How to speed up a WooCommerce site?
Posted: Dec 31, 2020
Speed is important for any website and even more important for an ecommerce website. The slower a site the more people that give up and leave the site before they buy and you lose profits. For example, it has been shown that for every two second delay in the loading time caused a user’s session to reduce by up to 50%. This could mean, by example for a company like Amazon the loss of a billion dollars a year if their website loaded 1-2 seconds slower.
WooCommerce is one of the more popular ecommerce stores for use on the WordPress platform, so there is no shortage of add-ons and tweaks that can be done to speed up the platform to optimise the store for ranking and the search results and helping convert visitors into sales.
Just what can be done to speed up a WooCommerce store? Firstly, issues with WordPress itself needs to be addressing in general and then the specific issues to do with WooCommerce. A good place to start is optimizing the product images. Products need high quality images to sell, but they can load slowly. The JPEG format is the best for these images as they are easier to optimize. There are various image optimiser plugins that can be used with WordPress to remove a lot of bulk from the images so that they load quicker.
If there are multiple online store users making queries to your online store, this can also slow your website down, so it is important to use caching options to allow your web site to show the pages saved in the cache every time they are queried again. This can significantly save your server’s resources and allows you to speed up your WooCommerce website quite a bit and improve the user experience. There are many plugins such as W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket.
A website loading speed also depends quite significantly on where geographically your visitors are located. If they are close to your website’s server, they will see the page content significantly faster. One way to speed up your WooCommerce store is to use a content delivery network (CDN). This is a geographically distributed network of servers that delivers copies of your content based on every user’s geographical location, so everyone is close to where it is served from.
A key way to have a faster website is to use a hosting provider that can handle your website’s needs. A cheap plan may be adequate in the beginning, but when traffic and transactions go up you need to upgrade. The server has to be able to handle the capacity and be fast enough. Often changing hosts can make a big difference.
Using too many plugins can hamper a website’s performance. In order to speed up your WooCommerce store, you will need a good audit of which plugins are installed but are no longer necessary. Those that are not really needed should be removed.
Your website’s database has a lot of information that it needs to store. It holds the product pages, categories, tags, order details, payments, and much more. That database will from time to time need a clean-up to remove useless data such as old revisions, expired transactions, and other files.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.