Implementing a successful AEM Project
You are embarking on a journey with AEM as a pillar of your web presence. Now what? How do you get your vision onto this platform and make sure it stands the test of time? Successful AEM projects consider these topics:
All teams working on an AEM project, frontend as well as backend, should work within AEM. Keep all developers on the same page and avoid having to rework HTML/CSS/JS code to integrate with AEM after the fact.
Define your content structure up front. With AEM, there are two content structures to consider: the public facing content and the authoring content structure. Both should be defined well and be understood by the developers. Don’t forget how search engines crawl and see your site.
Lay out your caching strategy before development begins. How can you make sure your site performs well? What content on the pages is of a dynamic nature and what content is more static? How do you cache gated content vs. public content on your site? Are you considering using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)? Caching is the key to website performance.
Identify what needs to be tracked on your site. Analytics is vital to determining what keeps users coming to your site and what does not. Be sure to monitor and adjust your site accordingly once it is live. Work on a website never stops.
AEM is split into author and publish instances. Make sure the publish instances are not forgotten during development. A common mistake made by developers is to only work in an author environment. Make sure your team tests and uses the publish environment throughout the project.
Authoring in AEM is key for the future of your website. A streamlined authoring experience that is embraced by your organization helps keep your site up to date with fresh content, and that will keep customers returning.
Make sure your UX design encompasses both the customer-facing and authoring experiences of your new site.
Your website greatly benefits from an automated testing suite. It will enable you to roll out new features after the initial launch with confidence that other areas of your site are not impacted by the changes.
Track the performance of your website throughout development and beyond to make sure your page speed is consistent or improves over time. Both publish and author rendering speed have to be considred.
No code is perfect and problems will occur. Developing debug tools alongside your site development will greatly help when troubleshooting issues that arise later. Make sure that it’s easy to test 3rd party connections and visualize data your site relies on.