How to avoid eCommerce Deployment Disaster?

Posted Under: e-commerce

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Re-platforming and deploying major updates play important role in staying ahead of the competition. Altough they are essential for introducing some innovative and major features or responding to user testing, there is also a point at which things can go wrong. Consequently you can end-up with a website that has some serious bugs. So, it is very important for eCommerce store owners to make sure that the deployment of their new platform runs seamlessly.

As experienced eCommerce developers with multiple years in dealing with Magento, OpenCart and other eCommerce platforms’ deployments, we have listed down 6 ways how you can avoid such deployment disaster in your business:

 
Check-out payment processes

To avoid any kind of eCommerce deployment disaster, you should check payment processes as it is the most common areas in a newly deployed website. Sometimes, it is quite difficult to properly test payment integrations in the building process, so ensure that you do manual tests again and again before go live. On the web, you would also find a software to test payments in a mimicked production environment, so remember to check payment processes before you make your site live.
 
Always have plan B

Today, having a plan B is one of the best ways to prepare for the unexpected, giving you a second chance to undo the deployment and go backside from where you started. It is essential to have a clear strategy to undo your changes. Therefore, before you put it into action you should remember that at times fixing the problem is easy as compared to rolling it back.

Receiving an amount of downtime at the same time as you fix a problem rather than instigating a time consuming swayback is quite good. Moreover, some deployments, particularly such changes, may comprise changes to the database. It is something that is not comprised in a version control system rollback.
 
Have minimum 4 development situations
It is important that you have one separate desktop, staging server, development and production server environments that will give you the freedom to create even while you are simultaneously maintaining control of final code.

Having minimum 4 development situations allow to purify deployment scripts as code is pushed through the environments. At each stage, you can test without any kind of troublemaking the development cycle.

Moreover, you should also ensure that all of the environments comprising developers’ local setups and more are running same versions of software and hardware, so you can be sure that the code is operating constantly at each step of the process.
 
Communicate with all parties involved
If it is on deployment, it is vital that there must be an open communication between you, your agency, your developers and your management so that there will be no problem of understanding. For retailers, it is essential that they should know about the possible crash of deployments like how long they could take and what might go wrong. For centralized communication we use Basecamp thus making sure all parties are in the loop at any point in time.
 
Document everything
Documenting is something that everyone should do and follow, but sometimes it is easy to ignore. One can also check comments against ticket numbers by making use of ticketing and bug tracking system to document your code.
To make sure that all the problems are resolved before deployment, by documenting the entire process you will not only allow an exact checking proves, but you will also feed your rollback strategy ensuring you to know exactly what each commit was for.
 
Considering the deployment timing
When it is a big deployment that engages planned downtime, one can do it out of hours if possible. However if you are operating a site internationally in different time zones, there may not be a downtime and in such cases, you can choose the least bad time slot based on historical trading patterns.
To take a website down in the middle of the day UK time, it may seem counterintuitive, but if your huge amount of business is coming from Far East, it is very essential to consider the deployment timing.
 
Conclusion
We hope these tips will help you in avoiding eCommerce deployment disasters and make the communication with your development company easier. If you have questions, or would like to talk about a particular project, simply contact us and we will be happy to see how we can help you.

Posted by : Abhishek Agarwal Date : April 3, 2014

Abhishek Agarwal is Co-founder and CEO of Rightway Solution and Leads Business Development and Marketing Initiatives.

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