The holiday season is just around the corner and for eCommerce store owners that means just one thing: SALES.
While some store owners will be dealing with a huge number of orders, a spike in traffic/conversions, and enjoying a significant increase in revenue, other store owners will be busy fixing their slow websites.
No one wants to end up like the latter, and this is we’ve written this article for you to help you speed up your eCommerce store before the holiday season starts.
Why Do You Need to Speed Up Your Ecommerce Store
If you haven’t put much thought on speeding your eCommerce store, it’s time to swallow the pill and work on it. Here are some reasons why you absolutely need to speed up your eCommerce website:
Improves User Experience
Research suggests that 40% of users bounce off a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. This stat alone should be enough reason for you to speed up your eCommerce store, especially during the holiday season.
A faster website not only makes it easy for your customers to explore your store and make a purchase, but it also helps increase repeat customers on your store due to a better experience.
Reduces Cart Abandonments
Abandoned carts are one of the biggest pet peeves of eCommerce store owners. But what some fail to understand is that abandoned carts are a result of a slow website. When customers are shopping around and add products to their carts, they expect a smooth checkout process which is only possible if your store is optimized for speed and performance.
The slower your website and cart pages load, the more frustrating it is for the customer and so they usually bounce. A faster website, in contrast, propels users towards checking out!
Better SERP Rankings
Page speed is one of the biggest factors that help your pages rank in search engines. Google prefers a fast website over a slow one, so even if you have great content on your website, your rankings can suffer because Google will prefer some other site.
Now that we have understood the importance of a fast eCommerce store, let’s see how you can speed it up for this holiday season.
How to Speed Up Your Ecommerce Store
There are plenty of ways to speed up your eCommerce store, and I’m going to discuss some of them so you can apply these changes
Heavy images on your website are one of the main reasons why your eCommerce store’s load time is not up to the mark. Yes, the holiday season is near and you are uploading hundreds and thousands of products on your website along with their images, but a simple additional step can improve your site speed significantly: Image compression!
Image compression is a popular practice among site owners, especially online store owners, because of images hog a lot of your server resources. Compressing images means reducing their size without compromising on quality so that they load without using more RAM than they should.
Here are some image compression tools you can use on your WordPress site:
If your eCommerce store is built on WordPress, then check out these best WordPress image compression plugins.
Use a CDN
You can also cache your website’s content on a CDN after which it is delivered from the nearest server to a visitor, ultimately improving your store’s performance. Other than that, CDNs also purge your website’s content so that only the most updated content is delivered to your store’s visitors.
Here are some of the best CDNs that you can use to speed up your eCommerce store:
- Amazon Cloudfront
A Good, Reliable Web host
The impact of a reliable, robust web hosting for your eCommerce store’s performance cannot be understated. Many store owners tend to go with cheap hosting providers to save costs, which is understandable when the store is in the launch phase and the traffic and data are minimum, but once your store starts to grow, it’s essential that your hosting grows with it.
Since shared hosting is a big no-no for online store owners, we always recommend Cloud hosting due to the many advantages it offers!
On cloud hosting, your website is hosted on a network of virtual servers spread out in different locations of the world. This makes your website accessible from all around the world without compromises on speed and security. Also, Cloud hosting lets you scale your resources whenever you need to, so when the holiday season is near and you expect a surge in traffic, you can upscale your server’s resources to easily handle the surge and then downscale the server when the season is over.
And as far as our cloud hosting recommendation goes, you cannot go wrong with Cloudways.
Cloudways is one of the most reputed managed cloud hosting providers in the industry. It offers cloud hosting for WooCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, and Opencart applications along with WordPress, PHP, Laravel, and Drupal. It provides hosting on 5 different cloud infrastructures; Amazon, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, Vultr and Linode.
Some prominent features of Cloudways include server scaling, Breeze cache plugin, the Cloudways platform, and PHP 7 servers. Their plans start from $10/month, but thanks to our partnership with them, you can get 3 months of FREE hosting with them if you use WPblog’s discount code: WPB30
Use Cache Plugins
If your store is built on WooCommerce, then you can use cache plugins to further optimize your store for performance. Caching is the process of recycling your website’s data which has already been fetched to speed up your eCommerce store. There are mainly two types of caching:
Client-Side or Browser Caching: Client-side caching is when your browser store’s a website’s static content so that it doesn’t have to fetch it from the server every time someone visits the website. Your content is server from your local system’s hard drive to improve your site speed.
Server-Side Caching: Server-side caching is when your website’s static data is stored on a server. There are several types of caching that come under server-side caching like page caching, mobile caching, and user caching. The good thing about server-side caching is that you can control them using WordPress cache plugins.
Here are the top WordPress cache plugins that you can use on your WooCommerce store.
- WP Rocket
- WP Super Cache
The holiday season is a race between you and other store owners, and the one with the most sales wins. The speed of your online store determines whether you end up on the winning side or the losing side so it’s extremely important that you take up all the necessary measures to optimize your store.
In this article, I’ve shared some ways to help you speed up your online store. If you think you have some other great tips for giving WordPress websites blazing fast speed, let me know by starting a conversation in the comments section below.