7 Common Errors in Magento Online Shops and How to Fix Them by@oap

7 Common Errors in Magento Online Shops and How to Fix Them

Magento is the leading e-commerce platform with open-source code, free availability, scalability, and advanced features. But like any software solution, Magento has its challenges. They range from extension conflicts, compatibility issues, web crashes, and “404 not found” error messages. If not taken care of, they could lead to abandoned carts, reduced conversions, and user experience. But the good news is that there are easy fixes for them. Here is a list of all the problems you may face when using Magento for your e-shop.
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Due to its open-source code, free availability, customizability, scalability, and other advanced features, Magento is the leading e-commerce platform.


According to recent estimates, 270,000 merchants worldwide use Magento.


Even leading e-commerce brands such as Nike, Jaguar, Proctor and Gamble, and HP are not left out.


Yet, like any software solution, Magento has its challenges.


They range from extension conflicts, compatibility issues, web crashes, and “404 not found” error messages. If not taken care of, they could lead to abandoned carts, reduced conversions, and user experience.


Or even worse, your online store could stop working entirely.


But the good news is that there are easy fixes for them.


Below, is a list of all the problems you may face when using Magento for your e-shop and their solutions.

Challenge #1: Data Protection

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(Credit:Unsplash)


Data protection is a major issue, for every platform that’s connected to the internet. And Magento is no different.

Why do you need Data Protection?

As an e-commerce store, customers trust you with their personal information such as credit card details and other personal details.


These are great prey for hackers, who love to execute magecart, ransomware, and phishing attacks to steal this information.


And once your E-store is synonymous with hacks and data breaches, you’ll lose the trust of your customers.


Additionally, since Magento runs on open-source software that’s customizable, the responsibility of protecting your customer’s security is partly yours.


So how can you protect your customer's data?

  • [ ]ensure that you’ve upgraded to Magento 2.0. The updated version comes with security fixes to vulnerabilities found in the previous version.
  • [ ]Invest in a reliable Magento 2 security extension. With as little as $69 - $239, you can get a reliable Magento security extension. They alert you of potential data breaches, enable two-factor authentication, and the likes.
  • [ ]Use a secure, and encrypted HTTPS/SSL URL. You can do this by enabling the “Use Secure URLs” in the system configuration menu.
  • [ ]Use a good password and keep it safe. A good password must have special characters, upper and lower case letters, numbers, and numbers. Also, don’t use the same password to log into another website.
  • [ ]Hire Magento security consultants to run security checks once in a while.

Challenge #2. Magento Products are not Getting Displayed

In some cases, a product may not appear in any category, except if you use its URL. This is very common, especially if you have many products in your e-store.


If you’re facing this issue, take these simple steps:


  • [ ]Make sure the products are available in stock.
  • [ ]You can check from Catalog > Manage Products > Inventory (tab).
  • [ ]Out-of-stock items cannot be accessed via categories except by using the exact URL.
  • [ ]But if you want out-of-stock (OOS) products to become visible, change it at System > Configuration > Catalog > Display Out of Stock Products. After changing the settings, you’ll need to rebuild the indexes and update the cache.
  • [ ]If they’re out of stock, set your configuration to display them with the “out of stock” tag.
  • [ ]If you uploaded them manually, check if they are in the correct category. You can check this at Catalog > Manage Products > Category.
  • [ ]Ensure your indexes and caches are current. Whenever you update products to your store, the cache may get invalidated.

Challenge #3. The Website not Showing in Google Search Results

In this digital era, being visible on search engines like Yelp, Google, and Yahoo is very important.

Why?


A large fraction of traffic to your store comes from search engines. According to a recent report, 39 percent of traffic to e-commerce stores comes from search engines.


If your e-commerce store is missing from web results, you should:

Practice fundamental SEO practices.

Utilizing SEO strategies keeps you right in front of your potential customers, which translates to traffic and then conversions down the line.


This includes choosing the right keywords after you’ve researched, catering to various awareness levels, using the correct page architecture, and many more. Semrush explains SEO strategies for e-stores, in this article.

Leverage content

As it's often said, content is king. In the current digital age, content is a key driver for increasing customer engagements and conversions, generating leads, and growing sales.

But that doesn’t mean you should publish any type of article or video.


You must start with developing an ideal customer persona and drafting a strategy hinged on information gotten from the research of your audience.


But it doesn’t stop there.


Publish content where your customers visit, use data analytics tools to measure results, and request feedback from your customers.


Also, focus more on quality than quantity.


Instead of producing 10 low-quality articles, spend time and effort on creating 3 quality ones. It will differentiate you from the multitude of subpar content that fills the internet.

Keep up with trends

The world of e-commerce is always changing.


Even buyers' behavior, continues to evolve.


And if you don’t keep up with the pace, you’ll surely fall behind and lose customers in droves.

To avoid this, keep pace with the latest trends and implement them in your store.

Challenge #4. Invalid Username or Password

When you try logging in but you're told your details are invalid, it could be frustrating.

This happens, even when you use the correct details.


What’s the reason for this?


Since Magento is recognized as a local host rather than a domain, web browsers don’t store cookies for it. Thus, your password and details are not recognizable when you log in.


How can you resolve this?


Go to the Magento directory.


Find the app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Session/Abstract/Varien.php file. Then leave the first three common lines, and comment out the last three, as shown below:

$cookieParams = array(

‘lifetime’ => $cookie->getLifetime(),

‘path’ => $cookie->getPath()

// ‘domain’ => $cookie->getConfigDomain (),

//’secure’ => $cookie->isSecure(),

//’httponly’ => $cookie->getHttponly ()

);


The two forward slashes (//) before the last three lines, renders them inactive.

Challenge #5. Common “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable”  Error

This error has 3 potential sources: your site’s server, e-commerce store, or cache.


The first thing you should do is contact your hosting company. If the fault is from their end, they would solve it. If not, you should locate the maintenance.flag file.


The maintenance.flag file is created when installing Magento. It contains a message to notify your users that your site is undergoing maintenance.


Normally, the file is removed after installation. But if it doesn’t delete automatically after installation, an error message will continue to display.


The solution to this, is to use an FTP manager, go to your Magento directory on it, and delete the maintenance.flag file.


If the above solutions don’t work, then try and delete your cache.

Challenge #6. Redirect Website to WWW

Allowing customers to access your website via WWW, increases visibility. And all things being equal, increased visibility means more sales.


To make your website redirect to WWW, you’ll need to edit some lines of code.


Go to the Magento root and click on the .htaccess file. Find RewriteEngine, and add the following two lines:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^mywebstore.com$ [NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.mywebstore.com/$1 [R=301,L]


After you’re done, log into your admin area and go to  System > Config Menu. Beneath the configuration menu, click on the web button. Change your base URL, to contain WWW, then click save.


After doing this, customers will access your website using the www prefix.

Challenge #7. Website Loading Time. How to Speed Up and Secure Your Site?

Having a website that loads quickly provides a good customer experience. And if your customers are happy, they will keep coming back.


Also, website loading speed plays a key role in visibility on search engines. The faster your website loads, the better your ranking.


With that being said, how can you speed up your website load time?


The first step is to enable the compilation function by logging into your admin area, and clicking on “system”. On the pop-up tab, click on tools, then enable the Compilation Process.


Aside from the above, you should:

  1. Install a content delivery network (CDN)
  2. Upgrade to the latest version of Magento
  3. Enable cache management.


By enabling cache management, a copy of your website is saved on the browser of your customer on their first visit.


When they return to your site, the cached version of your website is delivered to them. This is faster than creating a new site for each visit, which takes time


To enable cache management, go to admin panel > system > cache management. Finally, enable all the options shown, and click submit.

Optimize visuals.

An e-commerce store is definitely going to have many visuals. And if they’re not optimized, your site becomes slow.


Firstly, use the correct file types. Your product images should be in .jpeg while logos should be .png or .svg.


Secondly, compress large images using compressing tools. But only use tools, that do not distort the quality of the image.

Merge and minify Javascript and CSS under javascript settings and CSS settings respectively.

To merge and minify CSS, go to Stores > Configuration in Settings Section > Developer in Advanced, and click on CSS. Then turn on “minify CSS” and “merge CSS”.


For javascript, you’ll also go to Stores > Configuration in Settings Section > Developer in Advanced. But in this case, click on Javascipt. Then turn on “minify Javascipt” and “merge Javascript”.

Use a lightweight theme

Your website looks cool when you use a heavy theme. But bear down on your loading time.

When choosing a theme, focus not only on the aesthetics but also on its size. The smaller, the better.

Choose bug-free extensions

Most of the time, paid Magento extensions are more likely to be bug-free than free versions.

It’s better to go through the pain of paying for an extension than using one that slows your loading speed.

Enable flat categories and products:

Do this, especially for Magento 2.1x and 2.2x but disable them for 2.3x and above.

Disable Javascript bundling

Conclusion

With the easy fixes mentioned above, you will have fewer problems with your store and give your customers a seamless shopping experience, which is vital if you want them to keep coming back.

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