Three Pitfalls to Avoid when Migrating from SiteGenesis to SFRA

Astound Commerce is the Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA) expert on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. We were the first to launch a customer on SFRA—and we’ve done it many times since. 

In Part One of our five-part series, The 5-4-3-2-1 on Upgrading to Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s SFRA, we broke down the “Five Reasons to Upgrade to Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s SFRA.” Part Two discussed “Four Tips when Upgrading from SiteGenesis to SFRA.” Now in Part Three, we explore common mistakes to avoid when migrating your ecommerce site from SiteGenesis to SFRA.

Luke Pond
Technical Director at Astound Commerce

Don’t Overlook SEO

During a site migration, it can be easy to focus exclusively on the exciting new user experience (UX) and design makeover, but don’t forget to make good use of the SFRA capabilities for search engine optimization (SEO). Planning ahead during the SFRA implementation phase will increase confidence that your search engine rankings will climb after the site launch. 

  • It’s a good time to reconsider your URL structure and take full advantage of built-in Salesforce B2C Commerce features for URL generation. 
  • It’s easy to include SEO-friendly text such as the product name or the key category refinements in site URLs, and SFRA’s default configuration provides a good starting point. 
  • Maintaining hidden instructions to search engines gets easier with SFRA because it supports tag configurability using the Page Meta Tag Rules feature, and it also provides a good starting point for SEO-structured data using the JSON-LD specification. 

When rounding out the SEO basics for an ecommerce site migration, it’s crucial to inspect your sitemap definitions, robots.txt file, and your URL redirect strategy. All of these invisible elements of your site can make a huge impact on the way that it’s seen by search engines, and if they’re left unattended, the site will miss out on referrals and traffic.

Be Aware of Your Realm Strategy

Even though your existing Salesforce B2C Commerce realm can support multiple sites with completely different implementations, it’s always a development bottleneck to pursue an SFRA rewrite within the same infrastructure you use to host legacy SiteGenesis websites. Because each instance is limited to a single active code version at any given time, support of the legacy site(s) must be coordinated with the development and release of SFRA. 

When undertaking a rewrite of your website code, Astound’s experience suggests that asking Salesforce for a new realm and pursuing a one-time data migration as part of your cutover plan will pay off in reduced operational complexity. After all your legacy sites have been migrated, you can decommission the original realm and be sure that the new realm contains only the latest and greatest of everything.

Don’t Stay on Legacy Frameworks

Like any software as a service, Salesforce B2C Commerce regularly announces updates to developer frameworks and platform functionality. SFRA is just one part of the platform’s evolution through time. A site that was developed according to best practices 5 or 10 years ago may still be able to work as originally designed, but it will have many deficiencies when compared to current state-of-the-art technology. 

When migrating to SFRA, it’s critical to seize the occasion to retire this technical debt. 

  • Review your LINK cartridges and plan for the SFRA site to include the latest version of everything you need.
  • Use the platform standard job and service definition frameworks; they provide a much better experience than the community-supported legacy frameworks ever could. 
  • Update your realm to the latest compatibility mode if you can—if legacy code stands in the way, this provides further support in favor of getting a new realm.
  • Update your site’s Open Commerce API (application programming interface) endpoints to use the newest API specification, and communicate the new endpoints to external systems that use them. 
  • And finally, consider whether your B2C commerce platform has evolved to support some of the things you’re currently using external services for, such as product recommendations, content delivery network, onsite search, or content management. All of these have been through successive revolutions of improvement over the last few years of releases, and you might be impressed by their updated capabilities.

Need help implementing SFRA on Salesforce Commerce Cloud? We’re here for you; please get in touch.

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