No one likes to wait. And that’s especially true when it comes to your website.
It’s important to have a fast website for a number of reasons. It improves the user experience. It reduces bounce rate. And it helps your site rank higher.
TTFB, also known as time to first byte, is one way to measure your website’s performance. This blog will explain how to reduce server response time (TTFB) and provide WordPress plugin recommendations.
What Is TTFB?
Time to First Byte (TTFB) is the total amount of time from the start of the request to when the first byte is received back from the response.
Why Is TTFB Important?
You probably already are aware of the importance of website performance. TTFB is also important because it contributes to the overall performance and speed of your site. If your site has slow TTFB, then it will cause users to have a less than ideal experience of the site. No one likes to wait.
Determining Your TTFB
The easiest way to find out the TTFB of your site is by using online testing tools, such as GTmetrix or WebPageTest.
When testing the site in GTmetrix, click on the performance tab and then scroll down to the browser timings section. If testing the site using WebPageTest, click on the first-byte section and it will show the TTFB of the site.
TTFB From GTmetrix
TTFB From WebPageTest
Another Way to Find TTFB
Another great way to find out the TTFB without any plugins, images, or themes affecting the TTFB is to test using readme.html. This can be found in the public_html folder of the site from WordPress.
The URL to test with to get the readme.html TTFB result would be:
Cons Of A High TTFB
High TTFB on your site will cause site users to have a degraded, slow experience. This means that pages on your site will be slow to load for users. The slow speed can end up causing users to drop off. In the case of ecommerce sites, it will cause customers to abandon carts on the site and hurt your sales.
High TTFB would be anything which is slower than 600ms. A more common range would be 300-500ms. Typically on sites hosted on Hostdedi, the TTFB will be well under 300ms.
Server Response Times (TTFB)
How To Reduce Server Response Times In WordPress (TTFB)
After you have tested the site using GTmetrix or WebPageTest, look in the waterfall. See if you find any slow responses, or any slow third party external scripts that are running on your site.
See if the slow responses are being caused by your active theme or if they are from frontend requests being made by active plugins on your site.
Slow admin-ajax.php requests being made by active plugins on the site can increase the server response time. Also, admin-ajax.php requests are not going to be helped by any caching that might be running on your sites, such as a full page cache or Redis object caching.
Admin-ajax.php frontend requests can be cached and are commonly caused by plugins using it for updating a feature on the site or a popup plugin that is using it for tracking analytics.
Reduce Server Response Times With WordPress Plugins
Plugins that can help improve TTFB would be any full-page caching plugins, such as:
Enabling full-page caching will improve your site’s TTFB.
WordPress Plugins to Host Web Fonts Locally
You can locally host web fonts using plugins such as Flying Fonts or OMGF. If you are using Google Analytics, you can locally host those using plugins such as Flying Analytics or CAOS.
If you’re hosting web fonts or third party scripts locally, then you can control those with browser caching rules in place on the site’s .htaccess file.
With third party external requests, you have no control over how long those requests will take. Since those are not being served locally, then you can not control those. 500 server errors will not help your site load time if the site can not be loaded correctly.
Additionally, redirects in your site’s waterfall set of requests can create a slower site. Those should be reduced to as minimal an amount as possible.
If you can find specific site assets which should not be loading on the homepage — examples would be payment scripts or form scripts — then those can be disabled, which will help optimize the site to be faster, since the fewer sites requests the faster it will load.
Host With Hostdedi for Lightning Fast Load Times
Consider fully managed WordPress hosting by Hostdedi, which will accelerate your site’s server response time. Get with premium image compression, a built-in CDN, and advanced caching to improve your site’s performance.
Online shopping is easy, convenient, and continues to grow massively. If you’re not already selling online, you are probably considering it. Maybe you’ve got reservations about it.
There’s a lot to think about — does your preferred platform meet your needs? Is it affordable right out of the box? Are upgrades beyond your budget’s limits? Most importantly, is the back end user friendly?
Keep reading for a deep dive on two great open source options for your ecommerce store: WooCommerce and StoreBuilder by Hostdedi. This blog will help you decide which one’s right for you.
Why Your Ecommerce Choices Make A Difference
First things first: Everyone is capable of building an online store. Just like a lease for a brick and mortar building, your store has to live somewhere.
If you’ve never built a store before, there may be some providers you’ve already heard of. You might be tempted to commit to one of them because they offer cheap hosting, boast ease of use, and are well known.
There’s a few reasons why you should take a second look at what you’re signing up for. Outside of the hidden costs of cheap hosting, choosing a web host requires understanding your needs.
If you’re reading this, you’re one of the three different types of people building sites:
The seasoned, tech savvy type who can do everything themselves.
The tech-comfy type who can handle some changes on their own.
The newcomer who needs access to tools but wants to get going fast.
These three types have probably encountered the $5 monthly deals and unlimited plans. And that, in truth, may be okay for them. However, the moment your products become in-demand, your basic DIY plans can put you in choppy waters.
Can you handle issues that come up on a totally DIY host? Do you want full access to your site?
There are plenty of options out there. When it comes to digital commerce, not all hosts are created equal. Below, we’ll highlight two great open source options for ecommerce sites that work for virtually everyone: StoreBuilder and WooCommerce.
Both are built on WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS, and both are available through Hostdedi, your digital commerce experts.
Why You’d Want to Choose StoreBuilder
StoreBuilder is the fastest and easiest way to create an online store on WordPress. Of course you can build a store on WooCommerce too, but StoreBuilder is geared towards the new kids on the block.
It has everything you need to get started quickly.
Think of it this way. When you start a video game, you have to go through tutorials, you don’t have the good weapons yet, and you can’t wait to level up. You might need some help figuring out where to go next. You probably want to get to the “good parts” of the game fairly quickly.
With StoreBuilder, you get all the resources and tools you need to “level up” right out of the box — and you’ll never look like you’re playing “easy” mode even though it’s a breeze.
Here’s why StoreBuilder might be a good fit for you, if you’re new to the space.
Simplified WP Admin
For newcomers, a straightforward navigation system is important. You want to be able to find what you need so you can make changes to your site fast.
Hostdedi took a look at the admin panel and simplified it so everything you need is right there in StoreBuilder. It’s simple and easy to use.
Plugins are what make WordPress and WooCommerce sites adaptable and highly customizable.
What’s great about WooCommerce is that it has a huge library of plugins that make your site as customizable and innovative as you want it to be. WordPress.org has thousands of plugins — but, you may be overwhelmed by the volume of plugins and themes to choose from.
If you’re new to the community, you’re not going to know what they all are or how using them can impact your site’s performance.
Problem solved — with StoreBuilder, you’re given a full set of tools that are proven to work well together and not bog down your site’s page load time. You get everything you want without risking breaking your site.
Plus, you’ll get access to Hostdedi’ exclusive Plugin Performance Monitor. It lets you know what plugins are causing a site disturbance — and how to fix it.
Customizability That’s Easy
StoreBuilder provides you with a premium theme — Kadence Theme Pro — that you make your own. With drag-and-drop designs and easily configured blocks, your ecommerce site is generated by questions you answer. Our wizard takes industry trends into account when generating your site — and the final say is always yours.
If you’re attracted to the “ease” of Shopify but think WooCommerce sounds difficult, we’d love to prove you wrong!
You can make beautiful, dynamic sites by answering a few simple questions and adding your colors and images. Best of all — you don’t need to make a brand new site if you decide to change providers down the line.
Updates and Security
Is it helpful to get an email if one of your plugins gets bugged? Can you risk losing functionality, even only temporarily, if a version is no longer compatible? Are you protecting your customer data — and therefore retaining brand reputation?
When you use StoreBuilder, we provide automatic updates and bundle your resources with iThemes security. That means you’re still enjoying the freedom of the open source community but getting tools that go lightyears beyond industry-standard protection.
It’s well known that consumers won’t use a site without that tiny padlock in the browser. If your site can’t be trusted, customers won’t buy. And once a provider has had a breach, trust in the brand diminishes — take for instance GoDaddy’s recent data breach.
Whatever you choose, just remember that security is key to ecommerce success.
Another facet that goes hand in hand with security is updating. Making sure you have the latest versions, security patches, and updates that fix bugs mean that your site is never giving an experience that reduces quality or puts users at risk.With StoreBuilder, you not only get security features — but we automatically update them for you!
Why You’d Want to Choose WooCommerce
If you’ve built a few stores, you likely don’t need a helpful wizard or the 101 courses. Maybe you’re an advanced user who doesn’t want to waste time updating when you can be working. Maybe you’re still new, but can still navigate some of the technical hiccups you’d experience if you were doing this alone.
That’s where fully managed WooCommerce hosting comes in — you get the luxury of having the dirty work done for you. Think of it as a friendly butler that knows when to show up with coffee and when to let you handle things on your own.
Here’s why managed WooCommerce might be your best bet.
Less Hand Holding, More Hands on Deck
When you choose StoreBuilder, you get a helpful roadmap. If you’ve been through a tutorial enough times, you probably don’t need that.
With Managed WooCommerce, you still have access to assistance — but you and your team are freed up to focus on what you do best: build stores.
Don’t worry about the little rote tasks like checking up on versions and updates. Nevermind about renewing your SSL certificates. Managed hosting takes care of that.
Keep your mind focused on what you need to complete for your clients, and let us handle the details.
Plans That Accommodate More, More, More!
If you’re building multiple sites, that means having to keep an eye on all of them. Updating sites individually can take time. With multiple site plans, increased storage, and expanded bandwidth, managed WooCommerce has an option for everyone.
You may be a seasoned WP professional, but everyone has questions once in a while. Managed WooCommerce support are Woo experts! When you run into a problem, our 24/7/365 hosting support is there for you, beyond the open source Woo community available to you.
More Features For Users That Need It
The more you create, the more you’ll need. Multiple stores mean multiple vendors, more trends to track. It can get overwhelming. Higher tier plans gain access to Glew.io reporting, Dokan Pro, Custom Order Tables, and Elastisearch.
If you’ve been making ecommerce stores for a while, you are probably comfortable with a page builder, and you probably have a preferred plugin stack — you’ve done serious work.
Everything above our starter plans has Beaver Builder Page Builder, additional Beaver Builder Modules, and feature-rich product listing courtesy of IconicWP.
Want to use them? Great. Don’t want them? You have the freedom of using your preferred block builders.
The Freedom To Do More
All these features are what make managed WooCommerce so great for ecommerce site builders. While you’re saving time ignoring the minor stuff, you have time to test new features, ensure your site is following modern website design trends, and making sure your site is the best it can be.
Because WooCommerce runs off open source code, you’re not limited to licenses and fees that you’ll pay on other platforms. Migrations are easy. Staging is easy. Everything is EASY! Because it’s easy, you can continue to improve without limitations.
WordPress isn’t just for blogging. Many big brands use WordPress ecommerce to run their websites.
WordPress offers powerful and customizable solutions for businesses of any size from small start-up retailers to multinational enterprise companies.
Looking for inspiration to build your online store with WordPress? Keep reading to see the top reasons big brands use WordPress, along with five ecommerce WordPress examples.
Why Big Brands Use WordPress
WordPress runs nearly half of the websites on the internet. What makes the content management system so popular? As an open source ecommerce platform, WordPress offers benefits and flexibility that proprietary website builders and ecommerce platforms cannot.
Benefits of using WordPress include:
Cost. WordPress is free. You only pay for WordPress hosting and any premium themes or plugins. Proprietary web platforms often require annual or monthly subscriptions. They also limit the number of visitors, transactions, or user accounts.
Control. With WordPress, you maintain complete control and ownership of your data.
Customization. Since WordPress is open source, enterprises can modify the code as needed. WordPress is infinitely customizable. Even if you’re uncomfortable with modifying the core WordPress code, you can still customize your site with plugins.
Themes and Plugin Options. Because of WordPress’s popularity, the platform has one of the largest markets for premium themes and plugins. With so many choices, WordPress users don’t have any problems picking the perfect theme or finding a plugin to activate a certain feature or complete an integration.
Community. WordPress has a robust and active user community. User communities help companies in two ways. First, when troubleshooting an issue, you can find a solution on a support forum or YouTube channel. Many developers and agencies create quality content and tutorials to help you learn how to use WordPress. You can also find tutorials from the Hostdedi team on this blog, including how to set up a WordPress store. Second, an active community helps with recruiting. The larger a platform’s user base, the easier it is to find and hire developers.
Scalability. WordPress and WooCommerce offer limitless possibilities. Assuming you have quality hosting and plugins, you shouldn’t experience problems with scaling WooCommerce for enterprise-level sales volumes.
5 Ecommerce WordPress Examples from Big Brands
WordPress’ versatile platform powers everything from food blogs to major news sites. Here are five examples of big brands using WordPress ecommerce. Each of these sites uses the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce enables businesses to add ecommerce functionality to any WordPress site.
1. Dr. Scholl’s
People around the world recognize this iconic foot care brand. For more than 100 years, Dr. Scholl’s has provided shoe inserts and other treatments. The brand added an ecommerce function to their existing WordPress website with the help of WooCommerce. Now customers can easily find and purchase the best products to help alleviate their problems.
Originally developed for plastic pipette jars for science labs, Nalgene quickly grew into one of the most popular outdoor brands. Their BPA-free water bottles continue to increase in popularity as consumers look for more sustainable and eco-friendly products. Nalgene’s WordPress ecommerce site lets buyers view their wide selection of products and even customize bottles.
Best known for their shiny aluminum travel trailers, Airstream also sells campsites and other accessories directly through their website. So while you’ll still need to go into a dealership to buy an RV, their WordPress-powered site offers a selection of camping gear, T-shirts, and home goods for the inside of your trailer.
Like Nalgene, JOCO cups and containers increased in popularity as consumers looked for environmentally friendly options. JOCO products contain no plastic and come in various colors. Their clean and easy WordPress site lets customers preview all the different options.
You don’t actually have to sell anything on your website to utilize WooCommerce’s platform. Hot dog fast-food chain Wienerschnitzel uses WordPress and the WooCommerce ecommerce plugin to highlight their menu items and provide nutritional information.
A Better and Faster Way to Set Up WordPress Ecommerce
Setting up a WordPress ecommerce website doesn’t require hiring a team of developers or spending hours writing code. With StoreBuilder by Hostdedi, you can launch your store in as little as a day.
Just answer a few simple questions about your business, and StoreBuilder automatically sets up a WooCommerce site. You don’t have to worry about installing WordPress and then configuring WooCommerce. StoreBuilder does the work for you.
StoreBuilder installs and activates all the plugins you need to build a beautiful and functional store. The Hostdedi ecommerce experts vet each plugin to ensure they work flawlessly for small to enterprise-grade businesses.
StoreBuilder also includes a selection of premium themes to ensure your site looks as good as the ecommerce examples above from big brands.
One thing all of the examples from big companies have in common is they didn’t start out dominating the market. Building a business takes time. WordPress is an excellent platform for new or early-stage companies because the platform can grow with your business.
StoreBuilder, along with Hostdedi’ hosting services, can support your business as your online store grows. It’s the easiest way to open an online store with WordPress.
Not all of us were Scouts, and even fewer of us are always prepared. When it comes to building our ecommerce sites, there’s always something we forgot, can do better, and most importantly: learn. A lot of store owners only worry about their site at the last minute — shortly before the holidays and major commerce events.
In this article, we’ll talk about ecommerce best practices that can help your store succeed all year long.
There are many tips and tricks to improve your ecommerce site. You can:
Let’s talk about why it’s important to monitor your online store and keep it current with these ecommerce best practices.
Technical Ecommerce Best Practices
1. Pick A Great Hosting Provider
Maybe you found a great deal on hosting during Cyber Week. Maybe you’ve been with the same one for years. Are you using the best platform for ecommerce? Don’t wait till Halloween to get a scary surprise.
Check in on your site performance. You want hosting that is secure, fast, and has great hosting support if things go wrong. You also want a provider that doesn’t kill your site if you hit your limit. Look for an option like Hostdedi, which autoscales to meet your needs when you get a big traffic surge.
Look at complaints from customers. Are they happy with the experience your site provides? What can be done about it? Is it a simple fix, or is your hosting provider just not cutting it?
Check reviews, look up testimonials, and determine whether or not your current provider is meeting your needs. Is your site slow despite optimizing? Finding out your unlimited plan is feeling a little limited? Paying upcharges for everything or pushed into products you don’t want or need? It may be time to look for a new provider.
If we could shout this from our rooftops to everyone with an ecommerce store, we would. Testing is a SUPER important ecommerce best practice.
We like Webpagetest.org and Google Lighthouse, but there are plenty of tools and options out there. Good tools give you insights and lead you to resources that will help you fix problems, not just report on them.
Whether you’re looking at your waterfall, security scores, or test case results, knowing what’s wrong is just as important as fixing it. You can gauge whether or not you can handle it yourself, or hand it off to your developers. You’ll be able to tell exactly what is maxing out your resources, where your security has holes, or whether some of your site elements aren’t working properly.
Why do you need to know that? It can prevent your customers from completing purchases. When it comes to online stores, hiccups cost you revenue.
Running tests on your site can help you nail down the specific reasons your site is running slowly. Maybe it’s a plugin you’ve installed, maybe it’s gigantic image files that haven’t been compressed, or maybe it’s a security issue. Whatever it is, optimizing your site is important for a LOT of reasons.
For starters, site optimization helps you rank better in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google take into account a lot of factors while scanning sites. Your site performance, SEO friendliness, and site structure are among the things they look at while putting sites in the most relevant order for people searching the web.
A site audit takes time. Going through all your content (or code) is time consuming. Giving yourself (or your web developers) enough runway isn’t just considerate, it’s smart. A rush job is frequently not a thorough job.
If you’re doing this ahead of time — or better yet, regularly —you’ve got a way better chance of securing potential customers. The easier it is to find you, the easier it is to buy from you.
We’ve got a ton of resources about SEO optimization for your ecommerce site, including these great articles and eBooks:
4. Update Everything, Backup Regularly
Hostdedi customers don’t have to worry about keeping things updated and backed up. With fully managed hosting, we take care of all that for you. It’s one of the reasons we’re one of the best platforms for ecommerce.
Keeping up with the most up-to-date versions means you have access to the newest features. Bugs are fixed and it improves your compatibility. All of this helps provide a better experience for current and potential customers. Simply put, staying current is one of the most important ecommerce best practices.
Don’t forget to backup your site, either. When you’re on your own, it’s on you to fix or delegate the job, and there’s nothing more important than a safe and functioning version of your site.
5. Check Out Your Checkout
In a brick and mortar store, everyone hates the cart with the wonky wheel. In an ecommerce store, if your cart doesn’t work … you’re not making the sale.
Ensure any plugins you use aren’t causing problems — and check with your payment processor. Are there errors? Has the API changed? Do you have disk space issues causing you to be unable to record orders? Knowing sooner is way better than later.
Business Ecommerce Best Practices
6. Know Your Inventory and Supply Chain Issues
What’s in stock should always be a priority, but it is heavily focused on during the holidays because people tend to want their gifts delivered on time. We all know that since the pandemic started, supply chain issues have been a bigger problem than ever.
Knowing what you have and keeping tabs on what your site says you have prevents unhappy customer interactions. This is true all year round. You should always have eyes on inventory management.
Going into your WooCommerce dashboard and checking the numbers listed against what is actually in stock ensures customers can’t overbuy — and you won’t have committed to an order you can’t fulfill.
This is a great time to enable the “backorder” option, so customers are aware if there’s a wait on a product they want. Make sure you plan sales or other promotions around times you can reliably expect to have stock.
Check in with your fulfillment partners regularly. Make sure there are no issues or surprises. We’ve already mentioned supply chain issues, but it’s worth repeating. Foster good business relationships with your fulfillment partners so you always know where you stand.
Since the supply chain issues have been a steady problem since the pandemic began, most online retailers have a good idea of how long it takes to get their stock in and shipped out to customers. Whether or not it’s a holiday, you should regularly check in on how long it takes your items to get to you, as well as delivered to your customers.
7. Keep *ALL* Your Content Fresh
If you’ve got a blog, an ecommerce best practice is to perform content audits regularly. Refresh your blogs, add new content, and track what performs well. These are all critical to a strong ecommerce content strategy.
A lot of the content your customers will see is emailed to them. Log in to your email marketing accounts and dashboards to ensure they can accommodate expected new subscribers around promotions. Make sure you’re not being sent to spam.
Update your automatic email copy! Anything sent to your customers that’s autogenerated is probably not looked at as often as it should. Check now, check regularly, and avoid looking unprofessional.
Same goes for forms (and make sure they’re working)! Anything involving customer data collection should ALWAYS be checked regularly. You don’t want to lose out on customers because of something easily fixable.
Check on non-store integrations too. The API for Instagram, for example, changes frequently. Anything pulling data from your site or accounts should be connected properly. This is another reason why staying on top of updates and using the most recent version is so important.
Customer service content should also be routinely updated. Whether it’s sizing charts, FAQs, return policies — whatever! Any changes you decide on need to be communicated effectively and available to your customers.
8. Promote Internally
Your customers aren’t only purchasing from you around the holidays (unless, of course, you exclusively sell Christmas trees). Promos happen all year long.
A great online store should have a great ecommerce marketing plan. That being said, marketing isn’t just advertisements. Whether it’s for a special event, a campaign, or to meet a quarterly goal, your entire business rests on customers buying your products. Ensuring they can do that (especially during a sale) is a great way to build customer retention.
Letting them know what’s on sale and what great deals you have not only informs your customers, it helps you make money. Upsells and cross sells can help rake in dough — it’s a great idea to add them to your product and cart pages.
Utilize sitewide banners, pop-ups, etc. but don’t forget to check on their connections regularly. If you want them to work for you, they need to be working. The Hostdedi Plugin Performance Monitor is stellar at letting you know if something has gone awry.
Schedule your sales and set up coupons ahead of when you want them — like we said before, rush jobs usually lack quality. It also gives your team time to test if everything is working correctly.
9. More Ideas To Keep Traffic Flowing
Everyone remembers great ads, but it’s hard to stand out with so many stores selling the same items. Not everyone has a full social media marketing team or a PR agency to help build brand awareness.
Promoting Your Business With Podcasts
Some great ideas to keep your business on people’s minds include involving yourself with other brands. A great example of this is using podcasts to build your audience. If you’re selling a product you know will solve a pain point for consumers, it’s time to do some research.
Look into podcasts that discuss interests related to your products, send a pitch to the creators, and start helping people learn about your products.
The key to being a great podcast guest is making sure you don’t slam listeners with attempts to sell. Podcasters will feature guests that add value to their content.
For example, if you sell running shoes, look up fitness podcasts. Offer to discuss the top five gifts for runners this season. Come prepared with features, reasons why your products are good for XYZ customers — and sell without selling.
Be a Socially Responsible Brand
Another great idea actually sounds like the opposite of making money. Involving your brand with charities is a great way to spark interest in your store.
Ever order from Domino’s? There’s always an upsell in their carts to donate to St. Jude’s Hospital. Been to a local restaurant lately? Chances are there’s a donation box for a local charity. People like to feel like they’re doing something good.
Giving Tuesday is an annual event that is an easy and fast way to involve yourself with a good cause and your community. Sandwiched between the major commerce holidays, it’s a day where people across the globe give back. Partnering with a nonprofit not only helps a good cause, it also helps employee and customer retention.
Now more than ever, people are attracted to companies that are involved with “Corporate Social Responsibility” projects. Involving your business with it can mean expanded brand reach, boosted sales, and brand loyalty. If you raise money for a charity, whether through employee contributions or a drive, donations are usually tax deductible.
You know commerce. And now you know ecommerce best practices.
We know hosting. If you’re done with cheap hosting but still want fast and easy, come check out why WordPress users trust Hostdedi fully managed hosting. We don’t call ourselves your digital ecommerce experts for nothing.
With our scalability, security, speed, and support you’ll go from putting out fires….
… to being on fire (in a good way)!
Whether you’re building a site from scratch or have an existing one you’d like to migrate over, we’ve got you covered. Check out our fully managed WooCommerce hosting plans to get started today.
Redis cache is one of the most popular caching tools used to speed up WordPress websites. Like WordPress, it’s open source, so it is a great option to use alongside WordPress.
However, if you are not familiar with caching in general, it can be a bit overwhelming to understand what Redis is for and how Redis cache works.
In this article, you will learn what Redis cache is and why it’s one of the most popular caching tools available today.
We’ll start with a brief explanation of caching in general and then dive deeper into how Redis cache works and how Redis Cache can be used to speed up your WordPress website.
What is Caching?
To get started, what is caching? Caching is a temporary storage mechanism that allows websites to load information faster. Instead of accessing the database directly, the website will access the cached version and pull the necessary information from the server memory.
So, what is Redic cache? When it comes to Redis, Redis is short for Remote Dictionary Server. Redis is a caching system that works by temporarily storing information in a key-value data structure.
Redis cache is popular because it is available in almost all major programming languages. In addition, like WordPress, it is open source, which means it is a well-supported system that is a brilliant way to speed up your website or application without incurring a high cost.
What is Redis Used For?
Redis is used for speeding up website page load time for users. When it comes to WordPress websites, it is mainly used as a caching system to temporarily store information that would usually sit in a database. This way, it can be loaded much faster rather than having to access the database directly.
While Redis cache is primarily used as a caching system to speed up WordPress websites, Redis itself is much more powerful than that. It can also be used as a database and a message broker, but in this article, we will focus on Redis and how it is used as a caching mechanism.
Redis cache shines when used with WordPress websites as an object caching tool. Since WordPress is such a powerful and flexible Content Management System, it has lots of data objects that need to be accessed regularly.
What is Object Caching?
An object in programming terminology is an abstract data structure that the programmer defines.
For example, in WordPress, there are many objects such as Posts, Pages, or users. When using WooCommerce, you have even more objects such as Products or Orders. These objects are stored in the database and accessed multiple times while you use your WordPress website.
Object caching allows you to keep the objects in temporary memory so that you do not need to go back to the database to access the data.
How Does Redis Cache Work With Object Caching?
Since WordPress works with many types of objects, each time those objects need to be accessed, your website has to access the database to retrieve the information. Redis makes this faster by temporarily storing the retrieved data. Then, next time your website needs this information, your website can access it from the temporary storage instead of having to access it from the database.
This will significantly speed up your WordPress website since accessing your website database using SQL queries is a lot slower than accessing the needed information via the Redis object caching system.
One area where this is tremendously helpful is the WordPress admin panel. If you have thousands of posts or products, Redis object cache will help speed up your backend so that you can update your website fast.
Without Redis cache, every time you log in to your backend, you would need WordPress to access the various objects in the database. This will eventually lead to slower load times as the amount of content on your website increases.
How Does Redis Work?
So now that you know what Redis cache is and what Redis is for, we can dive a bit deeper into learning exactly how Redis cache works.
The key to understanding how Redis cache works is to know how a dictionary works in programming. A dictionary is a data structure with two linked elements — a key and a value. In short, the key is used to access the value.
How Redis cache works is by assigning the original database query as the key and then resulting data as the value. Now, the Redis system can access the resulting database call by using the key which it has stored in its built-in temporary memory.
Now, this specific database call is ready to be reaccessed as many times as needed without running the database query again. Depending on the Redis cache setup, this can stay in memory for a few hours, a few minutes, or longer.
Redis also has a built-in system to ensure the database call is up-to-date by having built-in settings that will clear the WordPress cache either when the content is updated or in specifically timed intervals.
How Do I Use Redis Cache for My Website?
Now that you know what Redis cache is, it’s important to know how to use it with your WordPress website. In short, you will need to set up the Redis cache system on the server that is hosting your website server.
While there are a lot of resources available to explain this process, unfortunately, it is not an easy task and will require some advanced server management skills.
It’s also essential to ensure that you have Redis cache setup correctly and optimized for WordPress websites. Otherwise, you can risk experiencing some unexpected behaviors on your websites, such as outdated pages or some pages not loading accurately.
When it comes to installing and setting up Redis cache, we recommend you leave this in the hands of server experts.
Get Built-In Caching With Hostdedi
We know how important it is to have a fast-loading website, and we also know Redis cache — seriously, we’re pros!
That’s why here at Hostdedi, we offer built-in Redis object cache with all of our fully managed WordPress hosting plans. Hosting with Hostdedi means that your websites will load blazing fast and you won’t have to worry about setting up Redis correctly.
With Hostdedi’ built-in caching, the heavy lifting is done for you — we ensure the Redis cache is set up correctly so that you can focus on your business.
Try Fully Managed WordPress Hosting from Hostdedi
We hope this article has helped in getting Redis cache explained, and we look forward to having you onboard one of our Hostdedi plans. Try our fully managed WordPress hosting if you are looking to speed up your website. With Hostdedi, you will have a blazingly fast website and save yourself lots of time and frustration.
We are experts in WordPress hosting and ensure that your WordPress website is always up to date, fast, and secure.
With our industry-leading visual comparison system and our award-winning 24/7/365 WordPress support, you can rest assured your website is working the way it should.
WordPress Codex is the online manual for WordPress. It offers quick and easy reference material and setup guides for getting started with WordPress and more in-depth guides for building plugins and themes.
WP Tavern covers WordPress news related to WordPress releases and new features. You’ll also find plugin, theme, and template reviews, so it’s a good place to check when you’re looking for a theme or a plugin.
WP Buffs offers a range of management services for your WordPress website. With one-time fixes to ongoing monthly maintenance plans, you can rest assured your website will be backed up, updated, and protected.
If you’re interested in learning more about WordPress SEO (search engine optimization), be sure to check out this Facebook group.
Final Thoughts: 27 Best WordPress Resources You Need To Upgrade Your Skills
There is no shortage of fantastic WordPress resources suitable for beginners and experienced WordPress users. If you’re just getting started, be sure to check out the beginner resources.
If you prefer visual learning, WordPress courses and YouTube channels are a great place to start. And if you want to mingle with other WordPress users, consider joining some of the communities we’ve listed in this article.
TikTok reached 1 billion monthly active users in September 2021. It’s one of only a handful of apps to reach this goal, and what’s even more impressive is just how fast it grew. That is a 45% increase compared to their July 2020 user base.
Coupled with this incredible growth are multiple TikTok updates introduced to improve ecommerce on the platform.
TikTok for ecommerce is still new, with many shopping features introduced in September 2021.
So how can you use TikTok for ecommerce? There are a few ways you can use TikTok for your online store. We’ll go over how to use the app with your website and what features we’re most excited about.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
TikTok Plans To Focus on Ecommerce for Growth
Billions of users like finding new brands and items on the hashtag TikTok Made Me Buy It. TikTok found that users who discover products through their app are 1.7x more likely to buy them.
TikTok is taking advantage of this rise in social commerce by introducing features like TikTok Shopping, allowing users to shop within the app.
The business tools also let brands link items directly from a video and live stream shopping to connect with your target audience and create a curated ad collection.
Many of these features are borrowed from the Chinese version of the app, Douyin, which tripled ecommerce sales in 2020 to over 500 billion yuan ($78 billion).
But TikTok for ecommerce businesses isn’t quite the same as it is on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. The content has a greater focus on authenticity, and users want their video ad experience to blend in with the rest of their content.
Key Features of TikTok To Take Advantage Of
Like other social media platforms, TikTok has both advertisement and organic tools that can help you grow your brand.
TikTok for Business
TikTok Shopping is available in the U.S. and U.K. markets, but it plans to roll it out to more users. However, there are other features to take advantage of to showcase your products.
With the existing TikTok for Business suite, you can create in-feed ads that show up when the algorithm finds a user it believes will match your target audience. You can manage your TikTok ads yourself and see how your campaigns perform through metrics.
Don’t forget about TikTok’s Promote tool to boost organic content and increase video views. You can create an ad campaign for existing videos that have already performed well to a new audience.
Organic TikTok Features
TikTok has been allowing videos that last up to three minutes since July 2021. Longer video formats mean more time to share your product or service, build brand awareness, or even create a complete demonstration or how to post.
Some countries will now have the option to upload in HD. Share higher quality videos to stand out from your competitors. The recent TikTok update to editing also adds features like GIPHY in green screen and in-app enhancements to videos.
How To Use TikTok for Ecommerce Stores
TikTok is the next big social media network businesses should be looking into. It already offers social commerce and can become an additional channel for your store.
You may be able to sell directly in the app already, but if the feature isn’t available in your region yet, you can still use TikTok for marketing and linking to your own website.
TikTok might be good for your business. Work with your customer profiles to determine if you could be increasing traffic or sales with the channel.
Just keep in mind that if you primarily sell to older customers or deal with B2B businesses, the work required for TikTok-specific advertising might not yield the returns desired. The app still leans strongly toward a younger demographic, and most users are Gen Z or young Millenials.
If you decide to jump into TikTok, track how much time and money it takes and see how it affects your sales numbers. Keeping track of your sales data and noting how different campaigns affect them is important to understanding the big picture.
Take a look at competitors’ videos and see what type of content they’re creating. Some brands work with existing TikTok influencers, while others create their own material.
What features are they using? Keep an eye on trends within the platform but don’t try to copy everyone, especially if it has nothing to do with your product.
Final Thoughts: TikTok for Ecommerce — Understanding the Newest Platform
It might seem intimidating to jump into a new social media platform for business, but TikTok does represent a huge audience of active and engaged users.
Even if you don’t think it’s the right outreach for your ecommerce store, it’s important to keep track of the trends TikTok is leading and take advantage of them. Its focus on shorter, video-based ads has changed advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
If you already love using the TikTok app, it might be easier for you to come up with relevant content for your new products or figure out how to jump on a hashtag challenge.
Alternatively, you might be a TikTok superstar who’s thinking about jumping into creating your own ecommerce store for the first time. If so, Hostdedi’s Storebuilder could be a great way to help you create your own shop without needing a line of code.
As your fully managed hosting provider, Hostdedi wants to make you aware of critical vulnerabilities associated with specific Magento 2 versions and a WordPress plugin, UpdraftPlus. Keep reading to learn about these vulnerabilities, what you can do, and how Hostdedi is protecting your site and your data.
Magento 2 Vulnerabilities
On Sunday, February 13th, Adobe disclosed a critical RCE vulnerability in Magento 2 (CVE-2022-24086) and released an emergency patch. Teams across Hostdedi assembled and put together tooling to identify and patch impacted Magento 2 installations on Hostdedi Classic, Cloud, and Enterprise platforms. We completed patching efforts through February 15th and updated installation tooling for M2 to include the patch.
Then, on Thursday, February 17th, Adobe released a second emergency patch for Magento 2 (CVE-2022-24087) to further mitigate the RCE vulnerability. We reassembled teams at Hostdedi to begin immediately testing and applying the patch across Hostdedi Classic, Cloud, and Enterprise platforms. As of the evening of Thursday, February 17th and into the morning of the 18th, we have completed patching affected customers for CVE-2022-24087.
We encourage customers to please check their Magento 2 installations to understand if you are on a known vulnerable version and to verify that the patch was successfully applied. Although we have a high degree of confidence that we scoped in all vulnerable customer installations, the severity of this vulnerability warrants the additional validation on your part.
This vulnerability could allow any logged-in user, such as customer accounts, to download site backups created by the plugin, providing attackers access to sensitive data. They could potentially hijack vulnerable sites as well. This vulnerability received a high-severity CVSS score of 8.5 out of 10.
The plugin developer has released a patch in 1.22.3 (free version) and 2.22.3 (paid version). Because of the severity, the WordPress.org plugins team designated this a required update for users of the free plugin, so free UpdraftPlus users should see this update automatically. Premium users of the plugin are urged to update their plugin immediately if it hasn’t updated automatically.
We have released an update to our Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect customers until their sites can be updated, and we’ve also communicated to all our customers using UpdraftPlus to urge them to verify they have the latest version and update if needed.
We’re Here to Help
If you have any additional questions, please email us directly at [email protected], or contact us by telephone at 866-639-2377.
As your Managed Hosting provider, we’re working every day to keep your sites and stores fast, highly secure, and available. We recognize that when your business relies on the web, you deserve to have a provider you can rely on.
As always, we thank you for trusting us with your mission-critical sites and stores. We appreciate your business and will always have your back.
The field of ecommerce can be incredibly lucrative — when done right.
There’s a huge range of areas to consider when creating a successful ecommerce store, including SEO, advertising, and content marketing.
However, one of the most important areas to examine to improve your ecommerce store’s performance is user experience.
After all, online shopping is only as successful as it is convenient, so the user’s interactions with your website should be as streamlined and easy-to-use as possible.
Keep reading to learn the essential ecommerce UX best practices you need to know.
Ecommerce UX Best Practices
Make Navigation Intuitive
Call Out Special Product Offers and Sales
Consider Visual Appeal
Optimize Your CTAs
Simplify Your Checkout Process
Make Product Descriptions Thorough
Let’s look at these ecommerce UX best practices in more detail.
1. Make Navigation Intuitive
Shoppers often come to your website with a mission. Your website should help them find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible, or you risk them clicking away in frustration.
To make your navigation as intuitive as possible, follow standard conventions for website formatting. That means breaking your products down into clear categories and ensuring each page maintains a clear visual hierarchy. Also, include links to your social media profiles.
One of the largest ecommerce marketplaces, Etsy, offers upfront a clear list of product categories. This arrangement is especially successful because the user doesn’t have to click any buttons or hover to see categories — they’re all there from the beginning.
That style may not work for every type of ecommerce store, but it underscores how simplicity and utility win user experience.
If you haven’t already, it’s critical to include a search bar, preferably with search filtering features.
Navigation is essential on the home page, but it’s also important for every page after. That’s why you should use breadcrumbs or a roadmap displaying the user’s current position in relation to the home page.
Breadcrumbs are an ecommerce user experience best practice because they help users orient themselves in a website and encourage more browsing, and therefore more sales.
2. Call Out Special Product Offers and Sales
Especially as consumers are more concerned about value than ever, offering discounts can drive conversions and build loyalty.
Don’t bury sales under navigation categories. A banner or ad at the beginning of your ecommerce site that grabs the user’s attention gets them to click and spend more time on your online store, reducing your bounce rate.
Use large text and bright colors to call attention to your deals, and word the offer so that it’s immediately clear what value the user stands to gain.
3. Consider Visual Appeal
While you want your website to be attractive, the ecommerce UX best practice is not to overwhelm your audience with design elements. The website design should be simple and attractive.
Research-based user experience group Nielson Norman lays out the following UX design principles for an excellent website:
Scale: Communicate importance with size.
Visual hierarchy: Use scale, color, and text to guide the eye in an intended order.
Balance: Arrange elements with visually pleasing symmetry or asymmetry.
Contrast: Communicate differences with visual disparity.
Gestalt: Place contextually related elements closer together.
There are many ways to optimize visual appeal, but the bottom line for your ecommerce website is to prioritize simplicity and ease of use.
Finally, invest in high-quality photographs and product images. Even the slightest bit of pixelation or fuzz can lower your website’s perceived trustworthiness and quality.
4. Optimize Your CTAs
Your calls to action (CTA) are the smallest text on the page and the most critical. You want to make sure they’re persuasive and compelling from a sales standpoint.
From a customer experience standpoint, it’s important that your users know exactly what clicking the button will do. They should inspire trust along with the action.
So make your CTAs specific, and overcome potential objections (“it’s free,” “no credit card required,” “takes just minutes”). Social proof, like positive ratings or customer reviews near your CTA, can also help convert.
It is an ecommerce UX best practice to test various locations, headers, and copy to find the CTAs with the best conversion rates with your target audience.
5. Simplify Your Checkout Process
For your customers, shopping is the fun part — and paying less so. Once your user clicks “add to cart,” it’s important to make the checkout process as simple as possible.
24% of users abandon their shopping carts because they were required to create an account, so allow users to check out as a guest.
Other things that cause cart abandonment are surprise fees, high shipping costs, and searching for better prices. Be as transparent as possible about your pricing upfront, and make discount code boxes less noticeable.
6. Make Product Descriptions Thorough
It’s an ecommerce UX best practice to consider the buyer’s perspective when writing product copy. They want to feel confident in the decision they’re about to make.
You don’t want them to need to leave your website for more information, as there’s a good chance they won’t come back. So, provide all the information they may need on the product page to make a purchase decision.
Although your focus shouldn’t be on persuasion, you can use subtle sales tactics like free shipping over a certain amount.
Final Thoughts: UX Ecommerce Best Practices To Make Your Store More Successful
With an emphasis on making your customer’s journey pleasant as possible, your ecommerce business is sure to thrive.
Make sure to follow the ecommerce user experience best practices — make your navigation intuitive, call attention to sales, make it visually pleasing, optimize CTAs, simplify the checkout process, and craft thorough product descriptions.
If you’re creating a new ecommerce website, build a beautiful online store in minutes with Hostdedi’s StoreBuilder. It’s the fastest and easiest way to create an online store with WordPress.
Statista reports the average online order value for desktops in the U.S. jumped from $134.85 in Q2 2020 to $184.44 in Q2 2021. If you haven’t seen an improvement in your online order values, chances are you aren’t leveraging your Magento store for what it’s worth.
Magento helps you improve sales using strategically placed widgets for Related, Cross-sell, and Upsell products. But sometimes, these widgets can feel obvious and forced.
A better, more organic way to promote products is with the grouped product in Magento. It lets you provide your customers with convenience and helps you boost the average order value of your online store simultaneously.
Want to learn how?
Keep reading to learn:
Grouped Products in Magento 2 Explained
A grouped product in Magento is a collection of standalone products, called child products, sold as a group. They can be a mix of virtual, downloadable, or simple products from the catalog. The only requirement is that they shouldn’t contain custom options.
Although grouped products are a collection of items, each item is purchased separately and appears as such in the shopping cart.
For example, if you sell camera gear, you can create a grouped product consisting of a camera, tripod, memory card, and camera bag. Your customers will be able to add all the products to their cart in one click and configure each of the items individually.
Grouped vs. Bundle Products in Magento 2
Grouped products might seem similar to bundled products, but there’s a clear distinction between the two product types in Magento.
Although grouped products display as groups of items on a page, they’re sold as separate line items. Thus, shoppers can customize their quantities individually and remove the associated products individually even after adding them to the cart.
In contrast, customers can’t purchase the child products of a bundle product separately. You can let them configure the quantities for each Magento product before adding it to the cart.
But the product will display as a single line item in the cart, and customers won’t be able to remove items from the bundle.
Steps To Add a Grouped Product in Magento 2
Before adding a grouped product in Magento, make sure the products you want to sell as a grouped item exist in the catalog without product custom options.
Once you’ve done that, follow these steps:
Step 1: Select the Grouped Product Template
1. In the Magento admin, navigate to Catalog > Products.
2. Expand the Add Product menu and select the Grouped Product option from the list of Magento 2 product types.
Step 2: Assign an Attribute Set
Choose an attribute set for the grouped product on the New Product Template page.
Alternatively, create a new one using the Add Attribute button.
Step 3: Complete the Required Settings
1. Enter the values for the Product Name, SKU, and Quantity.
2. Set the Enable Product toggle to No and click Save to save the product. We’re not ready to publish the grouped product in Magento yet. (We’ll update this setting in the end once we’ve created the product.)
After saving, you should see the product name appear on the top of the page. You’ll also see the Store View option appear under the product name.
Assign a Store View using the dropdown or continue with the default value if you haven’t configured store views.
Step 4: Configure the Basic Settings
Configure the value for the following settings:
Stock Status: Set this value to In Stock.
Visibility: Set visibility to Catalog, Search.
Categories: Assign the grouped product to an existing category or create a new one using the New Category button.
Set Product as New From: Feature the product in the New Products List by assigning a date range.
Country of Manufacture: Assign the country of manufacture from the dropdown.
Step 5: Add Child Products to the Group
1. In the Grouped Products section, click Add Products to Group.
2. Use filters to find the products you want to include.
3. Once you’ve located the products, click on the checkbox beside them.
4. After selecting all products, click on the Add Selected Products button.
The newly created group of products will appear in the Grouped Products section. You can reorder them using the grid icon and remove product association by clicking Remove.
Step 6: Add the Optional Product Information
Expand the following sections and configure them as needed:
Content: Add the main product description and a short description.
Images and Videos: Upload product images here, rearrange them, and configure where each image displays on the storefront.
Search Engine Optimization: Customize the Grouped product URL Key, Meta Title, and Meta Description settings in this section.
Related Products, Up-Sells, and Cross-Sells: Set up promotional product blocks in this section by adding related products that might interest customers.
Customizable Options: Add customizable options here if you’d like to allow customers to add customizations to their products before adding them to the cart.
Products in Websites: Assign the grouped product to websites if you’re running a multi-site install. If not, you can skip this section.
Design: Customize the theme and layout for the product page by assigning a custom XML layout.
Gift Options: Add an option to include a gift message with the purchase and configure pricing for it here.
Step 7: Publish the Product
1. Once you’ve verified all settings are correct, scroll to the top of the page and set the Enable Product toggle to Yes. 2. Click Save to publish the grouped product in Magento.
Step 8: (Optional) Configure the Product Cart Thumbnails
If you want to show child product images in the shopping cart, follow these steps:
In the Magento admin, navigate to Stores > Settings > Configuration > Sales > Checkout.
Expand the Shopping Cart section.
Set the value for the Grouped Product Image setting to Product Thumbnail Itself.
Click Save Config on the top-right corner.
Make sure you refresh the Magento cache to update the changes on the frontend.
Final Thoughts: Adding a Grouped Product in Magento 2
Adding a grouped product in Magento 2 is a simple yet effective way to organically boost your average order value.
Magento doesn’t limit the number of products you can group. But if your hosting isn’t optimized for performance, large product groups might hurt your website speed.
Don’t let your hosting limit your business growth. Managed Magento hosting by Hostdedi provides performance-optimized servers with auto-scaling to handle sudden traffic surges from viral moments. Sign up for a plan today.