Beyond the Blinders: Unseen Opportunities in SEO Meet Magento New York 2014 Talk

This Meet Magento New York 2014 talk is "Beyond the Blinders: Unseen Opportunities in SEO" by Seth Dotterer. Search has fundamentally changed how consumers consume and how marketers market.

The average US adult now spends half their time online. Online is pulling attention span from TV, radio and print media.

Buyers are revolting against traditional marketing channels.

Web consumers choose organic content - no one is clicking on banner ads, and most click on organic, not paid search results.

1 out of every 2 consumers say they don't trust ads.

Great marketers engage early - get people at the awareness and exploration stages, don't just focus on targeting at the purchase point.

Many consumers now start their shopping experience by researching on Pinterest.

Customers strongly prefer the unpaid web. 90% of search budgets are going to 6% of the traffic.

Manage your content across all unpaid channels - Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Stop crowding the register (that's what everyone is doing, and you don't have their budget) - don't target people at the buying stage - back up and target them before they're ready to buy.

Seeking the Magento Community's Center of Gravity Meet Magento New York 2014 Talk

This Meet Magento New York 2014 Talk is "Seeking the Magento Community's Center of Gravity" with Kurt Theobald. Community events help us maintain a voice as a community driven ecosystem, so events like Meet Magento are important.

Magento really took off with the small and medium business market. That’s where Magento made its claim to fame.

Magento Inc is shifting focus to serve the mid-market, creating a gap with the small/medium business market.

Today is about discussing the problem and the path towards solving the problem.

Merchants have a challenging time getting any help from the Magento ecosystem/community.

Merchants have to find, evaluate and install solutions, but with so many countless extensions in Magento Connect it's challenging to find good solutions.

Magento Gold partnership doesn't mean quality - it means a company is willing to pay $10k/year for the label. This is because Magento’s business models towards the partner programs never matured. Let’s solve the problem as a community.

It’s very difficult for excellent partners to get the attention they deserve from Magento merchants.

As a community, let’s come together and lift up the high quality agencies that don't market well.

Let’s collaborate with those that do good Magento work and compete with the ones that do crap work.

Let’s marginalize and vaporize the fakers and superficial marketing fronts in the Magento ecosystem!

Right now the Magento community is acting like a bunch of independent cats, giving up what makes Magento powerful.

Let’s have a club mentality but let’s be virtuous - repel the junk and invite the quality.

It's not about any one agency - it's about protecting the Magento community by providing many quality options for merchants.

This isn’t a fork - we want to stay in unity with Magento.


Saving time and money with Vagrant - Meet Magento New York 2014 Talk

This is the Meet Magento New York 2014 talk "Saving time and money with Vagrant" with Tim Broder. Vagrant lets you QA server configurations for your Magento site just like you do your code.

Vagrant lets you setup a dev environment for a new project in 5-6 commands and about 10 minutes.

Everyone benefits from Vagrant - solo developers, startups, agencies, large scale businesses.

Vagrant helps with complex stacks - such as using Solr, Varnish, etc. - getting it all setup in one Vagrant box saves a lot of time.

Chef, Puppet, Docker, Ansible and Salt are all options for provisioning Vagrant boxes.

Slides, examples and much more are available here.

Magento Security and Us Meet Magento New York 2014 Talk

This Meet Magento New York 2014 tech track presentation is Magento Security and Us by Lee Saferite. Limit your attack surface - don't open unnecessary ports, and ideally use a server in a different subnet from your web server to provide SSH access into your site.

External log file storage - if your server is compromised, you can't trust anything on it. Transfer logs to a 3rd party service or another server in realtime.

Backup security - your backups contain all of your data - it should be secured well.

Your Magento site shouldn't have any writable PHP code - only var and media need to be writable, and they should only be writable by the web server user.

Magento extension authors should define specific, granular permissions in their extensions so that Magento site owners can restrict who can do what.

Don't install extensions directly from Connect - you need to run a code review/security audit first. You also don't want extensions that automatically update, because you don't know what their code might do.

If you're online for long and you're selling online, you will be a target, and at some point you will be compromised. Have a written incident response plan for what needs to be done when this happens so that you're prepared for it.


Persuasive E-Commerce Meet Magento New York Keynote

This keynote from Meet Magento New York 2014 is "Persuasive E-Commerce" by Guido Jansen. Online merchants have a big problem because online conversion rates are very low versus offline. Offline - 20-25% conversion rate; online is 2-10% conversion rate.

Online sales don't have the same level of personalization and sensory input as offline stores.

Automatic thoughts and actions drive much of our purchasing behavior. These are called heuristics in psychology, and they can lead to cognitive biases and prejudice.

Always be testing.

Social proof is a powerful force. Try things like in the past month X customers bought this product. This works well for socially acceptable products, but not for socially undesirable products.

Authority, liking and scarcity are other forces that persuade us to purchase.

There is no average customer - there are large individual differences.


Magento: A Journey Down the Open Road Meet Magento New York 14 Talk

This talk is "Magento: A Journey Down the Open Road", a Meet Magento New York 14 Talk by Yoav Kutner. It was surprising to see how many people were using Magento for non-eCommerce purposes.

Based on this experience, OroCRM was written with a layer between the app and the framework - Oro Platform.

Oro Platform has ACL's built in, also Grids and reports and a workflow system.

The technology stack for Oro Platform is great thanks to it's fresh start. PHP >= 5.4.4., Symfony2, Doctrine, PHPUnit, HTML5, CSS3.

Oro Platform is focused on quality - 65% unit test coverage, code standards, and more.

Existing CRMs didn’t fit for eCommerce - is a shopping cart a lead? Opportunity? That's why Oro CRM is focused on being an eCommerce CRM.

Oro CRM collects data from multiple channels and segments customers.

Don't just want to look at how many people add items to the cart - we want to know who added items to the cart. Segment to specific users.

OroCRM integrates with Magento, Amazon and eBay.


Working with Magento Extension Providers at Meet Magento New York 14

This talk is from Karen Baker from Web Shop Apps, entitled "Working with Magento Extension Providers". Badly written extensions have literally caused eCommerce businesses to fail.

The Magento ecosystem consists of Magento itself, design agencies, individual developers, technology partners.

There are several types of extension providers:

  1. Domain experts
  2. Innovators
  3. Custodians - selflessly look after things
  4. Hackers
  5. Copiers

The current Magento extension marketplace is Magento Connect.

6505 extensions in Magento Connect, 33% increase since 2012. 15 extensions called Shop, 9 extensions called One Stop Checkout. 132 extensions with Ajax in the name. Half of the extension providers on Magento Connect only list free extensions.

1/3rd of extension authors on Magento Connect have “Mage” in their name, and that needs to change.

When you filter out the bad actors on Magento Connect, you come up with list of top extension providers, and when you look, none of their extensions are easy to find on Connect.

There's a top 6 Magento Connect providers producing 1 in 5 extensions on Connect.

Of those top 6 Magento Connect providers, only 1 is innovating, other 5 are copying, and Magento should stop this.

Fundamental problem of Magento extensions is that copying an extension and providing bad support is order of magnitude easier than innovating.

Bad extension authors cheating the Magento Connect system are hurting the extension authors that want to innovate.

The Magento extension market is $50mil+, and a lot of bad people that are stealing code is making that money. By taking that money out of the Magento ecosystem and into bad actors, it hurts the entire Magento ecosystem - those that aren't innovating, that are just stealing code are hurting our ability to innovate.

Magento ecosystem gets too focused on the code sometimes, and forget about the merchant. Focus on the merchant.

If something that

How to fix connect:

  • Make it plug & play
  • Give it structured format for pricing, support, etc
  • Zero tolerance approach to copying
  • Consolidate
  • Community curation
  • Quality
  • Encourage innovation
  • Revenue model for Magento - without revenue, they have no way to invest in cleaning up Magento Connect

Magento should be open and inclusive, not a clique-y club.

We need to improve engagement with merchants, collaboration between agencies, extensions and on boarding need to be simplified. There needs to be trust with extensions, and we need a faster speed to market.




Hacking Magento: Creating an HTML5 Canvas Customizer on Magento Bundles - Meet Magento New York 14 Talk

This Meet Magento New York 2014 talk is Hacking Magento: Creating an HTML5 Canvas Customizer on Magento Bundles by Philip Jackson. When consumers control the features of a product, they have control over the process.

Customization vs personalization: customization is unique, has unlimited choice, is made to order. Longer turnaround, lots of planning. Personalization is prefab, limited choice under an existing SKU, shorter turnaround, could be purchased on impulse.

In the next 5 years, 20% of eCommerce transactions will contain a customization step.

In the 1590's commerce had a large shift with market segmentation and emergence of customer choice. Niche products, especially in home appliances.

Customers are more likely to engage with a brand and convert when customization is available. The time spent in customizing a product develops a connection with the user, which makes them more likely to order.

Current generation product customizers should use HTML5 canvas that generates a PDF for web-to-print.

Raphael and Fabric.js were evaluated - Raphael was built in 2008 and not very well maintained, so Fabric.js was used.

Update: Philip has uploaded his slides to Slideshare.


Varnish Cache and its usage in the real world Meet Magento New York 2014 Talk

This talk at Meet Magento New York 2014 is Varnish Cache and its usage in the real world by Ivan Chepurnyi. Varnish is a way to accelerate sites such as Magento websites by caching as much content as possible.

Varnish is controlled by VCL - the Varnish configuration language.

vcl_recv is the entry point for a customer request, and you can detect a customer segment based on cookies and serve a specific type of content for that segment.

vcl_hash builds the cache hash for a page - it gives the possibility to serve different content based on customer device type, detected customer segment, etc.

Secret of successful Magento Varnish integration is in 4 key components: headers, cookies, Javascript and browser storage.

Varnish is all about communication via headers - specify cache TTL from Magento in headers.

Cookies connect dynamic actions, shopping cart, etc., in Magento and Varnish.

Javascript is used to serve dynamic content via AJAX calls.

Browser storage should be used to minimize AJAX calls.

There's a framework that already caches basic pages in Magento, and you can easily add your own page type. Ivan has released the code on GitHub at


Two Approaches to Responsive Web Design: Pure and Hybrid - Meet Magento New York 2014 Talk

This Meet Magento New York 2014 talk is Brendan Falkowski's "Two Approaches to Responsive Design" presentation. Adaptive vs responsive - adaptive design serves a specific size; you basically have 2 sizes - small screen and large screen. It doesn't support both tablet and mobile well.

Adaptive layouts don't work well for new or 'in between' screen sizes - i.e., the iPhone 6+ screen size isn't served well by adaptive layouts.

Responsive proxy sites are a good middle ground - build a mobile-first responsive design on an m-dot site, keeping a separate desktop site until you're able to change your desktop site.

Dynamic serving involves looking at the user agent and other data and dynamically serving only the items needed for the user's screen size and device type.

Responsive design with server-side components blends responsive design with dynamic serving.

Badly written or blocking JS/CSS can derail search spiders.

Some RESS implementations use MobileDetect or WURFL frameworks to implement RESS.

RESS's biggest impact on UX was navigation - being able to serve completely different navigation menus to different devices allows for better usability and easier design.

Magento responsive sites can be and are fast - focus on the things that are important on the frontend and your site can be fast.

Responsive has a lower total cost of ownership since you're only maintaining one codebase.

Retina images are tricky - the best approach for now is a plugin called picturefill. #mm14ny