e-Commerce Ascension Series: Solid Structure (IV)
Creating a successful e-Commerce platform is no easy task, especially when faced with the ever-changing trends in the industry. No matter your product’s niche, one thing is certain. Well-performing functionalities evolve and need to be adjusted constantly. Therefore, you must be prepared to take action. The website should be built with these concerns in mind to optimize the process.
I will go over the main aspects of what makes a website’s structure solid and what fallacy you should observe and avoid while making decisions for your website’s future.
The first pillar of your website structure is the development server. This server is like running your PC in safe mode. You can make all the changes and test them out before pushing them to the production server. The production server has you covered compared to the only-production server approach, where a minor change in the website’s code can crush the whole platform. Developers can try out new stuff without the pressure of crashing the entire thing down. Moreover, businesses that focus on innovation must have a training ground for their software where the client can see how the new feature will look and how it will impact the business once it is decided it gets pushed to the live server.
Tracking Code Changes
The second pillar involves choosing the method of tracking code changes that you will use throughout the project lifespan. The go-to option is using the GIT & Issue tracking solution, which facilitates communication between the stakeholders. All parties, from developers, project managers, and clients, have access to all the changes made to the code in chronological order. This is especially useful for rollbacks when a newer version doesn’t work as intended. You can return to a previous stable version while the developers tinker with it to figure out what breaks the code. Moreover, tracking solutions allow big teams to pinpoint which user has changed certain elements.
The third pillar is a staging server. The alpha version of your website takes place here. This is the last step before going live. A staging server is a copy of your live website that doesn’t have limited resources compared to the development server. Staging servers are common practice nowadays, and I recommend using one for your business to avoid letting mistakes pass through to the live version.
The fourth pillar, and to my knowledge, the most important, is “Automated Testing”. In a fast-moving modern environment, you cannot waste time and resources manually checking all the code elements. Automated Testing allows a developer to create a script, a series of tests that the code has to pass, allowing the developer to focus on testing the more complex parts of the code.
The final pillar is the framework configuration part, where the developers customize the template to save time for the client. For example, if you want to add a new product to your website, and the product’s page has a video, a gallery, a custom text field, etc., the developer will configure the template in such a way that will allow the client to add the product with just a drag & drop taking away the tech-savvy part.
If you enjoyed this article about the solid structure of a website, all the other steps of the e-Commerce Ascension™ become way more accessible. The template is not just a powerful tool to increase your e-Commerce performance. It’s a mindset that allows people like you and me to gaze through the lens of consumer behavior and successfully apply the insight gathered.