Are measurements against hacking taken? Has the shop been compromised?
Updating a Magento shop can be expensive, dependent on customizations and code quality. You should know the risk in advance
Bad code can easily lead to severe performance issues, that could have been avoided
The first step before starting to work on an unknown existing Magento installation, should always be a shop analysis. Not only to understand the requirements and processes of the merchant, but also and above all to evaluate the quality and recognize possible problems early on.
Unfortunately, many shops are tinkered with without any knowledge of conventions and best practices, which leads to:
Points 1 and 2 directly affect the merchant. Points 3 and 4 lead to bugs being accumulated over time, which results in new changes causing bugs in different places, that get harder and harder to solve.
This bug-ridden cycle is often the reason merchants try a new agency or developer to “fix everything”, so it is no coincidence that most shops that land on my desk are in such a degenerated state. The more important it is to analyze first, before any quote for further development and maintenance, to not fall into the same trap as the predecessor and to add clarity on both sides.
After each step, there will be feedback for the client. After step 1, things like the cost for upgrading can be estimated, after step 2 a broad overview for the state of the shop can be given.
The results of step 1 and 2 are collected in a spreadsheet, grouped by:
On every sheet there is a column “Action Required”, that gets filled with the required or recommended action if applicable.
The report is laid out such that it is apparent for a merchant what has to be done and where the problems lie. It is also sufficiently technically detailed, so that it could be given to another agency or in-house developers, in case someone else is responsible for performing the necessary work after the analysis.
A written summary with the overall rating and verbal discussion of the results should also be included. In case of problematic extensions and modifications, it should always be asked, if they are really necessary and if yes, why. There might be more appropriate solutions for the client’s problems but without discussing this with the client, you will never know.