento professionals.