Are you planning a Magento project?
Maybe you’ve already started picking out developers and made a shortlist of agencies to work with.
You’re ready to get started, right?
Maybe not. There are a lot of common missteps that can cause Magento launches to fail – particularly if you work with an inexperienced development team.
What are they?
We’re glad you asked. In this guide from 121eCommerce, we’ll discuss the top 10 reasons that Magento launches fail, and help you see how you can avoid these common missteps. Let’s get into it.
1. Poor Communication Between Developers & Stakeholders
This isn’t always the direct cause of a project failure – but it’s almost always a contributing factor. If you’re sending emails to your developers and you’re not getting replies on time, or you can’t reach them by phone, on Slack, or any other software, this is a sign your project is in trouble.
Communication is essential for every relationship – from personal relationships to professional relationships.
If you can’t communicate clearly with your development team, this can compound other problems with your project, such as low-quality code, buggy integrations, scope creep, and other such problems.
This is why it’s so important to work with an experienced Magento development team that understands the importance of daily check-ins, weekly update meetings, and other methods of communication that keep you in the loop – and ensure your project stays on track.
2. “Spaghetti Code” With Poor Maintainability
There’s a fast way to do things in Magento – and then there’s the right way. If your developers are choosing the former – and doing “quick and dirty” coding, cutting corners, and leaving a pile of “spaghetti code” behind, this will almost certainly lead to project failure – or at least huge delays.
Sure, things may be humming along for a while. But once your low-quality code breaks, it’s a huge struggle to fix – especially if other features and integrations have been built upon the same code base. It could take weeks to undo this damage.
It’s very important to work with a developer who will always do things the right way. Cutting corners is no way to build a solid foundation for your store – and taking the time to implement a feature or extension properly will ensure your store runs properly and smoothly.
3. Difficulties With Complex Integrations
Magento has been built to be a very extensible platform. With the proper coding and APIs, it can be used to connect things like:
- Warehouse management systems
- BI (Business Intelligence) systems
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems
- Statistics/analytics engines
- Shipping integrations
- Payment gateways
- Marketing tools for SEO and PPC
It’s common for large-scale, omnichannel Magento websites to be connected to software in all 7 of these categories – if not more. If your developers don’t have experience integrating these kinds of systems, they may have problems getting them to function properly – which can break your store and cause serious performance issues.
4. Focusing On Flash Instead Of Function
Have you heard of the expression “like putting lipstick on a pig?” You can dress a pig up as much as you want, but it’s still just a pig.
In the same way, focusing only on your user interface and Magento store’s theme and design is a mistake.
Yes, great user experience is essential for a successful project. But it should not be your first priority – at least not early in the development of your website.
Instead, your first priority should be a bug-free, fast, and responsive shopping experience. It doesn’t matter how pretty your website is if it takes 10 seconds to load each product, or if the checkout page throws a 404 error to a shopper.
Your developers should focus on backend performance and stability before trying to innovate and deliver a flashy, appealing design. Failing to do so can cause major issues with the launch of your Magento website.
5. Uncontrolled Feature & Scope Creep
Feature creep and scope creep can happen to any project – and it can be caused either by stakeholders who aren’t sure what they want or by developers who are over-promising and under-delivering.
You need to make sure you have a clear idea of the features that are essential for your Magento website – and which ones are “nice-to-haves.” And once you’ve locked down the basics of how you want your website to function, stick to it.
Remember, a Magento website can always be altered, modified, and improved after it’s been launched. Focus on the fundamentals – and don’t let scope creep cause missed deadlines or a bloated development budget.
6. Lack Of Clear Documentation
This is a particular problem if you plan on ending your relationship with a particular developer after your website launches. If you start encountering problems after the launch of the website and there are not proper reference materials for you or a new team of developers, you may encounter serious issues with your website.
It’s very important to work with developers who properly catalog their changes, create documentation about your Magento 2 website, and provide you with this information in a centralized repository – where it can be used in the future by you, your technical team, and any other developers you may eventually hire to work on your website.
7. Users & Stakeholders Are Not Properly Involved In The Process
Not all problems with Magento launches are due to mistakes by the development team. Lack of engagement and involvement from users and stakeholders can be a huge issue with the development of a Magento project, too.
Lack of buy-in from users and stakeholders means that developers are basically playing a guessing game – building the best website they can with minimal feedback, testing, or critical assessment. And, if this issue is not corrected, this can lead to a Magento project that looks and feels entirely different than it was meant to – or it can even lead to outright project failure.
8. Lack Of Leadership & Poor Decision Making
This can be the fault of a stakeholder or client, or of a development team. When it comes to a large-scale Magento project, proper leadership and decision making are essential.
For example, a stakeholder shouldn’t tell their developers that they want a specific feature – like integration with their current ERP system – only to tell them after a month of work that they are switching to a new ERP system, and all of their previous work will go to waste.
Both developers and stakeholders need to have strong leaders and the ability to make effective decisions throughout the development process – or you’ll end up with a mismanaged Magento project that could fail when it launches.
9. Inadequate Backend Server Architecture
Even the best Magento website can be hamstrung by inadequate server architecture. It’s important to work with a reputable Magento hosting company to ensure that you get reliable performance from your website.
In addition, make sure that you choose a Magento host that offers dedicated hosting solely for your website, and allows you to quickly scale your Bandwidth, CPU, RAM, and Storage if your website begins receiving higher-than-expected traffic. This ensures that, even if you begin to run into performance issues, you’ll be able to quickly scale your Magento website to maintain a seamless user experience for your shoppers.
10. Developers Lack Magento-Specific Qualifications And Experience
This is the final reason that Magento launches fail. The Magento platform is very powerful, but it’s also unique and has some quirks and special characteristics that are not likely to be completely understood by a non-specialist developer.
That’s why you should never trust anyone except a team of Magento certified professionals for the development of a Magento website. Magento Certified Developers have proven their expertise and knowledge of the Magento platform through various online courses and exams – making them the best choice for any project involving the Magento platform.
Avoid These Issues – And Work With The Right Developer – To Ensure Your Success
Hiring the right Magento developer will help you avoid all of these common issues, so we highly recommend that you take your time when choosing a development partner for your project.
For more information about that topic, we recommend a previous blog we’ve written on the subject – 14 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Magento Agency.
Still not sure where to start? In need of a qualified developer for a new Magento project, or to rescue a failing Magento website? 121eCommerce is here to help. As a Magento certified developer and a 2020 Magento Emerging Solution Partner of the Year, we’ve developed a reputation for excellence in Magento development.
So don’t wait. Get the help you need from the professionals at 121eCommerce now. Contact us online, drop us a line at 216.586.6656, or send us an email at [email protected] to get a consultation, and make sure your Magento product launch is a success.