Everybody knows that there are many successful stores running Magento. However, there are many others which are not successful or who cannot open the store after years of development. There are different reasons for that, but I tried to collect most common mistakes of the store owners. Most of them are obvious though.
1. How to choose Magento development company.
Obviously the choosing of the right partner is a crucial point.
From my point of view, there are 3 criteria for good Magento development company:
- Good portfolio (surprise!)
- Certified Magento developers
- In-house development team
2. The planning is 90% of success.
In our days ecommerce industry become very complex, so the ecommerce projects are complex as well. The chance that you will succeed without good planning and project management is zero. Ensure that company you want to use for the project has good project managers as well as developers.
3. One project - one company.
For any reasons store owners think that if they will hire 2 different teams (or more) for work, the project will be finished twice faster. In real world 2 independent teams will conflict with each other and you will never know who care in the case of problems. In most of the cases after several months of this work store owner hire 3rd team which finish the work. And usually the result in 90% cases looks like a Frankenstein, because it composed from code pieces from different teams.
4. Launch with minimum required functionality.
First of all, you need to conclude what functionality is 100% required for launch and which parts can be postponed. Usually if you want to have everything at once, you will need to wait months (or even years), and while you do it your competitors will open store with minimal required functionality and win.
5. 3rd-party extensions: use minimum.
One of the great things in Magento is a flexibility. You can install any extensions on your store, and in most cases it will work. However, the dark side of this is that you can install really _any_ extension, and unfortunately not all extensions have good quality. If you install too many extension you can get conflict of the extensions, slow down of your store and many other things which will not bring you a success.
6. Discuss the terms of after-launch support.
The aim of all development companies is to complete your project and make it live. But the problem is that when your store will go live, new story will begin. There always will be some bugs which you didn't notice before, or changes in UI etc. It is normal because even 100% testing cannot replace real customers feedback. So it may be very useful to discuss the terms for bugfixing/additional changes prior project start.
7. Check the project status during the work as frequently as possible.
If company has good project management and project scope is large, usually they provide you with intermediate results during the work. Ask your company to make a preview of the implemented pieces of functionality at least every 2 weeks, so you will be able to keep hand on pulse.
8. Performance testing.
Magento is a complex system, and its weak point is performance. Ask your developers to test store using Google speed tools and perform loading test before store opening (at least).
9. Collect customer feedback.
The key to success is to give people what they want. Always collect customer feedback to improve your store.
10. The secret.
The coding of store itself is 20% of successful business. The other 80% is customer care.