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10 qualities to look for in a Magento support agency

by: Lee French

on: 12th December, 2017

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The key purpose of having a Magento website, is to sell product to make money, and to keep things ticking over and to help ensure as little downtime and issues as possible, you’ll need a Magento support agency.

But how do you decide which one to use?

We’ll take a look through our top 10 recommendations for the qualities you should look for in a Magento support agency.

1. Keeps website up to date

Probably one of the primary  reasons people look for a support and maintenance package, to ensure their website is up to date with the latest security patches. A Magento support agency that is aware and alerted when new security patches are released, so they can be applied to the website, keeping it as secure as possible.

As well as this, any third party plugins you use will need to be updated too, and this will also, likely be taken care of by your support company.

2. Website monitoring and health checks

The second reason you’ll likely want a website support package, to have your website monitored to ensure that the support team is alerted if your website goes down. This then lets them know quickly that there is an issue, so they can get to work on fixing it, to ensure as little impact to your business as possible.

3. Experience using Magento

And we’re not just talking about knowing how the CMS back-end work. An agency needs to know where to make changes, how to find and fix bugs, ensure the code is audited and works correctly and be up to date on the best practices of Magento. One way to tell this might be from having Magento certifications, but this is not, and should not be the deciding factor.

Other than that, you can also see how experienced they are based off of previous work and number of customers they support.

4. Support all versions of Magento

There are both Community Edition (CE) and Enterprise Edition (EE). CE is the free version, whereas EE has a subscription service and comes with extra functionality, though the core will be the same, there will be some differences they’ll need to know.

It will also be essential, that they have knowledge of both Magento 1 and Magento 2 and preferably how to migrate from 1 to 2. Though there is not a set ‘end of life’ date for Magento 1 at this time, moving to 2 will be inevitable and having an agency that knows how to get your there will be essential.

5. How well they communicate

When we have people come to us, looking for website support, we’ll generally ask them why they’re changing supplier (ensure we know what they’re looking for). A lot of the time, the issue  comes down to lack of communication from their supplier, not knowing what has been done, issues they’ve not been told about – the list goes on.

This is a big problem, as open communication is essential as it allows you to get the changes you want and allows them to work on what’s most important to you.

6. Thoroughly test updates

Whenever a security patch is released or you’re getting custom functionality is being built on your Magento website, it should always be done on a test version of the website.

This way, the changes can be tested and ensure they work properly, before being applied to the live version of the website, so if there are any problems, they can be fixed.

This helps ensure that there aren’t any issues coming up and causing website outages or issues.

7. Knowledge that stretches beyond Magento support

Having the essential updates made to your Magento CMS is great, but having a support agency that’s more than just support and updates to your website can be so much more valuable and provide a greater worth to you.

Here at isev, for example, we have both skilled developers, designers and marketers. With this, we can take a look at a website from a number of different views:

  • Developers can look at the code and see what changes and improvements to help the website run better.
  • Designers will be able to see changes to the style and layout that will make it more appealing for people to buy from.
  • Marketers will look from a marketing point of view, from the website and analytics and will see where there might be opportunity to increase sales.

All this adds up to give you more than just scheduled updates, but a team that will help make your website more profitable.

8. More than a one man band

The problem with just a singular person being able to apply the necessary changes to your website is that you’re entirely relying on that one person. If for some reason they’re not in, off sick or on holiday, any essential changes will need to wait until they’re available. Having a team of experts to handle queries, allows there for always to be someone to handle issues or updates that need solving.

9. A support team that’s accountable

When you partner with a Magento support agency, you are essentially making them accountable for your websites well being (that’s not to say you should TRY to break it), but they’re responsible for maintaining the website.

Ensure the team you’re looking at knows what they’re doing, and that they are directly accountable for their work, rather than farming the work out to another team, where the standards can’t be controlled.

As well as this, that they are accountable for the work they do, this at first might sound like a bit of an odd one to hear, but it’s true.

10. Proactive support and development

Sometimes you may not think or know of what you want your Magento support team to do, this can lead to the idea of lost support and maintenance hours.

This however, should not be an issue and a good agency will use unspecified time to make changes under the hood as it were.

We for example, head over to to google pagespeed insights, run your website through there and work on the suggested problems that should be taken care of.

One of our designers could take a look and suggest a change to the product page layout to test, to see if it increases sales.

There are a number of ways these hours could get used to make improvements, and even if there isn’t something obvious to do, we’d carry hours over to the next month, and use them towards extra work later on.

If you’re looking for support and maintenance with your Magento website, get in touch, we’d be happy to talk 🙂

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