Ultimate E-Commerce Checklist for Website Updates
E-commerce websites need constant updating to improve factors such as security and performance. Our e-commerce checklist is designed for when website updates have been applied to your Magento website design. This includes a list of tasks to be performed on your site that you should work through after any major updates or changes have been made by your development agency.
Examples of these changes could be from an application version update, such as your site being upgraded by us to the latest version of Magento. It could be the installation of a new plugin which adds new features to your existing site. Or a custom web development change that has been created for you. Every change, no matter how minor, should be rigorously tested as much as possible. This includes examining the development version of your site first. Followed by a testing phase on the live site immediately after the changes have been implemented there.
The importance of thorough testing cannot be overstated in ensuring the continued functionality of your e-commerce website. While it may seem time-consuming and monotonous for the bulk of tasks, it can save a lot of costs in the long run if something major is sitting unnoticed on your live site. We hope this handy and easy-to-follow e-commerce checklist helps make life a little easier for you as an article to regularly refer back to.
Why Does My E-Commerce Website Need Updated?
Whether your e-commerce site is built on Magento, WooCommerce or Shopify, the updates should be applied within a short period of any new version being released. There are a large number of reasons why a website needs regularly maintained and kept up to date. And many reasons why checks should be carried out to your site following these updates. We’ve identified some of the most important reasons further below in this article.
E-Commerce Checklist for Testing in Magento
Use this e-commerce checklist for testing your Magento website, following any major website core or plugin updates carried out by your e-commerce developers. These are listed in our detailed checklist for e-commerce website updates as below:
- Test the website search function – This involves running a few product queries in your website search bar, generally in the header area. Test the Ajax popup box display which often appears as you type the query. Also, press the search button or enter, to test the output of the main search results URL page.
- Test a product page loads ok – Navigate through the website and open various product pages on different browsers and devices, ensuring they load correctly and quickly. This helps to identify and resolve potential issues, such as performance degradation, compatibility conflicts, or security vulnerabilities, that could negatively impact user experience and sales.
- Test the add to cart functionality works as normal – To test the “Add to Cart” function in Magento, manually add various products to the cart on different devices and browsers, and check if they are correctly added and displayed. Updates can sometimes introduce conflicts or bugs that disrupt this critical function, potentially leading to a poor customer experience. Ensuring that customers can seamlessly add products to their cart is essential for maintaining operational integrity.
- Test your mini cart loads after adding a product to the cart – Testing the order summary function in the mini cart to facilitate users in taking a quick view of the products they have picked for shopping. Ensuring that products and pricing details can be viewed too.
- Test the main cart page loads – To test the cart page load in Magento, you should manually add products to the cart, and navigate to the cart page to ensure it loads correctly without errors or delays. Test across browsers and devices to ensure consistent performance and responsiveness. Verify functionality to confirm that updating quantities, removing items, and applying discounts works as intended. This approach helps ensure that the cart page operates smoothly and efficiently for all users following website updates.
- Test express payment methods load in mini cart + cart – Activate these payment options and go through the checkout process in both sections, ensuring they load and function correctly on various devices and browsers. Monitor for any errors or delays during these transactions. Express payment methods for example could include PayPal, Klarna, Google Pay or Apple Pay as widely used methods in e-commerce websites.
- Test your checkout page loads correctly – Begin by adding products to the cart and proceed to checkout on different devices and browsers, ensuring the checkout page loads correctly and quickly, and monitor for any errors or performance issues during the process. Check customer details can be entered in the address area ok. Check shipping methods load. And ensure all payment methods load correctly too.
- Check the values output for product totals in the checkout and cart are correct – To verify product totals in the checkout and cart of your Magento website, add products to the cart, proceed to checkout, and compare the displayed totals, including taxes and discounts, against manual calculations to ensure accuracy. Also, test with different product combinations and quantities to cover various scenarios. Particularly relating to delivery costs and VAT. To check the accuracy of product totals, especially for shipping and VAT, in the checkout and cart of your Magento website, add products to the cart, select different shipping options, and proceed to checkout. Then, manually calculate and compare these totals, including VAT and shipping charges, against the values displayed by Magento to ensure they match correctly across various scenarios.
- Complete a test transaction on your live site – This is arguably the most important single point on this e-commerce checklist. If you do nothing else, do this one. To complete a test transaction in Magento, add a product to the cart. Then proceed through the checkout process, and complete the purchase. In the same way, a customer on your website would through the front end. Ideally, this should be repeated using all payment methods and ensuring all steps function smoothly and the transaction records correctly in the system. If your website allows admin users to create orders through the back-end interface, you should run a test order here by this method too.
- Test all major website forms work – Such as a contact, returns or booking form. To test your contact form in Magento, fill out and submit the form on your website, then check if the submission is successfully received at the designated email address, ensuring that all form fields function correctly and the user receives appropriate confirmation or error messages.
- Check your SMTP relay is working correctly – To check if the SMTP relay is working correctly in Magento, configure the SMTP settings, send a test email from within Magento (often available in SMTP plugin settings), and verify that the email is successfully delivered to the intended recipient without any errors. Your separate front-end form test in the point above, should also provide immediate clarity if the relay is working correctly within the SMTP email log within your Magento admin area.
- Test the website admin area loads as normal – To test if the website admin area in Magento loads correctly, log in to the admin panel using your credentials, navigate through various sections and functionalities, and ensure that all pages load promptly and without errors or unusual delays.
- Check the test order has come through as normal in the admin area – To check if a test order has been processed correctly in the admin area of Magento. Start by logging into the admin panel. Then access the order management section. Verifying that the test order appears with accurate details, including product information, customer data, and payment status. Also, check that emails were triggered for both admin and customer users.
- Test the site on mobile – You’ve done all your testing on the desktop website so far haven’t you? But remember the majority of your website users, will visit on their mobile devices. Perform as much testing as you can on a physical mobile device. Check the popular page templates all load ok. Like the homepage, product page, category page, cart, search, checkout, and contact page. And any other important page of your website. Complete any important tasks from the list above on mobile as well as desktop. Your website may behave differently on mobile.
- Check Google Analytics data is still tracking – Check Google Analytics is still reading the updated user data from your website correctly. Check the Real-Time section within Google Analytics. Find out more about the function here – https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1638635 This area shows user data on your website in real-time. If it is showing 0 users active, even though you and others are browsing the website, there might be a problem with the connection.
- Anything else or other functionality specific to your site – This could cover a wide range of things, but look to check if any integrations still work correctly. Such as your EPOS integration or accounts platform, or any separate CRM connected to Magento.
Why Should Checks Be Carried Out Following Updates?
Implementing checks on an e-commerce website following major updates, such as new application versions or the addition of plugins, is a critical step to ensure the smooth operation of your e-commerce business. These updates, while necessary, can bring about a range of implications that need careful management. Our agency will always work through an e-commerce checklist on the development site, before asking a client to test thereafter.
All concepts from this e-commerce checklist should be carried out on your development site first before any updates are pushed to the live site. Your agency will have run through a similar e-commerce checklist to the list in this article, before asking you to review the site too. The same checks should again be completed on the live site by you as well, for certainty that all areas of the website work correctly in that main live environment before any issues impact your customers.
One of the primary reasons for conducting checks post-update is to guarantee that all website features function as intended. The live site should be checked immediately after any updates are pushed by your development agency. Minimising the risk of any issues being experienced by your valuable customers. This is especially crucial for vital e-commerce components like the checkout and payment processes. An update might inadvertently alter these functionalities. Regardless of whether the update is directly applied to your checkout page. So it’s essential to test them thoroughly to ensure they continue to provide a seamless experience for your customers.
With every website update, there’s a possibility of new vulnerabilities emerging or existing security measures becoming incompatible. It’s vital to conduct a comprehensive security assessment after updates to safeguard your website against potential threats. This involves scrutinising the security parameters to ensure they align with the latest standards and protect against new vulnerabilities. We have a separate post which talks about suggestions for recommended security settings in Magento which is well worth a read to make sure you have all best practices in place.
Updates can sometimes affect the performance of your website, including website loading speed and overall user experience. Post-update checks must include evaluating these aspects to ensure that the site remains efficient and user-friendly. Slow or unresponsive pages can significantly impact customer satisfaction and ultimately, sales. If you are just testing after an application update, chances are the website will be faster.
Most website providers are very conscious of the importance of it loading fast for users. So will ensure updates streamline code and focus on improving website speed with every update. But do your own testing with a tool like GT Metrix for example. And test your Core Web Vitals score before and after any update. A website speed audit should ideally be carried out at regular intervals every 3 months.
If you want to do more in-depth website performance testing for your website on top of this e-commerce checklist, then check out this video below:
Ensuring that the new updates work harmoniously with your existing systems, plugins, and third-party services is crucial. Incompatibilities can lead to website malfunctions or downtimes. Post-update checks should verify that all components of your e-commerce platform are functioning together without issues. This is likely to include platforms that sit outside of your Magento instance, that your agency may not have access to. Your team should check them too immediately after a major website update.
Updates must be checked for compliance with legal and regulatory standards, particularly regarding data handling and privacy. This is vital for maintaining your reputation and avoiding legal repercussions. Ensuring that the updated system adheres to regulations like GDPR is a key aspect of these checks. Ensure your website policies are always kept up to date and check through the list of changes in your website which may affect these. An update will rarely affect compliance. Which is why it’s not mentioned in the main e-commerce checklist above. However, you may wish to contact your agency for a list of the new features and updates from the application if unsure.
This is arguably one of the most important concepts in this e-commerce checklist. New updates can introduce bugs that weren’t previously present. It’s important to identify and resolve these issues promptly to maintain the integrity of your website. This process involves systematic testing to spot any flaws introduced by the update and rectify them before they impact users. Working through the checklist above specific to Magento and e-commerce websites, will largely help pick up and spot any bugs quickly. You should also have already run any testing on your development site before updates are pushed to your live site.
Customer Trust & Satisfaction
Ultimately, the goal of these checks is to uphold a high level of customer trust and satisfaction. A well-maintained, regularly updated website that functions flawlessly is key to providing customers with a positive shopping experience. Regular post-update checks play a significant role in ensuring that your e-commerce platform remains reliable, secure, and user-friendly.
Post-update checks are a critical component of website maintenance. They ensure that new updates enhance rather than hinder your e-commerce site. These checks are vital to preserve website integrity, security, and the overall customer experience.
E-Commerce Website Testing Checklist
Maintaining and regularly updating your e-commerce website is not just a recommendation; it’s a necessity in today’s digital marketplace. These updates are pivotal for ensuring the security, functionality, and performance of your online store. Moreover, the importance of conducting thorough checks following these updates cannot be overstated. They are essential for identifying and addressing any potential issues that could impact your website’s performance, security, or user experience. Our e-commerce checklist for website updates will allow you to navigate the testing required when these essential updates have been carried out.
Meanwhile, the importance of an experienced e-commerce agency to carry out these consistent updates becomes invaluable in supporting the long-term health of your online business. As a dedicated Magento agency, we recognise the challenges and intricacies of managing an e-commerce website. Magento generally has 4 major updates per year in its platform. It also releases urgent security patches from time to time which should be applied as quickly as possible when recommended by them.
We are here to offer our expertise and support in maintaining and updating your e-commerce platform. Our team is equipped to handle the ongoing website maintenance required to keep your site running efficiently. Ensuring that your online store not only meets but exceeds the expectations of your customers and the demands of the ever-evolving digital marketplace. So you can focus on growing your business, secure in the knowledge that your e-commerce website is in expert hands.
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