Monthly Archives

March 2018

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How Google Speed Update Will Affect Dublin Businesses SEO

By | SEO

The expected Google Speed Update will affect Mobile Search and SEO

It is confirmed now that Google will use Mobile Page Speed as a ranking signal in their mobile search when the new algorithm is introduced. This development is scheduled to roll out in July 2018 when Google are expected to release a new ranking algorithm dedicated to Mobile Search. The good news would appear to be that only a minority of queries will be impacted by Google’s update. In the interim, webmasters have the opportunity to make the necessary webpage adjustments to avoid any penalties that might be imposed for poor page speed and performance. Though it all seems a little vague Google recommends that you use the new ‘updated Page Speed report’ and tools such as ‘Lighthouse’ to measure page speed and implement the required page adjustments to improve performance and speed.

According to two of Google’s technical experts this ‘Speed Update algorithm’ will only affect the slowest of pages with the slowest delivery of user experience. The same standard will be applied to all pages and will have a universal application. Both Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan insist that a slow page may still achieve a top position in the page rankings if it presents authentic, authoritative relevant content. This adds further confusion unfortunately to webmaster’s understanding of Google’s intent. However, Gary Ilyes of Google has confirmed that they are rewriting their page speed algorithm for mobile. This may inform some of the confusion surrounding the impending new algorithm and the launch of ‘mobile first index’ by clearly indicating that page speed will be a major factor in SERPS. There is a question about how Google measures page speed since it has been measured of desktop speed and not mobile, up to now. He has stressed that going forward desktop speed will be less important than mobile page speed. It would appear that Google is going to move their entire search index to mobile-first. The two existing search indexes, mobile and desktop, are going to be combined into one index. The Mobile version of a page will be crawled first by the index which clearly indicates that the mobile version of your site will be the first one crawled – not the desktop.

The key element for publishers will be:

  • the necessity to have mobile first and foremost
  • the mobile site cannot be an amended or dumbed down version of your desktop site
  • ensure that all elements of your website are crawlable on Mobile
  • ensure that structured data, meta descriptions, tags etc are replicated on mobiles exactly as they are on desktop.

The message to all website publishers is to take steps, before the new algorithm rollout, to ensure your mobile site is equal in all aspects to your desktop version. If it is not then the outcome could be damaging. You need to take care that all the enhanced elements of your site are as crawlable on mobile as they are on desktop. This is all motivated by Google’s growing desire to provide increasingly faster rich query results that improve user’s search satisfaction.

In the light of emerging markets globally, Google is even more determined to push the envelope with page speed, especially in an environment where connectivity and connection speeds vary greatly. The need for instant delivery of the content the user is looking for, is the motivating factor behind joint PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology. Though AMP presents certain weaknesses for publishers, working better for some than for others, the single clear message to webmasters is – optimise your site for instant loading, fast speeds and performance!

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Tips on how to speed up Magento 2

By | Magento

Expert Tips on configuring why your Magento 2 backend and frontend are running slow

If your Magento 2 store is being challenged by operational slow-down then there are certain elements contributing to this problem that need to be addressed and resolved.

The most likely cause of a slow Magento backend is a slow hosting server. To run Magento 2 efficiently, a powerful server is required. A low cost shared monthly plan will not supply the expected performance. The complexity of the Magento ecommerce platform, with its multifarious features, requires resources to run fluently. You can make a simple check to see if your Server CPU usage graphs are reading max all the time. If they are, then this is an indication that your hosting power needs upgraded. Drill and see if any scripts are running in the background, eating up all your available resources. By monitoring the system you will ascertain if this is so and you can redress the problem by getting your hosting provider to perhaps disable some of them.

Should you need a new more efficient hosting plan it pays dividends to troll through servers that are optimised specifically for Magento, thus ensuring complete compatibility with your complex hosting needs. They may be more expensive but they will ultimately do the professional job that your clients are expecting of the system. A top tip from a certified Magento developer is to ensure your hosting deploys the fastest disk technology possible – even if it means paying more per month for the service.

Third party extensions present another area worthwhile monitoring and analysing, to see if they are possibly cause for slowing Magento performance. Some plugins may be at the core of M2 running slower than normal so it is vital to identify and eliminate extensions that slow your store down. By accessing the Magento backend menu and listing all custom extensions – excluding the Magento core extensions – you or your developer can disable the offending plugins one at a time and benchmark the page speed. Once you are aware of the offending modules you can contact the provider and inform them of the problem. You then have the choice of finding alternative extensions or removing the inefficient ones completely.

Another element that can affect operating speed is incorrect Magento configuration. Changes in Magento configuration can present problems for backend performance.The most common configuration mistakes that affect admin speed are:

  • Keeping internal cache disabled – this might simply be down to an outsourced developer having switched it off while testing and having forgotten to reactivate it.

           This is something that the store owner would not be aware of as a possible cause of slow Magento backend.

  • Ensuring that your running mode is production: It is the fastest of the three running modes – default, developer and production. Again this could be down to an oversight on the developers behalf when working on the system – they might inadvertently have it in a different running mode which would slow the system down.
  • Scrutinise JS Bundling feature on Java Script file. See if it is slowing down your site, especially on mobile devices.

 

Use a full page Caching Application such as ‘Varnish’ which is supported by Magento 2 native – a special software to serve and cache content. Magento developers claim that it renders sites very fast.

A further slowing factor is running a non-default Magento backend custom admin theme. Magento backend performance is very much dependant on theme files. It is quite a straightforward process to test this element and rectify the issue. Firstly you have to instal a fresh copy of Magento – the same version you already have – then instal all the extensions you have on the original store, excluding those that change the backend theme. Compare the two admin panels and that will inform you as to why the system is operating slow and below expectation.

Make sure to manually update your website’s indexes through the admin panel. If this is neglected then it will become  a contributory factor in your Magento site’s slow loading.

Also turn compilation on, which means you group  Magento’s files into blocks of HTML increasing their accessibility. This can effectively provide you with an improved performance of between 25 and 50 percent, depending on the page requested.

Increasing the memory parameters to a level greater than 128mb will enhance your site speed. A higher memory limit is necessary as Magento is heavy on memory use.

Another important element in promoting site speed and performance applies when you add products or categories that are spread through many different tables. You can enable Magento to harvest the information more quickly by having a single repository from which the information can be quickly retrieved. Technically it is described as “ flattening your products and categories”.

“Hacking the Core” is a term used to denote the overwriting of Magento Core Files by developers to customise your website. The snag with this is the resulting decline in site speed.

As with any platform site speed is a factor considered by Google when positioning your website on page rankings. If your Magento Website takes ages to load then that is a negative signal to the bots and will reflect your page ranking in the Search Engine Results.

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Magento – the perfect E-Commerce Platform and business partner

By | Magento

There is a wide range of e-commerce CMS platforms available on the market to prospective online retailers and wholesalers but none qualify for ticking so many boxes as Magento.

As a mid to higher market solution it offers the functionality and scalability that allows an online business to develop, flourish and grow. No other platform can compete on this level or provide an open source solution that combines expertise with complete flexibility. It is ideal for 2nd generation e-commerce sites or for those established sites who want to advance to the next phase of growth. Magento is the only real option for those who have greater ambitions than a small start up store.

It promotes progression and growth in a seamless manner with no downtime or extra expense. While the system may be considered overkill for small businesses it is worth bearing in mind the extensive list of a-line businesses and organisations that deploy Magento to power their e-commerce platform and are happy to put their trust in Magento for creating and implementing their online retail strategies. When businesses such as Olympus Cameras, Paul Smith and Mothercare entrust their e-commerce business to Magento then others choices are informed by those thought processes that have embraced what has become the world’s most popular e-commerce platform.

It is widely accepted that open source software is a much more dependable and less risky system than proprietary bespoke systems for a number of obvious reasons:

  • The source code is not the property of any one organisation or owner
  • It can be distributed and modified by anyone free of charge

With proprietary systems:

  • The developer, either as an organisation or an individual owns the source code
  • A licence is required to use it and such seriously large systems often come with a six figure licence fee – something that in itself is financially prohibitive for many developing online businesses who just cannot afford that outlay.

With Magento Community Edition there are no licence fees or any other fees other than the cost of procuring a certified Magento developer to build the website. Current customers find that this system works efficiently for online businesses turning over millions of pounds.

It is enlightening to enumerate the many benefits of a Magento platform including:

  • It prevents putting all your eggs in one basket, leaving your options open
  • It provides a community of global developers who are familiar with the system and can offer support with no problem.
  • Magento developers, for the most part, can adopt a site created by another Magento agency and run with it comfortably and effectively.
  • A real plus in its favour is the continual update to software that keeps your website operating at optimal levels of efficiency and optimisation
  • With customised e-commerce CMS, the developer cannot always be relied on to regularly update their software.This could affect security updates as well as general continual software improvements which could effectively mean lack of response to security threats or functionality and future updates.

As a complete system Magento specifies the requirement for specialised high end hosting and provides their own hosting solution which ensures greater security and optimal operating speeds. Another area where Magento scores highly is integrating with third parties. It offers a large expanse of API enabling seamless and effective third party integration giving it a prominence over other open source systems in integrating with external software. This well recognised feature puts Magento at the top of the integration stakes as the preferred partner and highlights its  capability and versatility in integrating:

  • Accounting systems
  • Synchronising stock level data with ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning Software
  • Harvesting and integrating customer behaviour data with a marketing platform
  • Order fulfilment
  • Warehouse management
  • Shipping
  • Secure Digital Payment processes
  • Digital Marketing
  • CRM

Magento’s proven capacity to integrate with a huge array of third party systems using either existing Magento “extensions” or bespoke API integration puts it in a dominant position over any other system currently available. Statistically it supports over 250,000 businesses with its platform, commanding an enormous 20% share of the ECommerce marketplace. Its dominant position is highlighted by the fact that its nearest rival has an 11% share of the market.

Magento continues to increase in popularity and is capturing an ever increasing slice of European and global e-commerce business. With a technology that is likely to be around for a long time it offers security for businesses who require a flexible efficient solution and a stable environment for growth. Its software is undoubtedly satisfying the needs of its users and is globally recognised as the best at what it does. The vast amount of extensions or plugins to enhance the core system ensures that the risks of overburdening the system with extra processing demands on the server is outweighed by the advantages. Intuition and experience will guide developers in their adaptation of the number of extensions that are effective.

The bottom line with Magento is that you and your team can access a massive guild of knowledge when and as you need it to either add features through extensions, for minimal costs, or to automate admin. Your business needs are totally catered for, ensuring your business can operate and grow with Magento without any downtime or the requirement to adopt a new technology. Whether you are a B2B or B2C retail, the solution works across a number of business sectors catering for all the complexities and configurations.