When it comes to developing an e-commerce website, there are many different areas that require constant attention. Project teams may introduce performance issues or forget important features that could negatively impact the user experience. That's why audits are crucial to ensure that the website is meeting high standards and delivering a great user experience.
At Front-Commerce, we conduct thorough audits on our client projects and provide recommendations to improve website performance and user experience. In this blog post, we will discuss the key points we measure during our audits.
Performance is a critical factor in the success of an e-commerce store. A slow website can lead to frustrated customers and lost sales. During our audits, we measure the performance of our client's websites in two key areas: server and webperfs.
During our audits, we check if the website's server is performing well. We make sure that things like cache and data loaders are implemented correctly to improve server performance. We also verify if the cache strategies are properly implemented to reduce the number of requests made to external services. Another thing we check is that the server-side rendering (SSR) is implemented properly to improve the TTFB. We also ensure that there are no memory leaks that can negatively impact the application's stability.
🎨 Theme customization
We understand that every e-commerce store has unique branding requirements. During our audits, we check if the website's theme has been customized to match the client's branding guidelines. We also ensure that any customizations do not negatively impact the website's performance or user experience.
We believe that all websites should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. During our audits, we check if the website meets accessibility standards, such as having proper alt tags for images, keyboard navigation support, and proper contrast ratios.
Consistency is key when it comes to creating a great user experience. During our audits, we check if the website's style guide is consistent throughout the website. We also ensure that the website's typography, colors, and spacing are in line with the client's branding guidelines.
📨 Links received by e-mail
A customer journey extends beyond the web UI and encompasses email interactions. That is why we also check the links that are received by email, as it ensures that customers can access the correct pages of the website, leading to a better overall user experience.
🔗 Audit broken links in the store
In a project, developers could have forgotten to update a hardcoded link, or content writers may have contributed unfinished content or made typos. That's why during our audits, we perform a thorough check for broken links and provide recommendations to fix them, ensuring that the website's user experience and SEO are not negatively impacted.
Having good SEO is crucial to driving traffic to the website. During our audits, we check for the following:
404 & redirections
We check for any 404 errors and ensure that the website has proper redirections in place. This is especially important when migrating to Front-Commerce from another platform, as the links may not be in the same format. This can cause 404 errors for any pages previously crawled by search engine robots, such as Google.
We ensure that the website's robots.txt file is properly configured to allow search engines to crawl the website's pages.
We check if the website has a sitemap.xml file and that it is correctly generated. More information about this can be found here
Meta tags and microdata
We ensure that the website's meta tags and microdata are properly configured to improve the website's search engine rankings and visibility when sharing on social platforms.
📱 PWA (Progressive Web App)
We ensure that the store meets the standards for a PWA. We provide recommendations to improve the website's PWA capabilities.
During our audits, we check if the website has proper analytics tracking in place. This helps our clients to make data-driven decisions to improve their website's performance and user experience. More information about this can be found here.
🧑💻 Code quality audit
Auditing code quality in a project is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it helps identify and rectify potential bugs, vulnerabilities, and performance issues, ensuring a more stable and secure application (as mentioned above). Secondly, it promotes maintainability and ensures that the project can be updated during its life. By adhering to Front-Commerce best practices, developers can upgrade to newer Front-Commerce versions more easily and with less risk of introducing bugs. Finally, our code quality audit encourages consistent coding standards and improves overall code readability. This leads to a more robust, efficient, and sustainable codebase.
🪄 Application stability
Application stability is a crucial aspect of a composable architecture, like the one used by Front-Commerce. It refers to the website's ability to remain resilient to external systems outages, such as server downtime or configuration errors. Ensuring stability is essential for a front-end solution like Front-Commerce, as it directly impacts the user experience and the website's ability to drive sales. Front-Commerce conducts thorough audits to identify potential issues that could affect stability and provides recommendations to improve resilience and ensure a reliable website.
✨ Magic Button
We believe in going above and beyond for our clients. During our audits, we look
for opportunities to add additional features to the website that will improve
the contribution experience and improve the merchant’s team productivity. Our
Magic Button feature allows contributors to seamlessly improve the content on
the website with direct links to the content source. We ensure that the
contribution mode activation is secure and that any custom content is wrapped
StorefrontContent component. More information about this can be found
☁️ Prod server & CI
We check if the website is properly deployed to the production server and if the continuous integration (CI) process is working correctly. This ensures that the website is always up-to-date and running smoothly.
🗒️ Audit logs
After conducting a thorough audit of the website, it's important to keep track of any bugs or issues that may arise once the site is live. While we analyze the codebase and test the application during the audit, we believe that analyzing application logs and monitoring metrics is also crucial once the site is live. This allows us to detect any smaller bugs or performance issues that may have been missed during testing. We follow up on our audits with log analysis a few days after the project is live to ensure that everything is running smoothly and to address any issues that may arise. By addressing these smaller issues, we can improve the overall quality of the application.
☑️ Checklist before production
Before we proceed with the audit, we have a checklist that should ideally be done by integrators in the project. This checklist includes items such as verifying that the environment is properly configured, that the data has been properly migrated, and that there are no broken links or missing assets. You can find a detailed checklist in our documentation here.
In summary, audits are essential for ensuring that e-commerce websites meet the high standards necessary to drive sales and provide an exceptional user experience. At Front-Commerce, we take great pride in conducting comprehensive audits and providing our clients with actionable recommendations to enhance their website's performance and user experience. By partnering with us, our clients can rest assured that their website is optimized for success and delivering the best possible experience for their customers.