Nowadays, speed is integral for your e-commerce business’s success. That’s because customers are looking for fast and reliable service and want instant gratification.
A slow-loading online store can lead to the following:
- Declining user experience
- Increase in bounce rate
- Dropping search engine ranking
- Decreasing website traffic
- Loss in revenue
Nonetheless, there are a couple of factors you should consider when it comes to your e-commerce site’s pageload speed.
If you run your online business on WooCommerce and look for ways to speed up, we got your cover. In this post, we will talk about how you can optimize your WooCommerce site’s page speed.
Here’s a quick index to help you navigate this article:
So, let’s dive in.
Why Speed Matters for an Online Store?
If your site takes a while to load, you alienate users when they visit your online store.
Not only this leads to a loss in sales and revenues, but it is also wasted money on your part when it comes to your marketing.
According to a 2017 SOASTA Research, if your website takes three seconds to load, 32% of your site visitors are likely to bounce. This increases to 90% if your pageload speed takes five seconds.
This shows that internet users do not have the patience to wait for a website to load. What they need is to access your online store and finish their transaction as quickly as possible.
Come to this of it: If the majority of your customers can buy what they need with ease, it means you are fast accumulating sales. Plus, you are making your online buyers happy.
And a happy customer can lead to repeat purchases or referrals. Either way, they’re good news.
9 Effective Tips to Speed Up Your WooCommerce Store in 2020
1. Choose the Right Hosting Provider
Your WooCommerce hosting provider plays a crucial role in fixing a slow e-commerce site. Performing a website speed test allows you to determine your WooCommerce load times.
Sure, there are many hosting providers available. But it can be daunting to choose which hosting provider and hosting plan is right for you.
When you create your own e-commerce site, you might opt for shared hosting to cut costs. But when you get a surge of website traffic to your online store, then you might want to shift your hosting to a more optimized and dedicated server.
That’s because handling your site traffic will depend on your hosts. If you’re still on shared hosting and get a lot of traffic, your site will crash.
To avoid being in that situation, it would help if you upgrade your hosting plan.
We recommend that you go for a dedicated server. That way, you do not have to share your bandwidth with other websites. It also makes your online store secure.
But if you cannot afford a dedicated server, you have other options:
- Opt for a managed web host
- Look for a shared website with better bandwidth
Sure, these two are heftier than a shared web host. Nonetheless, they are more affordable than having a dedicated server.
A managed server also allows you to leverage the expertise of security engineers. Thus, it ensures that your website is secure while reducing operating costs.
2. Use a Cache Plugin
A cache can be a hardware or software component, and its role is to store data. That way, the browser can access the data with ease in the future.
Meanwhile, a cache plugin stores and delivers a web page. Thus, no need for a browser to connect with your server to access your online store. As a result, it improves your e-commerce website’s page load speed.
There are three factors that you ought to consider when it comes to cache plugins:
- If you’re using the said plugin
- Which type of cache plugin you’re using
- Whether you’ve configured the optimal settings
Note that your WooCommerce cache plugin is different from WordPress caching. So, if you want to speed up your online store, you need to use the best caching plugins in WooCommerce.
Moreover, you need to configure it properly if you want it to work the way you expect it. It can be problematic if done otherwise.
Related Reading: LiteSpeed Cache Plugin Review
3. Use Varnish Cache
This serves as a cache HTTP reverse proxy. Similarly, you might also see it defined as a front-end accelerator.
Just note that this isn’t a stand-alone solution, because it still needs a dedicated web server that you can rely on, such as Apache or NGINX.
4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Besides cache plugins, you can boost your site speed and performance using a Content Delivery Network or CDN.
In a nutshell, CDN is a network of remote servers. It is in various locations, and all have a copy of your site that users have access to. That way, your browser can ping the nearest server to access your website instead of your primary server.
Mind you, the typical reason it takes a while for any website to load is the distance between the site visitor and your primary server.
Think of it this way: Someone from Canada visited your online store. Instead of pinging your main server that is based in the UK, the visitor’s browser will access the Canadian network instead.
This will let your WooCommerce e-commerce website load faster and reduce bandwidth usage. Plus, this tactic is practical to use if you are serving customers worldwide.
5. Compress Product Images
There is no denying that a high-quality product image is essential if you want your online store to generate sales.
And we are not just talking about a single product image only. We want photos of a product taken from various angles. This is to give potential customers a 360-degree feel of what your product looks like.
After all, they cannot touch through their screen.
The caveat, though, is that large images can slow down your site. In case you do not know, images represent at least 50% of your online store’s pageload time. And every increase in your page loading site can hurt your e-commerce store’s conversion rates.
All these tools do the same thing: They resize and compress large images, so loading them will not affect your e-commerce website’s page speed. And the best part? They do not compromise the quality of the photos!
This allows you to upload product images that do not slow down your online store, yet still compels people to buy.
Related Reading: eCommerce Resources to Grow Your Business
6. Get a Fast WooCommerce Theme
WooCommerce itself is a software that loads quickly enough. But you must pick a theme that does not take a while to load all its widgets and elements.
That said, it would help if you pick a lightweight WooCommerce theme.
Here are some things you need to check out:
- The WooCommerce theme is not filled with unnecessary features.
- The WooCommerce theme is well-coded and well-maintained.
- The WooCommerce theme is suitable according to WordPress standards.
The thing is that WordPress indicates when a theme or plugin was last updated. WordPress also lets users know whether the theme is compatible with its latest version.
Doing so helps improves your store’s performance, as well as its overall user experience.
Related Reading: Best Multipurpose WooCommerce Themes
7. Choose the Right Plugin
After picking the right theme, you should also choose the right plugins for your WooCommerce site.
Adding too many plugins can significantly slow down your site. So, how do you overcome this problem?
To know which plugins are taking a tool on your site speed, you can deactivate all your plugins and start reactivating them one by one.
Initially, it might be a lengthy process, but this lets you identify which plugins are affecting your site speed.
You may also use a plugin called Health Check to let you identify what’s troubling your WooCommerce site. That way, you can maximize your online store’s efficiency.
8. Clean Your Database
A database is a system that organizes your data. Usually, these data fall under the following:
- Site Content: Data that generates your dynamic HTML pages such as your product pages, category pages, and content pages.
- Transactional Data: This is the type of data that is generated in the user’s actions. This usually includes inventory updates, as well as the order details of your customers.
Throughout the life of your online store, you will be storing thousands of data. This includes customer information, the list of products they ordered, and many more.
And these can impact your e-commerce website’s pageload speed. More so, if you store massive data and has a complicated database.
What you can do is simplify how you store your data. This will depend on the database system that you are using. What matters is that it is simple and does not limit you from generating customized sales reports.
Doing so cleans and updates your database, and gives your WooCommerce store ample space to run faster and smoother.
9. Keep Your Platform Updated
If you do not update the e-commerce platform and its other extensions, you will miss performance improvements.
With every WooCommerce development, it allows you to make improvements to your online store. This includes speeding up your website and enhancing its security.
Running the latest version of your platform software and extensions will also protect your e-commerce site from cyber threats.
So, if you are running an outdated or older version of your online store, this is the time to update your backend.
Related Reading: Ultimate WordPress Security Guide
Impacts of a Slow Website on Your Business
You cannot overlook your WooCommerce site’s pageload speed. It does not only turn off your customers; it can also hurt your business.
Here’s what happens when your online store takes a while to load:
- Declining User Experience: Your page load speed offers a sense of moving forward to your customers. If it takes a while to load, you hinder them from accomplishing their task, which is to buy your products.
- Increasing Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the number of people who left your website as soon as they land on it without doing anything. When you prevent customers from doing what they want to do, this can compel them to abandon your online store and look elsewhere.
- Drop in Search Engine Ranking: Your bounce rate indicates how usable your website is. And usability is a crucial search engine ranking factor. This means than a high bounce rate can cause your e-commerce store to drop in rankings.
- Loss of Traffic: The lower your website search engine ranking is, the fewer people can see it. Thus, it can result in a decline in traffic. Mind you; there are now more than 20 million e-commerce websites in the world. Which means you have millions of competition.
- Decrease in Revenue: It is a general idea that when your website undergoes performance issues, people will leave. And this can impact the amount of revenue that you can generate.
Conclusion: Tips to Speed Up WooCommerce Store
These days, it is common for customers to expect fast and reliable service. If not, they are more likely to abandon your e-commerce website.
This also explains why you need to bump up the speed of your WooCommerce site. That’s because neglecting page speed can hurt your marketing efforts and business revenue.
To recap, here are nine things you can do to improve your online store’s pageload speed:
- Choose the right hosting provider
- Use a cache plugin
- Use a varnish cache
- Use a content delivery network (CDN)
- Compress product images
- Choose a fast WooCommerce theme
- Choose the right plugin
- Clean your database
- Keep your platform updated
As an online store owner, you need to ensure that your site delivers your customers’ best user experience. This includes bumping up your website’s speed.
Speeding up your online store will not only make your customers happy in the long run, but it will also keep them coming back for more.
Hopefully, by following the tips listed above, you can drive more sales to your online store.
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