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Optimising and Enhancing Security For Your Magento 2 Ecommerce Website

 

 

 

With Magento 2.x starting to stabilise into a mature ecommerce platform and with many ecommerce vendors having already migrated or in the processing of migrating from 1.9x to 2.x, the migration process will often bring with it additional considerations such as optimisation and security testing.

 

The main reasons for migrating to Magento 2.x from a performance perspective is support for PHP 7, including the latest security fixes which improve a website’s speed (page load times etc) and unifying the platform’s approach to Javascript which has the positive effect of reducing unnecessary browser operations on the client side. Image compression is now also a ‘out of the box’ solution.

 

In addition to the bundled tools that are supplied with Magento 2.x to improve speed and performance, search engine optimisation and inventory management, there are additional measures which can be taken to optimise and enhance the security of a Magento 2.x webstore to keep users engaged and convert them into customers:

 

Caching

The performance of a Magento 2 installation or application can be greatly improved by caching. The caching mechanism will reduce load on the server time and decrease server response time. Magneto comes with built-in caching modules (optional installs) and also supports third party caching solutions. Hence, you can easily implement browser caching, page caching, and expitation headers.

 

Deploy PHP Acceleration

With Magento being written in PHP it is possible to increase the performance of PHP scripting by using tools like eAccellerator, APC, and Xcache. These tools speed up PHP script execution by implementing a specific form of caching. This specific type of caching mechanism caches the PHP scripts in their compiled speed and increases the performance of the ecommerce application or webstore.

 

Enabling Flat Catalogue

Magento stores the customer and product information based on the entity attribute value (EAV) model. When you enable flat catalogue, the product or customer data is merged into a single table. By merging the table this has the positive benefit of making the application respond faster to MySQL queries. Therefore it is possible to enhance the performance of a Magento webstore or application by enabling flat catalogue specifically for products and categories.

 

Enable Magento Compilation

While loading a page, Magento searches for application files in a specific order. Hence, it needs to read additional system files each time a web page is requested. It is possible to reduce the number of file system reads by deploying the complilation module provided by Magento 2. This works by  copying all application files into a single include directory and caching the files which are used the most frequently. Deploying compilation will enhance the loading speed of a typical Magento 2 webstore or application significantly.

 

Clean up Magento Logs

Magento saves server log files for 180 days by default. If the log files are not cleaned up, the size of the database will increase exponentially. Database sizes can be managed by cleaning up logs periodically. Magento 2 further provides you with the options to enable log cleanups and change save log days and schedule cleanups automatically.

 

Remove Unused Modules and Extensions

Magento 2 modules and extensions run additional HTTP requests and load extra CSS and JavaScript files. Modules and extensions which are no longer required or have been superceded can be disabled to increase performance speed.

 

 

Content Delivery Networks

As a system of distributed servers, a content delivery network (CDN) loads web pages based on the current geographic location of the user. It stores a copy of the website on shared servers and delivers website content to the users from the nearest server. The speed performance of a Magento 2 webstore can be significantly increased by by uploading and delivering static content through CDN’s. To meet the needs of enterprise solutions there is also the option to create clustered arrays of CDN’s.

 

Use GZIP Compression

Page load speeds of typical Magento 2 webstores and applications can be increased by compressing the content delivered to end users at both the client and server end. GZIP compression makes it easier to compress content at the server level so that the server delivers compressed content to user’s browsers faster. In addition to making network transfers faster, GZIP compression also reduces the amount of bandwidth consumed by a typical Magento 2 webstore or application. One of the simplest ways of enabling GZIP compression is by adding a code snippet to the .htaccess file.

 

Merge and Minify CSS and JavaScript

As described above, JavaScripts and CSS files often increase page loading times by sending additional HTTP requests to the web server. The number of HTTP requests sent to the server can be reduced by combining the JavaScript and CSS files. Indeed, Magento 2 provides specific options to merge JavaScript and CSS files so that this process is carried out automatically. Also, specific extensions provided by Magento 2 can be deployed to minify the JavaScript and CSS files.

 

Security Considerations

 One of the most obviously important considerations when running a Magento 2 webstore or web application is that you are dealing with and storing sensitive customer information. Therefore keeping all of this information secure and safe is of paramount importance. Here are some simple security implementations that can be deployed to further add to the inbuilt security features provided by Magento 2 to secure your webstore or web application further:

Strong Admin Password and Name

Choosing a comparatively strong administrator name and a complex password makes it easier to prevent any unauthorised or unwanted access to the electronic devices and accounts. It is advisable to use a complex combination of lowercase and uppercase letters along with numbers and symbols to set your admin password and name.

 

Deploy The Latest Magento Version

Whenever a new version of Magento is released, it is bundled with the latest enhancements and security upgrades and patches, negating potential risks to security highlighted in previous releases. Therefore keeping up to date with releases helps to avert not only security risks but also improves speed and performance with the latest bug fixes.

 

 

Two-Step Verification

Another neat way of protecting a Magento 2 webstore is to deploy the two-step verification process. In this process, after signing into the Admin Panel, the user needs to provide an additional form of verification. This verification can take a number forms, most commonly a one-time access code with time limited use delivered to a verified mobile device.

 

Backup

It is obviously always good practice to keep a backup of the database and Magento 2 webstore files on a scheduled basis. In the case of any unfortunate scenario such as a website crash will enable you to restore your webstore from the backups you have made. Backups can be made either by using phpMyAdmin to export the entire Magento database or third party modules from trusted sources such as the Magento Marketplace.

 

Install Magento Extensions from Authentic Sources

There are plenty of Magento modules and extensions available in various markeplaces to make your workflow smoother and simpler. However, a hastily or poorly coded third party module extension can cause data security concerns or impair webstore speed and performance. Hence, it is always advisable that before installing any third party module or extension, it is wise to investigate the source, go through the customer reviews to know more about the extension developer, check track record and reputation. Preferably, you should choose only such modules and extensions that are available from the Magento Marketplace or other trusted sources.

 

Server Side Security

In addition to application security, the security of the server is also of crucial importance. Managed cloud server solutions are the most robust and secure which offers more flexible scalability options.

Another basic server side security that can be deployed is restricting Admin access to a specific IP address or addresses.

 

 

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