eCommerce

How to Speed up Your eCommerce Website

This article will tell you how your website’s speed can impact the success of your business and what you can do about it.

Website speed is now more important than ever.  The slower your website, the more likely people will leave before buying anything.  Neil Patel’s website tells us that, “47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less.  And 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds.”

Google places significant importance on how fast your website loads too;  it’s one of their most important ranking factors.

Your website speed can impact your bottom line; here’s what you can do to improve it.

Compress Images

Make sure that your images are the right dimensions and that they have the ideal resolution for the web.  You can use a tool like Smush to compress your images for you, so they load fast.

Lazy Load

Lazy load makes it appear that your website is loading faster.  Here’s how it works.  It loads the images above the fold on your web page, right away.  The images below the fold system are loaded after.  This enables the visitor to see the images above the fold right away and the other images as they scroll down.

Google likes websites that use a lazy load system.  We use the LazyLoad by WP Rocket for WordPress websites that we develop.

Consider Using AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a framework for developing dedicated mobile pages on a website.  What it really does is minimize the programming required so a page loads faster.  Google loves it.

There are a variety of ways to implement it.  If you are using WordPress, there are plugins to assist you.  Please keep in mind that there are limitations to what you can do with AMP from a design point of view (without a lot of coding), and you end up with separate pages – which translates to some additional effort to manage your website.

As early as December 2017, the search engine has started ranking all results based on the mobile versions of pages.  Crazy Egg Blog

Minimize Plugins

If you are using a content management system like WordPress, there is a plugin for almost everything.  The problem is, the more plugins you use, the more the speed of your website can be negatively impacted.   Minimize the use of plugins wherever possible for a faster website.

An additional benefit of minimizing the number of plugins is, the more plugins you use, the more potential security issues you can have.

Caching

Caching is the temporary storage of pages and images so that they load faster.  There are different ways to implement cache.  Having a developer optimize your cache can help it be more effective and make your website faster.

CDN

A Content Distributed Network (CDN) is a series of servers with locations around that world that hold pieces of your website.  Use of a CDN means that a website that is located in New York loads almost as quickly in London, England or Los Angeles, California, as it would for someone in New York.

Reduce Server Response Time

Server response time refers to how quickly your website’s server responds to a request from a web browser.  There are a number of ways to reduce the server response time, including:

  • Use a quality host provider
  • Optimize databases
  • Server-based caching
  • Minify coding (CSS/JS) – this gets rid of excess code

Put Video on an External Platform

If you have video on your website, it should NOT be set up to load on your website.  loading on your website; having video natively on your website significantly increases the time your web page takes to load.  takes way too long to load.  Consider using a service like YouTube or Vimeo.

Minimize Redirects

A redirect is when one URL is forwarded to another.  There are a variety of ways that URLs can be redirected, particularly with WordPress sites. All these redirects negatively impact your website’s speed  Kinsta has a blog that provides more information on redirect sources and how to address them.

Focus on the Essentials

The most important pages to optimize on your eCommerce website are:

  • Home page
  • Login page
  • Checkout

These pages have high volume and are high in buying-intent traffic.  You may also want to consider creating dedicated mobile pages for each of these to maximize speed for the mobile user.

Final Thoughts

There are some things that a non-developer can do to maximize the speed of a website; however, many of these improvements are best done by a developer who is experienced in maximizing website speed.  The Story can help you get the most out of your website.