E-Commerce Migration ServiceThe purpose of website migrations is to fix underlying technical issues. It lifts content from the existing website and then places it on a more competent platform. A successful migration requires a project plan outlining the benefits and the journey to get there. An agile project plan allows the business to focus on a sequence of smaller deliverables making it much easier to set and meet targets.
Platform MigrationA platform migration is a lift and shift of existing content. So it replaces underlying technology to realize new capabilities. The platform should have the following capabilities:
- Extracts to support data-driven marketing.
- Ability to add advanced technical SEO, including rich results for products.
- Subsecond page response time.
- Agility to meet future business requirements.
- Disaster recovery planning and tested implementation.
- Quality management processes for SEO, security, and the user experience.
- Comply with Payment Card Industry - Data security standards.
Transition PlanningThe transition plan takes extra steps to preserve the commercial value of the existing URL because slight deviations can result in a complete loss. Commercial value means there is existing traffic from backlinks and organic search results. Ninety five percent of websites get no traffic and they can entirely skip this step. The transition plan may include remapping URL to improve SEO, automate SEO testing, and align with the security standards of the payment card industry. Example are:
- Create SEO-friendly URL names.
- Implement an HTTPS-only site.
- Switch domain names.
- Shorten URL names, such as dropping the www prefix.
- Map content to a single URL.
- Add redirects to increase usability.
Technical SEOTechnical SEO refers to the metadata within the page that supports search engines, social platforms, and other online applications. Most e-commerce website implement it in an ad-hoc way, so cleaning it up can result in a significant boost in page ranking.
There are two types of technical SEO updates. One are the errors detected with automated testing. Details like HTML syntax and is the a description for the search engine of an acceptable length. Website have become complex meaning there are over 100 tests per page.
Broken Link RepairBroken link repair ensures hyperlinks land on the expected page and avoids page not found errors. It has obvious value for the user experience. However, it is critical for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because users will bounce. Search bots check hyperlinks to remote sites like your Facebook page. They want all the links to be accurate and relevant. Our broken link scan of 100,000 websites found that 7% have broken links to their Facebook page. The following chart shows the surprising number of broken internal URLs by file type.
Search Engine IndiciesEach search engine has an index of URL links to the website. Each page designed to land search results should be in the index, while the others should not. Pages kept out of the index include test deployments, payment pages, redirects, and advertising landing pages. Maintaining the index ensures users do not bounce off the website because the page does not exist. It also promotes new pages as soon as they get deployed.
BacklinksBacklinks are inbound connections from 3rd party websites that are important for page ranking. Backlink testing starts by extracting them from weblogs and SEO search tools. Then the website administrator works with administrators of the 3rd party sites to fix the errors.
URL RedirectA redirect is a URL with no content that sends the web browser to another page. They improve useability by ensuring users land on valid pages. Also, search engines use them to update their indexes automatically. Content for each page should exist at a single URL, while there can be many redirects. Carefully managing URLs prevents namespace spatter and dramatically simplifies SEO testing. Common redirects include:
- Discontinued product to replacements.
- Migrate from SEO-unfriendly URLs to friendly ones.
- Move from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Make all characters lowercase.
- Remove the www prefix (or add it).
- Remove the trailing slash.
- Move between domain names.
Conical LinkThe canonical link is the base URL for the page. A typical design pattern tracks advertisements causing users to reach the website with a query string. A query string is the trailing part of the URL after a question mark. If the search bot finds a conical link on the page, it will index that and not use the URL used to discover the page. So the bot can find many different ads with different query strings but only index one page.
Forward CompatibilityBrowser compatibility ensure the website works well on the broadest number of websites. There is forward compatibility the ensure the page will render correctly on web browsers released in the future. That means migrating to updated software before support gets dropped. There most common issue is the user getting a blank screen or a a full page security warning. That will crash page ranking before you realize what happened.
Backward Compatibility "Backward compatibility supports web browsers as far back as practical. Those limits come from securityHTML
On-Page SEO Updates
Scheduled Content UpdatesScheduled content updates add, edit, and delete content. Unlike real-time updates, they maintain the integrity of the links between pages and allow for content review in a test environment. Also, they Google Index for the website and consider the impact to existing backlinks. The update frequency depends on the budget. Changes to the product catalog can be more frequent duu to the higher level of automation. Modifying the website theme and page navigation take more effort and happen more slowly. Collecting SEO data for the page takes weeks, which can cap the the update frequency.
Website updates iThe updates include the following:
- Add, edit, and remove content based on SEO analysis.
- Update the search engine index to reflect new, merged, and deleted URLs.
- Corrections to the website based on feedback and testing.
Realtime UpdatesA real-time update adds functionality to the page but does not change the content expected by the search engine. For example, disabling the buy option when inventory runs out and adjusting the price for a flash sale.
Deployment ManagementDeployment management will not make a website successful, but failed deployments will cause significant problems. A quality deployment architecture does the following:
- Automate the deployment to remove human error entirely.
- Rebuild the infrastructure within minutes to significantly reduce development costs.
- Test the deployment in test before going to production.
- Recover from disasters, including ransomware and the loss of a data center.
- Flexible to system updates such as resizing hardware.
Blue/Green DeploymentA blue/green deployment removes downtime when updating the website. If the existing deployment is blue, then green gets deployed as a production candidate. Sanity testing ensures it works before proceeding. If the test fails, green gets removed, fixed, and redeployed. If green becomes unstable after receiving the production load, it rolls back to blue and resolves the issue.
System MonitoringSystem monitoring ensures the user consistently receives the intended experience. It is a test that generates an alert after getting an unexpected response. Standard monitoring design includes:
- Ping the application to detect hanging responses.
- Verify the expected content is on the page and not an error message.
- Track hardware loading is within design parameters.
- Fix minor issues before they cascade into an outage.
Cybersecurity MaintenanceCybersecurity maintenance makes it difficult for attackers to gain and retain system access. Best practices include:
- Rotate SSL keys every quarter.
- Change login credentials every quarter.
- Check for security patches, then apply them when available.
- Upgrade software versions to remain on supported releases.
- Retain log files for two years, as required by the Payment Card Industry (PCI)
- Implement newer security designs based on research and best practices.
Eliminate Technical DebtTechnical debt refers to the amount of work required in the future to bring systems up to date before addressing pressing needs. The advantages of debt-free solutions are:
- Compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI).
- Prevent minor issues from cascading into a disaster.
- Remove noise and work effort when recovering from a disaster.
Webserver RedundancyWebserver redundancy protects the solution from unexpected failure like a hardware crash. An active/active standalone webserver spread across multiple geographic regions is the most reliable because:
- The change needed to complete is minimal.
- A failure impacts a subset of users, even with regional network and data center failures.
- Failover nodes contain backups, build scripts, and everything else needed for recovery.
Testing EnvironmentsTesting ensures the website meets expectations before users find out it does not. Modern system designs significantly reduced the cost of setting up test environments. The use cases for testing environments are:
- Verify the Service Level Agreement (SLA), deployment processes, system monitors, hardware sizing, and significant software upgrades.
- Run online testing tools such as Google Page Insights, Google Rich Results, Facebook Developer, SSL Labs, and many more.
- Support the development of interfaces to other systems for shipping, inventory management, customer relationship management, business intelligence, and fraud prevention.
- Support PCI auditors.