The Complete Guide to eCommerce Development 2024

How We Perform a Website Audit

How to do a website audit

In the ever-evolving landscape of the internet, maintaining a healthy and secure website is paramount for businesses and individuals alike. Two essential practices in achieving this are website audits and code reviews.

Today, we want to tell you why these two practices are a must for your website, and how you can effectively implement them to maintain a robust online presence. Oh, we can’t do without examples either, we’ll share a case from our practice of how we helped one of our clients significantly increase sales and regain user trust. Let’s get started.

What website audit and code review are?

Benefits of a website audit

A website audit involves a comprehensive examination of a website’s performance, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), security, and accessibility, among other factors. On the other hand, a code review entails a thorough analysis of the website’s underlying code to identify bugs, enhance security, and ensure code quality. Let’s break down each of these practices for better understanding.

Website audit

A website audit involves thoroughly examining various aspects of a website to evaluate its performance, security, accessibility, content quality, mobile responsiveness, broken links, and analytics. It acts as a diagnostic tool, providing insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement. Site audits help website owners identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for enhancement, ultimately leading to a better user experience and higher search engine rankings. There are several components of a site audit:

  • Page speed evaluation. Assessing how quickly web pages load. Slow loading times can lead to high bounce rates and poor user experience.
  • Optimization. Identifying opportunities to optimize images, scripts, and other elements to improve performance.
  • User experience (UX). Evaluating the overall user experience, including ease of navigation, clear calls-to-action, and mobile responsiveness.
  • On-page SEO. Reviewing meta tags, headings, keyword usage, and content quality.
  • Off-page SEO. Analyzing backlink profiles and domain authority to assess website authority and visibility.
  • Technical SEO audit. Checking for crawl errors, XML sitemaps, and canonical tags to ensure proper indexing and crawling by search engines.
  • Vulnerability scanning. Identifying security vulnerabilities, such as outdated software, weak passwords, or unsecured connections.
  • Malware detection. Scanning for malware infections and suspicious code injections that could compromise user data.
  • SSL Certificate. Verifying the presence and validity of SSL certificates to secure data transmission between the user’s browser and the server.
  • Screen reader compatibility. Checking for proper HTML markup, alt tags for images, and keyboard navigation.
  • Responsive design. Testing how the website renders and functions on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
  • Mobile usability. Ensuring mobile-friendly features like touch-friendly buttons, viewport settings, and adaptive layouts.
  • 404 Errors. Identifying broken links and missing pages.
  • Redirects. Checking for proper redirection to prevent crawl errors.
  • Traffic analysis. Analyzing website traffic, user demographics, and behavior to identify popular content and areas for improvement.
  • Conversion tracking. Monitoring conversion rates and goal completions to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and website usability.

Code review

Another way to optimize site performance is through code review — a process in software development where team members systematically examine another developer’s code to identify bugs, improve quality, and ensure adherence to coding standards. This process, often referred to as a website code audit, plays a crucial role in maintaining high standards for web development.

During the process, a specialist other than the code author conducts the review, using a checklist or predefined criteria to examine each line of code for errors, inefficiencies, and deviations from coding standards. Various tools such as version control systems (e.g., Git, SVN) and code review platforms (e.g., GitHub, GitLab) facilitate the code review process. The author receives constructive feedback and then addresses it by making necessary changes to the code. 

Code review offers several benefits:

  • Bug identification. Helps detect bugs and issues early in the development process.
  • Quality improvement. By providing feedback and suggestions, code review leads to better-quality code that is easier to maintain and extend.
  • Knowledge sharing. Reviewers and authors both benefit from the exchange of ideas and best practices.
  • Consistency. Code review ensures consistency in coding style, structure, and practices across the project, making it easier for team members to understand and collaborate on the codebase.

Differences between website audit and code review

While both website audit and code review are critical processes in software development, they serve different purposes. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between the two:

Website AuditCode Review
Evaluates the overall health, performance, and security of a website or web application to identify technical issues, assess performance, and ensure compliance with industry standards.Examines the source code of software applications to identify bugs, improve code quality, ensure adherence to coding standards, and promote knowledge sharing among team members.
Covers various aspects like SEO, performance, security, accessibility, usability, and compliance with web standards for both frontend and backend components.Focuses solely on the source code, examining logic, structure, syntax, and quality.
Targets issues such as broken links, slow page load times, missing metadata, insecure protocols, and usability to optimize user experience.Analyzes code for bugs, vulnerabilities, coding errors, and deviations from standards to improve quality and maintainability.
Involves automated tools and manual inspection. Automated tools scan for technical issues, while manual inspection looks for issues missed by tools.Manual process where human reviewers examine code line by line, analyzing for errors, bugs, and best practices.

Types of audit

When auditing a website or application, you can conduct various types of audits to ensure they perform well, are secure, and function properly. Each type of audit focuses on different aspects of the digital platform, addressing specific concerns and providing valuable insights for improvement. Some of these types are: 

General performance audit

A general performance audit assesses various aspects of a website or application to ensure it functions optimally. It involves analyzing factors like page load times, server response times, and overall responsiveness. The goal is to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies that may hinder performance, providing recommendations for improvement.

Stress or load testing

Stress testing evaluates how a website or application performs under extreme conditions, such as heavy traffic loads or high data volumes. It simulates scenarios where the system is pushed beyond its normal operating limits to identify potential points of failure or performance degradation. Stress and load testing helps ensure that the website or application can handle spikes in traffic without crashing or slowing down.

UX audit

A UX (User Experience) audit evaluates the overall usability and effectiveness of a website or application from the user’s perspective. It involves analyzing factors like navigation, layout, content presentation, and interaction design. The audit identifies usability issues and friction points that may impact the user experience, providing recommendations to enhance usability and engagement.

SEO audit

An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) audit examines a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). It evaluates factors like on-page optimization, keyword usage, backlink profile, and site structure. The audit identifies opportunities to improve organic search rankings and drive more traffic to the website through search engines.

Server performance audit

A server performance audit assesses the performance and reliability of the server infrastructure hosting a website or application. It examines factors like server load, CPU usage, memory usage, and network latency. The audit identifies potential issues that may affect server performance or uptime, such as hardware limitations or configuration errors.

Design audit

A design audit evaluates the visual design and aesthetics of a website or application. It focuses on aspects like color schemes, typography, imagery, and brand consistency. The audit assesses how well the design aligns with the brand identity and user expectations, identifying areas for improvement to enhance visual appeal and brand perception.

Audit of advertising campaigns

An audit of advertising campaigns evaluates the effectiveness and performance of digital marketing campaigns, such as PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads or social media advertising. It examines factors like ad targeting, ad copy, click-through rates, and conversion rates. The audit identifies opportunities to optimize advertising campaigns and maximize return on investment (ROI) from advertising spend.

Why are site audits and code reviews necessary?

While site audits and code reviews are vital processes in software development, they do not directly fix bugs or issues themselves. Instead, they identify deviations from standards and best practices, providing valuable insights for improvement. 

Once these issues are identified, action items are created to address them. Whether it’s optimizing performance, enhancing security, or improving code quality, site audits and code reviews serve as diagnostic tools, guiding teams toward more robust and efficient solutions.

Let’s summarize why site audits and code reviews are essential in software development:

  • Identifying issues. Both processes help uncover problems and vulnerabilities. Site audits find technical issues, broken links, security flaws, and performance problems, while code reviews spot bugs, coding errors, and potential security risks in the source code.
  • Improving quality. By conducting audits and reviews, developers can enhance the quality of their work. Audits ensure websites meet industry standards and user expectations for performance, security, and usability. Reviews maintain clean, efficient codebases by fixing errors and ensuring coding standards are met.
  • Enhancing security. Audits and reviews are vital for improving the security of websites and apps. Audits identify vulnerabilities like outdated software and misconfigurations, allowing developers to fix them before attackers exploit them. Reviews find security risks in the code, such as SQL injection and authentication issues, helping developers write more secure code.
  • Optimizing performance. With the help of audits one can improve website performance by identifying factors that slow it down, like large image files and inefficient code. Reviews also contribute by fixing code that might slow down the app.
  • Ensuring compliance. Audits make sure websites comply with standards and regulations, like accessibility guidelines and data privacy laws. Reviews ensure apps follow coding standards and security best practices, reducing the risk of legal issues.
  • Preventing downtime. Finally, audits and reviews help prevent downtime by identifying and fixing potential issues before they affect users, keeping websites and apps available and accessible.

How to do a website audit

Tools to provide analytics

Conducting a website audit involves systematically examining various aspects of a website or application. The process starts by defining clear audit objectives, such as improving performance, enhancing security, or optimizing SEO. Once the objectives are set, we select appropriate tools based on the audit’s goals. These tools include performance monitoring tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix, SEO analysis platforms such as SEMrush and Moz, security scanners like Sucuri and Qualys, and UX evaluation tools such as UserTesting and Hotjar. And this list is constantly changing depending on the audit purposes. 

Using various tools, we gather relevant data and metrics related to the audit objectives. This data may include performance metrics, SEO data, security scans, user feedback, and design evaluations. After collecting the data, we analyze it to identify areas for improvement and potential issues. We examine patterns, trends, and anomalies to uncover underlying problems.

Based on the audit findings, we prioritize action items and recommendations. Critical issues that have the most significant impact on the website or application’s performance, security, and user experience are given top priority. We then develop a detailed action plan outlining specific steps to address each identified issue or improvement opportunity. We assign responsibilities, set deadlines, and establish metrics for measuring progress.

With the action plan in place, we can further implement changes and improvements. This may involve updating code, optimizing content, configuring server settings, or redesigning user interfaces. After implementing the changes, we continuously monitor the website or application to ensure that the changes are effective and address the identified issues. We regularly review performance metrics, SEO rankings, security scans, and user feedback to track progress and make further adjustments as needed.

Shopmundo audit by Simtech Development

Shopmundo main page

At Simtech Development, we have elaborated a comprehensive audit scheme based on our expertise in software development and eCommerce. We analyze different aspects of the website, such as its performance, server settings, code quality, and architectural logic. Our aim is to find errors in the site’s algorithm and report areas that need improvement.

After analyzing the site, we work closely with the client to decide on the best approach for addressing the identified issues and finalize the list of action items. Recently, our company conducted an audit for Shopmundo’s website, a large marketplace in the Dominican Republic who claimed a decrease of sales and customers’ loyalty due to numerous performance issues. Read below about how we helped the owner improve his website and how it affected the business.

Part 1: Сustomer’s issue, task, and goals

The collaboration between Simtech Development and the Dominican marketplace Shopmundo began in January 2023. Mr. Chang, the site owner, approached us with concerns about errors causing the site to slow down and certain functions to become unavailable. User complaints had increased, leading to an 18% decrease in turnover. To regain customer loyalty and normalize sales, they decided to make a comprehensive website audit.

So we started investigating the background of the marketplace. The store was built as an MVP on the CS-Cart platform with numerous custom solutions implemented by different development teams, ranging from Indian to European. We suspected that coding errors might be the root cause, and our review confirmed this. Some add-ons and plugins were not created according to CS-Cart standards, causing disruptions and hindering further improvements. Regarding the malfunctioning functionality:

  • System notifications about changes in order statuses were not working, users and sellers simply didn’t get them,
  • Promotional codes for discounts were also not functional,
  • The Visanet payment system did not operate correctly.

We conducted testing to find the causes and solutions. Notifications weren’t working due to server setting errors and promotional codes had coding errors, we fixed both issues. Previous developers had partially integrated the Visanet payment gateway, so we completed the integration with CS-Cart’s order management system. Additionally, we introduced new statuses for the administrator, sellers, and buyers: “order review”, “not approved by the supplier”, “approved”, and “fraud”. These modifications aimed to increase customer loyalty and sales conversions on the website.

Part 2: Finding an optimal solution

Throughout the year, Simtech Development developers enhanced the platform based on the audit findings and introduced new features. Together with the client, we identified the need for a quick payment feature on the marketplace. Thus, we added a “Pay now” button next to the “Add to cart” button. When users clicked on it, they were directed straight to the checkout page with the selected product, bypassing the intermediate cart stage. This streamlined the purchasing process and enhanced user convenience.

Additionally, we designed extra pages and developed an algorithm for the buyer’s virtual wallet, which was generated during registration and displayed in the user profile.

A significant step was the creation and launch of a smartphone application. Right from the initial meeting, the client expressed interest in having a mobile app for the store. As an alternative, we suggested building a PWA (Progressive Web App) based on our hybrid development of a responsive website and a mobile app on CS-Cart.

From the user’s perspective, a PWA looks and feels like a regular smartphone app, but it offers several advantages:

  • It works seamlessly on any device supporting the latest HTML versions,
  • It’s available offline,
  • It consumes minimal space in device memory,
  • It can be installed not only on phones but also on tablets, laptops, and other devices,
  • It’s easy to update, with new content and features added remotely and automatically by developers

Another benefit of PWAs is that they utilize the code written during the website’s creation, significantly reducing development costs since developers don’t need to start from scratch.

Read more: The Future Of ECommerce: Why Progressive Web Apps Are Taking Over

Part 3: Results

Our developers successfully resolved the site’s issues. In early 2024, the client conducted a survey of regular customers to gauge their perception of the store and business after the improvements. Not surprisingly, their Net Promoter Score (NPS) increased by 8.3%. The sales decline observed at the start of the year was halted due to the store upgrades and the development of a PWA application for convenient mobile shopping. We were thrilled to be a part of this success!


Website audits and code reviews are essential practices for maintaining the health, security, and functionality of digital platforms. Audits help identify areas for improvement in a website’s performance, while code reviews help identify bugs, improve code readability, and ensure adherence to coding standards.

But do not forget that diagnosing the technical part of the site and detecting errors is the first step towards the effective functioning of the site. The purpose of the audit is to identify errors that, in order of priority, need to be corrected. If your site needs an audit or you need to correct errors identified during the audit, you can always entrust this work to the reliable hands of the Simtech Development team.