Web Site Maintenance: 10-Querry Guide to Replacing Your E-Commerce Platform
As e-commerce sales continue to climb, many catalog/multichannel marketers find themselves evaluating their current platforms to determine if it’s time to consider upgrading their Web sites. No doubt, it’s a large task. So proper planning is a crucial first step toward handling the project the right way.
Ask yourself and your Web team these 10 questions before committing to any platform changes:
Q1: Is it time to replace your Web site? How urgent is your need to do so? Are there concrete business reasons you want to replace it, or is it just because the site’s old? Are you frustrated with the current vendor/Web team? If so, are your expectations of either realistic?
Q2: Who owns the code to your site? Some companies own the codes that run their sites; others lease them. If you own your codes, it may make sense to make changes using the same programming language/platform you currently have rather than restarting from scratch. But if the site is old and your list of changes is large, it still may make sense to start fresh, even if you stick with your current team/platform/vendor.
Q3: Which programming language is best for you? While everyone has opinions on this topic, there’s no one “right” programming code building an e-commerce site. There are plenty of success stories of sites built in PHP, ASP, ColdFusion and other popular programming languages. Find the right team to build the platform, and expand upon its code in the future. Finding good programmers is like finding good auto mechanics — hang on to them.
Q4: Do you need a new front end, back end or both? Cataloger fulfillment/back-end systems operate either independently or in tandem with their sites. With this in mind, do you need to replace your site, your back-end operating system or both?