In 2018, there is no excuse for a slow eCommerce store. Shoppers don’t have the patience to wait while pages load or slow search and checkout features struggle to react to input. Performance optimization involves taking a close look at your eCommerce store and how it works, figuring out why it’s slow, and making the necessary changes.
At a high level, performance optimization can be divided into two broad categories: client-side or front-end optimization that deals with loading and executing code and other assets in the browser, and server-side or backend optimization, which focuses on improving the speed at which web pages are generated and sent to the browser.
Choose The Right Hosting Provider
The right hosting provider is vital to low-latency eCommerce performance. If an eCommerce store runs on a slow or unoptimized server, it will never be fast, no matter how hard you work to optimize it. If the store’s server doesn’t have the resources it needs to cope with the traffic it receives, it will perform poorly under load.
The solution is to migrate to a hosting plan with more resources or to a hosting provider capable of offering the performance eCommerce shoppers expect.
Understand The Problem
eCommerce stores are complex and there are many opportunities for optimization, but retailers need to know what’s going wrong before they can fix it. Data allows you to identify the real cause of the problem, rather than wasting time on theoretical performance optimizations.
The tools we suggested above provide a good starting point for optimization, but here are three optimizations that are almost certain to make pages load faster:
Optimize images: Images are an important part of any eCommerce product page, but they’re also often the largest. Use tools like ImageOptim or a web service like Kraken.io to remove extraneous metadata and reduce the size of images without reducing their quality.
The best server-side optimization is to choose a web hosting provider that does most of the work for you, providing powerful servers, an optimized software stack, and a low-latency network.
A good web hosting provider will also help you out with a couple of other optimizations that can significantly improve load-times and reduce latency: a content distribution network and server-side caching.
Caching stores the output of requests so that they don’t have to be generated by code that accesses the database every time a browser requests the same information. eCommerce is a dynamic process, and caching works well with data that changes infrequently, but it can nevertheless significantly boost the perceived performance of an eCommerce store.
Caching solutions are available for WooCommerce and Magento, both as plugins or extensions, and as external caching applications like Varnish and Memcached.
A slow eCommerce store hurts sales and revenue, so it’s worth investing the time to reduce latencies and build a fast and fluid shopping experience.Slow eCommerce stores lose out on sales and revenue — we look at the how and the why of eCommerce optimization