In this article we will tell you what are the technical prerequisites for developing a successful online store that can grow and grow with your online business. Of course, we will give you some valuable tips.
The first steps are to choose a platform and developer for your online store. If you haven't already, you can get valuable tips in our other two articles' How do I choose a platform for my online store? "and" How do I choose a developer for my online store? ".
Once you've made your choice, it's time for the work to start. Building an online store is a set of stages and multiple processes , each of which is very important for the success of the whole project and for its subsequent development.
Specification and project planning
The first stage is the specification of the project. In it, you - the owner of the online business, set the requirements (functional and non-functional), and the developer must be able to prepare a specification on the basis of which the whole project will be developed .
In this phase, it is important for the developer to involve technical consultants familiar with the online trading platform and its processes. Often the desired functionality can be implemented in various ways, and here the experience and knowledge of the platform in detail are key to making the right decision. This is especially critical in more complex processes, such as integration with ERP systems , developing loyal programs, and more.
If the developer company has certified consultants for the chosen platform , it is a prerequisite for good planning and anticipation of problems at an early stage. The consultants themselves will ask you questions that you may not have thought of, and this may even change some of your wishes and requirements. Try to understand the potential issues that you have been warned about and consider the importance of your requirements.
If you are planning on developing a large online store with multiple functionalities, you may have decided to do it in stages. It's always a good idea to share your ultimate goal from the beginning, so that the development can be planned more accurately and correctly.
Online store development
Once the assignment and the well-drafted project specification are up to date, it can proceed to the design of the online store itself. Here things are in the hands of the developer and the management of the process depends on it.
For greater assurance that something will not be missed, corrupted, lost or deleted in the future, find out how the developer approaches the programming stage:
- Is there project documentation or is only one person aware of what, how and why is happening? It is common to work and not document the various functionalities because it is easier and takes less time. But in the long run, it may be more expensive and may be critical to your business. People leave, businesses change and you can't count on someone remembering how something was done?
- Are code tracking systems in use? After all, an online store is a collection of many code that can be modified by anyone. Using a code versioning system ensures that any change to it will not go unnoticed and will be able to accurately identify why, by whom and when it was made. This is good both from a security point of view and in a situation where someone else has to enter the project or absorb it completely because there will be a whole history of project changes.
Development is complete, your shop is online and starting to sell. The goal has been achieved! But as you develop and have new ideas and need for extra things, the store needs to be upgraded ! As it is already online and for sale, you need to be even more careful about what you do with it so that you do not break any of the already functional functionality and create problems for your customers to order.
You should not and can not afford to work directly at your real online store while consumers shop online. For this reason, any additional adjustments and adjustments must be made in the established order. Good and recommended practice is the following:
- Adjustments and modifications should be made first locally with the developer .
- Then be shown to the client on the staging server, which is a copy of the actual online store. If problems arise, they do not affect the smooth operation of your true online store . In this phase, you can return adjustments and run until the functionality is fully complete.
- After going through the testing process , adjustments could be uploaded to your actual online store. According to their specifics, this may happen unnoticed or planned to be done on a busy part of the day.
Support and support
We have a special article "Why is Maintenance the Most Important Service for My Online Store?" , in which we address the need for support and support for your online store in detail. But here I will highlight a few important technical aspects of the daily maintenance work of an online store.
- You need to have a reliable and secure backup , because sooner or later you may have to remove something from the archive. I do not wish it for you, but be prepared!
- You must have monitoring to provide information about the status of your online store. Based on this, site and server enhancements can be correctly predicted along campaigns and promotions, and your site always runs steadily and quickly
- Periodic security checks and updates should be made to prevent unwanted breakouts and potential losses.
As you understand, it is very important how you will approach the overall development and maintenance of your online store . If some small sites can afford to make mistakes in the real world, then your online business should not make such compromises. By applying the recommended best practices, you can have a high degree of peace of mind that nothing fatal will happen to your online store.
For more Stenik tips, check out our other helpful blog articles .