Is your WooCommerce store accessible to all Internet users wherever they are? The question of the performance of the store is at the heart of the priorities of store owners as well as WooCommerce hosting for the activity and visibility of your online store on the Internet.
Why Improve WooCommerce Store Performance?
To Optimize the User Experience :
Customer retention depends largely on the improved WooCommerce Store Performance of the stores visited. As for the user experience, 3 elements stand out and must be monitored:
1. The speed of display pages of a website (40% of visitors give up browsing if the response time exceeds 3 seconds)
2. The time required to download elements of a page
3. The fluidity of the browser in handling the elements of a page
To Improve Mobile/Web Performance:
With the generalization of mobile devices (smartphones or tablets), users are no longer content with their desktops or laptops. This results in a more complex operating environment. Mobile web users have more and more expectations: 85% expect improved load time as fast as on a PC.
To Optimize Natural Referencing :
The response time of the hosting server is a criterion measured by the search engines. This promotes the indexing speed of a new web page and allows to indexing of more pages in depth. Google recommends an average of 1.5 seconds to display a web page.
To Control the Costs :
There is more and more data to store, manipulate, and exploit. Effective management of the performance of a WooCommerce store optimizes costs. This induces:
A less resource-hungry online store
Better availability during peak times
Test Load Time of WooCommerce Store:
The first step is obviously to know the performance that delivers your store. For this, many powerful tools exist and give indicators of what must change or improve. Here are 3 performance evaluation tools:
As in school, the goal here is to get the best odds in these different tools. This will firstly optimize your conversion rate through an improved user experience. In addition, you will benefit from better referencing since Google announced that the speed of loading websites was taken into account in its algorithms.
It should be noted, however, that it is necessary to know how to distinguish the raw speed (loading of the code) from the speed perceived by the user. It is the latter that we speak, the one that the user is confronted with.
More and more, you hear about website performance as a search engine positioning criterion. This factor includes several indicators that allow Google’s Algorithm to judge if your eCommerce store is fast and associate it with other factors to determine the positions of your product pages.
We will deal here with the 10 important ones:
1. WooCommerce Web Hosting
2. Image Optimization
3. Install Cache Plugin
4. Integrate WordPress CDN
5. Group CSS and JS Files
6. Make Use of CSS Sprites
7. Lighten Pages to the Maximum
8. Database Optimization
9. Subdomains for Assets
10. Enable Gzip compression
1. WooCommerce Web Hosting:
To choose WooCommerce hosting, do not automatically think “economy” by going straight to the cheapest. If your WooCommerce store is badly hosted this may include downtime and insecurity.
You are surely a visitor yourself! If a threat is found in your store then you will go to a competitor. A good hosting must be adapted to your needs; needs that are different for blogs, websites with little traffic, or conversely with high traffic.
In order not to be deceived, do not hesitate to contact professionals who can advise you.
To have a WooCommerce store that is displayed quickly all the time, it is imperative to have a good host like Cloudways at its disposal, one that ensures stability, power, availability, and security. There is no secret for this, we must set a minimum budget.
The equation will depend on many parameters: the servers (quality of hard disks, performance, etc.), redundancy (the multiplication of the number of servers to overcome the problems of failure), and the service (rapid intervention, etc.).
Web hosting for WooCommerce is one of the crucial elements to guarantee a quality service. Be sure to choose it!
Kinsta is another great option for hosting your WooCommerce site. Their highly secure and speed-obsessive architecture allows them to easily handle traffic surges, Woocommerce solutions they offer auto-scaling, daily backups, WooCommerce optimized server environment, and a great set of optional add-ons.
2. Image Optimization :
The images are the first factor influencing the loading time of websites. Many store owners neglect this essential aspect of SEO and are content to insert images without any optimization.
It is not uncommon to see people upload photos directly from their digital cameras to their websites, even if they weigh several megabytes. Yet, there are simple tips to fix it!
Several tools and methods allow you to optimize images. The first tip is “to save images for the web” when creating visuals with Photoshop.
This allows them to be automatically optimized and adapted to the web. There are also tools like TinyPNG and image compression plugins available to delete all useless data that increases the weight of images.
3. Install Cache Plugin:
You have the option of storing the static elements of your product pages on the client side. For example the logo. This reduces the number of server requests to display your web pages.
The principle is simple: during the first visit to the WooCommerce store, the static files are stored on the user’s browser. On the next visit, the page is displayed almost instantly because there are fewer queries to be made on the server. It’s a powerful way to optimize the loading time.
To get the benefit of caching, there are several available to create a cache system: Breeze — free WordPress cache plugin, for example.
4. Integrate WordPress CDN:
Content Delivery Network (CDN) is another important parameter to Improve WooCommerce Store Performance that is not used enough by the WooCommerce stores. The operation of the WordPress CDN is as follows: instead of loading all the elements of a page from a single server, one goes through a network of servers located in many data centers around the world.
Why? The farther the user is from the server, the longer the loading time will be. Through multiple servers, the CDN can deliver cached pages from the server or servers closest to each visitor. Your static content is therefore available in a maximum of places around the world.
5. Group CSS and JS Files:
This leads to few positive things but also to an increase in the weight of your store and therefore its slowness. Just as we explained to you for the images, it is necessary to reduce the weight of these files as much as possible by grouping the code.
6. Make Use of CSS Sprites:
Improving WooCommerce Store Performance also means using the so-called CSS Sprites technique. This practice, widely used in video games before (2D), allows the use of a single image that contains several others. It is the web designer who selects the image he wants to use for the “background-position” property.
More concretely, imagine your WooCommerce store having Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, RSS, and YouTube for example. Instead of having an image for each button, you will be able to gather these six images into a single file. You can then use a single image file for all the icons mentioned above.
7. Lighten Pages to the Maximum
As the saying goes, what counts is not quantity but quality. It is recommended to avoid overloading your WooCommerce store with too many videos, sliders, images, or even commercials as this slows the speed of your store considerably. Efficiency does not mean overload, which is more in the field of the web.
Privileged lightweight and simple pages, will only improve your visibility but also the speed of loading your store.
8. Database Optimization :
Databases store your content like your product images, blog posts, configurations, etc. The problem is that as they work, they create heavy files that can be optimized. That’s why it is best to optimize your WooCommerce database. In addition, be sure to configure your database server.
So build your tables well, do some things efficiently and reliably (if you code by hand), and feel free to optimize it from time to time via SQL queries that you can find on the Internet. Same, set the customer ratios in your configuration as well as the different strategic points.
Note that you can optimize the WooCommerce store using the WP-DBManager plugin which is available in the WordPress plugins directory.
9. Subdomains for Assets:
Another optimization for images or the media in general: is the creation of subdomains dedicated to the assets. When you connect to a web page, your browser defaults to a certain number of subdomain connections (4, 6, 8 …). It’s kind of a queue of HTTP requests. This puts limits because it has to wait until a request is completed so that it can launch another.
However, if you set up several subdomains for your images and videos, for example, this will allow you to start multiple groups of HTTP connections simultaneously, which will allow one side to manage and create a queue for them: queries “standard”.
And on the other, to make a different queue for your requests: “images/assets”. This makes it possible to share resources in some way.
10. Enable Gzip compression:
Fortunately, Gzip compression helps to reduce the size of the data. If Gzip is enabled on your server, the compressed version of the requested web page or file is loaded on the browser.
Then the browser decompresses the received data before interpreting them. Finally, Gzip compression helps to reduce the size of the information transmitted, and thus significantly reduces the loading time.
With these 10 ways, you are sure to optimize the Improve WooCommerce Store Performance of your WooCommerce. Other techniques can be put in place to go further in the optimization: server cache, etc. But if you put in place the ones we covered in this article, then you have already done most of the work.
About Author :
Saud Razzak is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spreading knowledge, and educating people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet.