Why Magento Best Practices are Important to Your Business

Written by Erica Summers

What are you really getting out of a team of Magento experts? Why pay the extra fee to do something the “best practice” way, instead of the quickest or cheapest? And what will one approach versus another cost you in the long run?

If you ever hear from a development team about doing things to follow “best practice”, or are working on estimating different tasks or features and get a few different approaches and time estimates, there’s a very important reason why. It comes down to the versatility of Magento. For instance, Magento’s open source platform has been around for over a decade. It’s a large, complex piece of software that is continually growing and changing, with a large worldwide community of developers continuously improving it. With this never-ending change and growth, code ends up being refactored, standards change, and new features are added. All of this translates into one important takeaway: there is no one way to get something done.

In fact, for any given task or feature there’s probably tens or hundreds of different ways to do the exact same thing, and at one given point in time some of them were the “best practice” way, but that changed and has now become obsolete.

So what does this mean for you as a client?

In short, it comes down to picking the right team and knowing you can rely on their expertise.

There is a growing number of Magento-specific developers and each will have their own way of doing things. Often, you get what you pay for, with cheaper services getting the same thing done but in a way that’s inefficient, disorganized, and ends up costing more in the long-run to fix or upgrade when needs change. Sometimes you’ll lose inbuilt Magento features, or they won’t work as intended because updates were not completed in a way that is upgrade-safe working within Magento official guidelines.

The value you get when working with a certified Magento partner is knowing that not only will the work get done and things will be up and running, but that we will ensure we are working within best practices, keeping up with the standards. This means you have a reliable site that leverages all the exciting inbuilt Magento features and is easy to upgrade, customize, or change. It gives you more flexibility, ability to grow, and reduce cost over time. It also means that you’ll work with a team who won’t just hack at the code to get something done, but will think critically about what the best approach is to get the work done, and how it might need to grow in the long run.

You need a team focused on the big picture. A team that’s dedicated to high-quality service, keeping up with industry standards, and is always learning and growing.

That’s where we come in.

How Can Crimson Agility Help you Graduate to Magento Commerce 2?

We have migration options! We offer three MAGENTO QUICK START PACKAGES that are fixed-cost implementation solutions. Our packages offer great price points whether you are a small business or large enterprise wanting to move to Magento Commerce. Making the move doesn’t have to be hard and will result in improved security & performance, seamless shopping everywhere with PWA, increased conversion rates, more streamlined operations, and a better overall end-user experience.

Contact us today and learn more, we are here to help and love what we do.

About Author: Erica Summers, is passionate about both design and functionality, creating the best tool for the job and then giving it an edge. I started as a designer and front-end developer over a decade ago before jumping into JavaScript and PHP and have been focused on backend ever since. I love technology and finding new creative ways to solve problems! Also, I’m new to Arizona and learning my way around the area but I’m loving it so far!

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on LinkedIn.


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Why Use Two-Factor Authentication?

Why Use Two-Factor Authentication?

Using the web can be rewarding, but with those rewards come some risks. We’re all connected on the internet, and with that connectivity we are at risk from malicious actions and attempts to gain access to our sensitive information. In E-Commerce we apply best practices to protect companies and individual buyers from these potential security risks. Magento Two-Factor Authentication (TFA) allows for all users to secure their information from cyber attacks.  This authentication method works by attaching specific accounts to a users personal device which adds an additional layer of confirmation for the online service, and peace of mind for the individual logging in. Protecting users from fraud protection is only one of the benefits to using this method. It also provides a way for technology novices and experts to better safeguard their account information. Here are some of the best Magento extensions and tips that can protect your website and your customers from potential attacks.

Improved Security

Strong passwords are a great place to start, but hackers still have methods to crack even the most creative of passwords. Two-Factor Authentication adds a physical action to logging in by incorporating a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or token. A one time code is generated and delivered to the user in the form of an SMS or automated call that cannot be hacked. 

Lower Customer Service Cost

Using a Two-Factor Authentication can help curb the cost of customer service issues. Auth0 states from an HDI study that 35-40% of service calls are related to password resets. By implementing TFA you can effectively eliminate password reset calls from getting to customer service. TFA can save the company money and resources by reducing low tier issue calls and keeping customer service focused on other, more important, issues.

Reduce Online Fraud

There have been a recent slew of data breaches recently. Large companies like  Facebook, Yahoo, and Target have suffered from successful cyber attacks exposing hundreds of millions of customers personal information.  It becomes apparent that data breaches could happen to any company. This is why companies like Gmail, Apple Pay, PayPal, Evernote, Dropbox, and LinkedIn have moved to Two-Factor Authentication. It prevents sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. However, the protection of data can be left in the right hands, every company should be proactive and take it upon themselves to protect their customers from potential threats online.

How to Better Protect Your Users?

You can start taking action by using Magento Two-Factor Authentication extensions on your E-Commerce store. Some extensions that are already in use: Google Authenticator, U2F Devices, Duo Security, and Authy. Become proactive and don’t wait to react to cyber threats. Empower yourself and your customers to bring cyber security into the physical world by using TFA.

Security and staying updated is essential for any eCommerce experience. Let us here at Crimson Agility handle your Magento and eCommerce questions. Contact Crimson Agility today to see what would work for your security needs.

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team


It is not unusual to hear someone say about their co-workers, “we are like a family.” Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, created a lot of nationwide conversation when he made it clear to employees that, ‘We’re a team, not a family.’ (Reference the public Netflix Culture slide deck). There are a lot of differences between a team and a family.  As family members, we encourage each other to do our best unconditionally. You are a part of your family whether you are successful or not.  Membership in your family never changes. As a team, our participation is conditional, based on our contribution to the team’s success. Teams improve by constantly upgrading their talent. In order for the team to win, we need people who are the best, not just do their best.

At Crimson Agility we stand behind the concept of working together, caring about each other, and feeling like we ‘belong’.  We are all part of a team striving to provide our clients with the best service, quality and customer satisfaction in the delivery of our work. We evaluate results on a quarterly basis. We recognize our failures and celebrate our sucessess. This can only be achieved by constantly correcting the course, improving what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. Fostering a team atmosphere, not a family atmosphere, is how we will achieve our next level of growth. Team building events like Crimson Agility’s 3rd Quarter Events last week are a great way to inject some playful competition and get to know each other at a more personal level. Knowing who your teammates are at a personal level, makes them ‘human’ and leads to an environment in which we can support each other to achieve corporate success.

Great leaders, self-starters, team players and outside the box thinkers are what the team’s success is all about. We are a growing team and we looking for our next great team members. If you think you have what it takes, check out our current job openings. Your success is our success.

Please add your comments below. Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team


A few tips and tricks…1 of 3

Have you ever attended IRCE ?  IRCE stands for Internet Retailers Conference and Exhibition. It is an annual conference that takes place in Chicago.

IRCE is the largest most comprehensive conference aimed at shop owners, e-commerce professionals and solution providers that you will ever find!

It is HUUUUGE!  The Exhibit hall is so big that you can’t see it all in one day. The conference lasts 3 days and in addition to the exhibition you can also attend classes geared at teaching you best practices for making your e-commerce shop better!  We attended some of the courses and have compiled our notes into three lists that we will be sharing in this “What We Learned” series of blogs.


First and foremost, in this “Social Era” it is imperative that you get connected using social media. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or any of the plethora of social connections out there, creating raport, trust, and social media presence are key to your online survival.

Here are some best practices we think you will definitely benefit from:

  1. You can’t beat them, so join them: Even if you have social media accounts that you don’t use, the conversations are happening. Join the conversation and become active in social media to build your brand and get your products noticed
  2. Understand your customers and where they spend their time: Who is your target audience? What social media channels are they using and how? What value can you offer them?
  3. Create value: Use social media for communicating product launches, beta testing, local promotions, coupons, breaking news, or address certain groups (VIP clients, by gender or age group for example)
  4. Use social media to increase touch points/access you have to your customers: not everyone starts out being a brand advocate, so make sure to offer ways for people to be a part of your brand’s community. User generated content that has been curated and published on your site or social media account can be very powerful to gain brand followers
  5. BE social, don’t just “do” social: be sure that you are passionately engaged with your customers and not just throwing marketing chum. Human involvement is what turns customers into loyal brand advocates
  6. Don’t oversell: try to have a 5:1 ratio of helpful articles to sales pitches
  7. Monitor what is being said about your brand: How are you perceived by your customers? Monitor and subscribe to alerts when your brand is mentioned. Turn negative sentiments positive with good customer service
  8. Engage with active fans and followers: make sure you include them in discussions, let them know that you are listening to them. This will build stronger emotional ties and can further your efforts with them as your brand ambassadors.
  9. Leverage user generated content: host a contest to pull user generated content that features your brand/products. Use their content on your site and marketing materials. This builds trust among other potential customers looking at your brand. You never know where that one re-tweet or insta post will lead…
  10. Think of Social media posts as an extension of your marketing: Ensure that you optimize your tweet times, your Instagram photos, Snapchat posts and Facebook updates – treat them as you would any other marketing campaign

We hope that you found these tips useful. If you have more tips of your own or would like to comment on any of ours, feel free to comment below. Stay tuned for next Thursday when our blog series continues with Marketing Best Practices we learned at IRCE.

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team

PS: Here are some pictures of the Exhibit floor at IRCE 2017. See the Magento booth? It was TWO stories high!


These were taken from the second floor cafeteria…and it is not even HALF of the floor, just so you get an idea of the massiveness of the area.


Are you curious about IRCE? Next year’s conference is on June 5-8, 2018 – Maybe we will see you there!


Welcome to IRCE


Imagine 2017 is coming up in April in Las Vegas, and Crimson Agility wants to give you a ticket to the Magento event of the year. The vision of Imagine is to inspire, advance, educate, collaborate, and enjoy all that there is to offer with the Magento e-Commerce platform. Attending Imagine is a great way to learn all there is to know about leveraging Magento help your business skyrocket.

Through the end of January 31, 2017 Crimson Agility is offering you the opportunity to win a free pass to Imagine (valued at $1,795). In order to win, all you need to do is share Crimson Agility on social media.


Help spread the word about Crimson Agility. Here’s how to enter:

  • On Facebook, share any of our page posts or use #CrimsonAgility in your posts
  • On Twitter, retweet any of our tweets or use #CrimsonAgility
  • On Instagram, use #crimsonagility
  • Make sure your posts/profile are public so that we can count your entry.

You’ll automatically be entered to win, with one entry per share. We will announce the winner in February 2017.


Let’s keep your Magento platform up-to-date and secure.  Your Magento platform is there to supercharge your e-Commerce. Just like with any computer system, maintenance is an important factor. Magento and Crimson Agility take security very seriously and the newly released critical security updates are important to your Magento site’s security and performance.


For Magento 1.0, the Security Update, SUPEE-8788, was created to address recently identified vulnerabilities.  If you need assistance with this update or any update, contact Crimson Agility to get this scheduled and to keep your Magento platform secure.  You can check for an assessment of your sites health and security before and after applying the security update.

In addition, Magento released upgrades to Magento Community Edition and Enterprise Edition, versions 1.9.3 and 1.14.3 respectively.  With these new releases Magento had added support for PHP 5.6 which has some significant performance benefits.  Check the Magento 1.9.3 and 1.14.3 release notes for more fixes and new features.

For Magento 2.0, download Magento 2.0.10 for Community Edition and Magento 2.1.2 for Enterprise Edition for the latest security updates.  The Magento 2.0 Upgrade Guide and Magento Security Best Practices are great resources for keeping your Magento site safe and secure.  For the less technical, call Crimson Agility today to get your upgrade scheduled.

If you have any questions on these security updates or upgrades, contact us and we’ll answer your questions.  We have already updated over 40 sites for our current clients.


There are many different e-commerce platforms to choose from. Deciding which one is optimal for your website can be imperative to the success of your business. Magento is a well known and trusted platform designed with flexibility and functionality in mind.

The Magento platform offers different packages to meet the needs of a wide variety of users. The Community Edition is open-source and free to use, intended for small to medium-sized business. The Enterprise Edition is designed for more established businesses, offering more tools and a stronger framework for large scale operations. Whether you need a little help, or a lot, running your Magento Enterprise or Community platform, there’s an affordable Magento managed services plan for you. Here are 4 ways that Magento managed services can benefit your website:

  1. Optimization for Mobile Responsiveness: More users each year are using mobile devices to access the internet. Your e-commerce business should be optimized for mobile responsiveness. A responsive website ensures that all users, across the board, will be able to navigate your web page. Mobile users aren’t simply accessing your website, they’re also paying for products and services on their smartphones and tablets.
  2. Website Performance Monitoring: Magento offers the capability to monitor the performance of your digital enterprise. This will allow you to see what is bringing in the majority of your revenue, or what you may need to improve to yield better results in terms of security and sales performance.
  3. Abundance of Development Options: Whether you’re a developer yourself, or you outsource your business’s design and functionality to Magento professionals, there is no lack of customizable options for your digital storefront. Magento offers the option to add third-party systems to your e-commerce market. Options such as this ensure that whatever your needs may be, they can be sufficiently met.
  4. Security, Performance and Content Management: With Magento, you can provide your marketplace with levels of security and performance to meet your needs. You retain complete control of your website, and have the ability to fortify and optimize your content to achieve desired results. The platform features options to assist with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make sure your digital market is highly visible. This will increase traffic to your website and ensure your services or products are widely accessible to your target audience.

Setting up an e-commerce business can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you do it yourself, or hire a professional support team like Crimson Agility, Magento managed services can improve the functionality, security and user experience of your website.

Our Magento managed services plans are designed to provide rapid, high-quality work to support you in sustaining and growing your business with Magento. If you are interested, we invite you to schedule a complimentary assessment today with one of our certified Magento professionals.


The most successful businesses today have discovered the value of building relationships with their customers. One key to doing that is establishing trust, and nothing will unravel the trust you’ve built faster than a lack of online security in your e-commerce business.

You don’t have to look very far to see the damage a lack of security causes. Some of it has definite dollar signs attached. The hacking scheme that attacked Target in 2013 cost them a reported $10 million. While significant financially, the hack is estimated to have affected as many as 110 million customers. It’s impossible to calculate what the attack cost Target in lost trust with its customers.

Your e-commerce site might be able to offer customers security at the start and end points of a transaction, but providing online security will help you keep the customer trust you work so hard to get in the first place.

This holiday season, retail e-commerce is expected to reach nearly $80 billion in sales, so it is critical that your e-commerce site be secure and reliable for your customers. Reliable online security will do the following 4 things:

  1. Provide a secure e-commerce platform: Your e-commerce platform should provide the precautions necessary to protect your customer’s information from outside threats.  Using a secure platform like Magento that is dedicated to providing secure solutions and a trusted hosting partner like ZeroLag are an excellent start.
  2. Use a secure connection for checkout: SSL certificates are fundamental to your customers’ online security. They encrypt the information during the checkout process to make certain that even if the data is intercepted it is useless to anyone other than the intended destination.  Additionally, more and more customers are looking for the https, where the “s” stands for “secure”, when shopping online.  Update your site to use SSL (https) on the entire site – not just during checkout.  Make sure your site reassures your customers and protects their personal information.
  3. Handle sensitive data sensitively: When shopping on your site, your customers trust you with their credit card information. Make certain you have verification procedures in place. If your customers have membership accounts, insist on strong passwords, and train your employees on the proper ways to handle this data.
  4. Remain Up-to-date with Security Updates: Work with certified Magento professionals, like Crimson Agility, to ensure your site remains secure and up-to-date with all the latest security updates. Request a security audit of your site to ensure you are following all Magento security “best practices”.

Online hacking has become such a problem that most business liability insurance includes some level of protection against it. While that is a great reimbursement to your customers if something does happen, it will only go so far in rebuilding the relationships you need for your site to be successful.

If you’re looking to make your e-commerce site secure and reliable for your customers, we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Certified Magento Professionals.