6 Magento Extensions for GDPR Compliance + Improved Performance & User Experience in your Store
If you run a Magento store and have to comply with GDPR regulations and/or value your customer's privacy,
this post might be helpful for you. In this post, we will introduce some extensions that will help with GDPR
compliance and give some tips on how following privacy laws can also be used to improve the user experience
(UX) and performance of your Magento store.
It truly can be a pain to follow each and every requirement that comes with privacy laws.
But the good news is:
With this blog post, we will show you how you can take your GDPR compliance to the next level, without giving up functionalities. Additionally, we will show you how you can use the GDPR challenge as a driver for improving the user experience and performance of your store. And introduce 6 GDPR Compliance Extensions for Magento 2.
GDPR Compliance Extensions For Magento 2
There are many extensions available promising to make a Magento store “GDPR compliant”. If you are running a
Magento 2 store, you are probably already using one or the other of these, such as an extension adding a Cookie
Banner as required by EU Cookie Law (everybody loves them, right?). E. g. “Amasty Cookie Consent” or “Mirasvit
GDPR for Magento 2” that is also compatible with Hyvä Theme.
However, none of these extensions will give you full GDPR compliance, there are many aspects to be considered and followed when it comes to being GDPR compliant and respecting customers' privacy. In the following sections, we will introduce 6 Magento Extensions that will help you get your Magento 2 store GDPR ready - but also don’t miss the bonus section below with tips that will help you to stay on top of the GDPR game by giving your Magento 2 store a performance boost.
1. Matomo Analytics
The ban of Google Analytics in Europe might be just around the corner as first court judgements and proceedings in Austria and The Netherlands suggest (source). But Magento merchants do not have to be afraid of losing the benefits and insights provided by an Analytics tool. Luckily there is an alternative available that can be integrated and used with Magento 2 easily:
Matomo Analytics, the #1 Google Analytics alternative, for Magento 2
A powerful open-source GDPR compliant web analytics platform.
Understand your customer, respect your customers' privacy and build trust in your brand.
2. Honey Spam Anti-Spam
Spam customer registrations, spam newsletter subscribers, spam contact messages, spam product reviews… It’s a common problem in Magento stores and any website that provides forms for customers. Any form that allows customers to interact with you as a store owner will be abused by spammers and spambots sooner or later if not protected appropriately. Out-of-the-box, Magento provides Google ReCaptcha as a means against spam, so it is easy to use and works reliably. However, using Google ReCaptcha or similar 3rd party services for spam protection is not GDPR compliant. Of course, simply disabling ReCaptcha and enduring all the spam to be expected when doing so is no option. But no worries, as a Magento merchant, you can protect yourself and your store against spam reliably, easily AND GDPR compliant:
Honey Spam Anti-Spam, highly flexible and reliable spam protection extension for your Magento 2 store.
Protecting all your forms, Contact Form, Customer Registration, Newsletter Subscription & Product Reviews against spam
using several highly configurable measures for reliable spam detection.
3. Video Widget
Videos and multimedia play an important role when it comes to creating emotions and affection for a brand and your products in your Magento 2 store. Many store owners prefer to have their videos hosted on YouTube. Unfortunately, embedding externally hosted videos requires a user consent before loading any content from the from a 3rd party video platform and can be a performance killer, thanks to loading the video in an iFrame alongside with tons of additional scripts. But there is a solution available.
Video Widget extension, embedding YouTube videos GDPR compliant made easy.
Performance optimized with automatic preview image, SEO optimized with video rich snippets, fully responsive without black bars. Ready for creating beautiful “Video Walls” through pre-defined layouts out-of-the-box.
4. Shariff Social Share Buttons
Adding social media sharing buttons is a great way to increase visibility on social media, allowing customers to interact with your brand and drive more visitors to your store. No surprise most online stores want to integrate sharing buttons. But the sharing buttons provided by social networks such as Facebook or Twitter are not GDPR compliant. Of course, that does not mean you have to abstain from adding social sharing buttons to your Magento 2 store:
Shariff Social Sharing Buttons extension for Magento 2, based on the famous 2-click GDPR compliant sharing buttons.
23 social networks & sharing services integrated, 25 translations / languages included,
3 button styles in 3 color-schemes as well as options for individual designs / colors, 7 positions for showing the buttons configurable
Bonus: Take Your GDPR Compliance to the Next Level By Improving The Performance And User Experience Of Your Magento 2 Store
We have 2022, time to see GDPR not as an annoying evil anymore, but as an opportunity to build trust in your
brand and store while at the same time boosting the user experience and performance of your Magento 2
If you had to deal with GDPR compliance before, the privacy requirements addressed by the first 4 Magento extensions we introduced above, may have not been entirely new to you. But let’s take it one step further and look into some lesser-known aspects of GDPR compliance.
5. Image Optimization and GDPR Compliance
Image optimization is no GPDR topic, right?
Well, actually it is…
When striving for fast page loads and top performance, optimizing images plays a key role. It is often recommended by other agencies to simply use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for optimizing images in Magento 2 stores. Since image CDNs can be integrated rather easily nowadays, this might sound like an easy and fast solution for a big challenge.
However, using a CDN actually comes with a few downsides:
In fact, CDNs are a privacy issue because images are loaded from 3rd party servers which enables these CDN service providers to track your customers and collect their data, which is not allowed by GDPR and privacy laws without explicit user consent.
Another often overseen downside of using CDNs is, that the performance can be affected negatively because another TCP/IP connection is required for loading images from their servers. Furthermore, image CDNs are usually not able to address image optimization aspects beyond e. g. image compression or image conversion such as lazy loading images. adding width/height attributes, asynchronous decoding…
Why pay for a service that introduces a compliance risk while providing a sub-optimal and incomplete
solution for image optimization?
The better, cheaper, and GDPR compliant way for image optimization:
Ultimate Image Optimizer for Magento 2: All you need for image optimization in one extension.
100% local and GDPR compliant image optimization with no recurring costs.
Automatic locally processed image conversion for WebP as well as the newest image format AVIF.
Highly configurable regarding image quality and compression level and speed, options for adding lazy loading, width/height attributes, asynchronous decoding and more
6. Font Files / Icon Fonts and GDPR Compliance
Websites and also Magento stores usually use one or even more fonts for achieving the desired design and look
and feel. Out of convenience and/or false assumptions regarding performance and fast loading for these
fonts, the font files are often loaded e. g. from Google Fonts or other CDN hosts.
But loading assets such as font files from 3rd party hosts is actually a compliance issue if done without explicit user consent.
The simple fix for this case:
Load your font files from you own server, this avoids the privacy issue and is faster in most cases anyway.
Reducing or avoiding font files altogether in the first place would be the even better way to go when it
comes to performance. But being limited to web fonts only may not be an option in cases where some specific
font is wanted or required for the purpose of having a distinctive design or following corporate identity
However, icons are another use-case for font files. With many famous icon sets, e. g. Font Awesome, being available as a full collection of icons as one single font file. While easy to implement, the downside of these icon fonts is:
The browser needs to download the full set of icons, even if only a few icons are used on the site.
For performance optimization it would be better to load only the icons needed, e. g. not as a font file, but as inline SVGs.
Awesome Hyvä: Font Awesome 5 SVG vector icons, social & brand logos on your Magento 2 Hyvä Themes
GDPR compliant and performance optimized by adding icons as inline SVGs
Compliance with GDPR and other privacy laws and regulations as e. g. the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may not be the most fun topic.
In fact, for most online merchants it is a rather annoying thing to deal with, that seems even mostly as obstructive to their business.
However, when tackled in the right way, following compliance and data protection rules doesn't necessarily mean abstaining from functions that are critical for online merchants. Be it web analytics, embedding videos, or other functions often implemented via 3rd party services for managing a Magento online store and the user experience customers expect.
With the 6 Magento extensions introduced in this post, we showed that there are solutions available to replace incompliant implementations with alternative approaches that are often even the better way to go.
GDPR compliance does not only mean troublesome following of rules and regulations, but it can also be an opportunity. An opportunity to build trust in your brand by respecting your customer's privacy, but also an opportunity to improve your business by e. g. using unsampled analytics as a base for your business decisions, having full control over how your Magento store works instead of relying on (and maybe even paying for!) 3rd party services and last but not least even for improving the performance and user experience in your store.
When means for compliance can go hand in hand with improving your business, can be a driver for optimizing your store and can even help you saving money, its suddenly a more "sexy topic", right?
Better don't miss the chance and take action now. Lets talk, we are happy to help, not only with solving your GDPR issues, but also improving your Magento store...