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Code Audit of your ecommerce website: What is it and why do you need it ASAP?

  • March 19, 2024
  • by Jasreet Kaur
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In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, where every click and second holds significant importance, ensuring the durability and dependability of your digital infrastructure is of utmost importance.  

One effective way to achieve this is by conducting a comprehensive code audit. In this article, we will explore the importance of code audits for your e-commerce business, what they entail, and how to execute them efficiently.

What is a code audit? 

Let’s say your website is like a popular shopping district, bustling with activity day and night. A code audit would be like hiring a team of safety inspectors to examine every storefront, checking for loose floorboards, faulty wiring, or any other hazards that could put shoppers at risk. 

Similarly, if your application is like a busy transportation hub, ferrying passengers from point A to point B, a code audit would be like bringing in a team of engineers to inspect the tracks, signals, and trains for any signs of wear and tear that could derail the system. 

In essence, a code audit is like giving your digital domain a thorough checkup, ensuring it’s running at peak performance and fortified against any potential threats. Just like you wouldn’t ignore a strange noise coming from your car’s engine, neglecting a code audit could leave your website or application vulnerable to crashes, cyber attacks, or other digital disasters. 

So, whether your digital domain is a bustling metropolis or a quiet country town, a code audit is your best defense against the unexpected – ensuring your online presence remains safe, secure, and running like a well-oiled machine.

When should the code audit be conducted? 

  • Regular Maintenance Strategy: Conducting code audits should be a routine part of your ongoing maintenance strategy. Regular audits help to ensure the continuous health and security of your e-commerce store’s codebase. 
  • During Significant Updates or Redesigns: Code audits become especially crucial when you’re planning significant updates or redesigns for your e-commerce store. Prior to implementing these changes, it’s essential to conduct a thorough audit to identify any existing issues or potential obstacles that could impact the success of your updates. 
  • In Response to Issues: If you encounter unexpected glitches, performance issues, or security breaches on your website, it’s a clear indication that a code audit is urgently needed. These issues may be symptomatic of underlying problems within your codebase, which can only be identified and addressed through a comprehensive audit process.
Ecommerce Website Security

Why is a code audit important for my ecommerce store? 

Code audits are indispensable for safeguarding your e-commerce store against many risks and challenges. They deserve a prime spot on your priority list for several reasons:

  • Enhanced Security: In the face of looming cyber threats, protecting your customers’ data is paramount. A code audit is instrumental in identifying and remedying vulnerabilities, thereby mitigating the risk of breaches and data leaks. 
  • Optimised Performance: Pages that load slowly or features that malfunction can deter potential customers. By pinpointing performance bottlenecks and streamlining code efficiency, a code audit can markedly improve the user experience and drive conversions.  
  • Scalability and Futureproofing: As your e-commerce venture expands, so do the demands on your digital infrastructure. A thorough code audit lays the groundwork for scalability, ensuring your store can accommodate rising traffic volumes and evolving business requirements.  
  • Compliance Assurance: With stringent regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), ensuring compliance is imperative. A code audit helps identify any non-compliant practices or vulnerabilities that could lead to regulatory violations, protecting your business from hefty fines and reputational damage 
  • Cost Savings: Detecting and resolving issues early through code audits can save you significant costs in the long run. By preventing security breaches, performance issues, and scalability problems, you avoid the expenses associated with data breaches, downtime, and emergency fixes. 

What are the common stages for performing code audits? 

Performing a manual code audit typically involves three distinct stages, each focusing on different aspects of the application’s architecture: 

  1. Frontend Code Review: During this stage, the focus is on examining the code that directly impacts the end user’s experience. This includes assessing factors such as the speed of code execution, file requests, and image loading to ensure optimal performance. Additionally, attention is given to ensuring compatibility across various devices and browsers, ensuring a seamless user experience regardless of the platform. 
  2. Backend Code Review: In the backend code review phase, developers delve into the underlying mechanisms of the application. They scrutinise how the application interacts with databases, servers, and other backend systems. Security vulnerabilities are thoroughly investigated to safeguard against potential breaches. Furthermore, the code is evaluated based on established standards and best practices to ensure robustness and maintainability. 
  3. Infrastructure Review: The infrastructure review encompasses a comprehensive examination of the entire system supporting the application. This includes assessing both software and hardware components and reviewing processes and responsibilities. The aim is to ensure that the infrastructure is up-to-date and aligned with quality standards, thereby supporting the optimal functioning of the application.

A manual code audit can reveal potential issues, vulnerabilities, and areas for improvement across all layers of an application, including frontend, backend, and infrastructure. 

What steps should a code audit include? 

Ecommerce Website Security

Step 1: Security Assessment 

In this crucial initial phase, the focus is on identifying and mitigating potential security risks within the codebase. This involves a meticulous examination for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and authentication flaws. By identifying and addressing these security vulnerabilities early on, the audit aims to fortify the e-commerce platform against potential cyber threats and data breaches. 

Step 2: Performance Analysis 

Next, attention turns towards evaluating the performance aspects of the e-commerce platform. This entails assessing the speed, responsiveness, and scalability of the platform to ensure optimal user experience. Performance bottlenecks and inefficiencies are identified and addressed to enhance the platform’s overall performance and responsiveness. By optimising performance, the audit aims to improve user satisfaction and boost conversion rates. 

Step 3: Code Quality Review 

In this phase, the focus shifts towards ensuring the adherence to coding standards and best practices. The codebase is thoroughly reviewed to assess its readability, modularity, and maintainability. By maintaining high code quality standards, the audit aims to facilitate easier code maintenance and future development efforts. Additionally, ensuring code modularity enhances scalability and facilitates code reuse across the e-commerce platform. 

Step 4: Documentation and Recommendations 

Finally, the findings of the code audit are documented comprehensively, and actionable recommendations are provided for improvement. This documentation serves as a valuable reference for developers and stakeholders, outlining the identified issues and proposed solutions. Additionally, best practices and future-proofing strategies are included to guide ongoing development efforts. By documenting findings and recommendations, the audit ensures transparency and facilitates continuous improvement of the e-commerce platform.

What are the common challenges for performing code audits? 

Performing code audits can be a complex and challenging process, often presenting several hurdles along the way. One common challenge is the sheer scale and complexity of modern codebases, which can make it difficult to conduct thorough examinations efficiently. Additionally, staying abreast of evolving security threats and best practices poses another challenge, requiring continuous education and training.  

Moreover, coordinating with multiple stakeholders and teams, especially in large E-commerce organisations, can introduce communication and collaboration challenges. Furthermore, the time and resources required for conducting comprehensive audits can be substantial, particularly for large-scale applications.  

Finally, prioritising and addressing the multitude of issues identified during audits can be daunting, requiring careful planning and prioritisation to ensure effective resolution. Despite these challenges, overcoming them is essential for maintaining the security, reliability, and performance of software systems. 

Tips for a Successful Code Audit 

Ecommerce Website Security
  • Establish Clear Objectives: Define specific goals and objectives for the code audit to ensure clarity and focus throughout the process. This helps guide the audit activities and ensures that the desired outcomes are achieved.  
  • Involve Stakeholders: Collaborate closely with stakeholders from various departments, including development, quality assurance, and operations, to gain diverse perspectives and insights. Involving stakeholders from the outset helps foster buy-in and ensures that audit findings are relevant and actionable.  
  • Prioritise Findings: Not all issues identified during a code audit are created equal. Prioritise findings based on their severity, impact on the system, and potential risks to the business. This allows you to focus resources on addressing critical issues first and mitigating the most significant risks.  
  • Document Everything: Maintain detailed documentation throughout the audit process, including audit plans, findings, recommendations, and action plans. Comprehensive documentation ensures transparency, facilitates knowledge sharing, and provides a valuable reference for future audits and improvements.  
  • Foster a Culture of Accountability: Encourage accountability and ownership among team members by establishing clear roles, responsibilities, and timelines for addressing audit findings. This fosters a culture of continuous improvement and ensures that corrective actions are implemented promptly and effectively. 


In conclusion, a thorough code audit is essential for securing and optimising your e-commerce website. It helps identify and resolve security vulnerabilities, performance issues, and code quality concerns, ensuring a seamless user experience and protecting your business from potential threats. At RVS, our team specialises in conducting comprehensive code audits to help you achieve peak performance and reliability. Let us assist you in safeguarding your online store and maximising its potential for success. 

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