Did you know 83% of customers will leave your WooCommerce store site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds?
There is a direct correlation between page load time and conversion rates, with nearly 70% of consumers saying it makes a difference when choosing an online store. Faster page loading times or website speed, in general, are crucial for online retailers. It has a direct bearing on your ROI, customer retention rate, and SERP position. Recent updates to Google's ranking algorithm have made website speed even more crucial as a competitive advantage for websites.
In this article, we will find out why WooCommerce site speed is important for you and check out the best ways to speed up WooCommerce stores.
Let’s get started.
Let’s find out how speed can impact your WooCommerce store business.
In light of this, it's clear that website speed is crucial to the success of your WooCommerce business and that a slow-loading WooCommerce store can have serious consequences for the company as a whole.
There are several advantages to speeding up a slow WooCommerce store:
A faster website provides a better user experience, which can lead to increased engagement and customer satisfaction. A slow website can be frustrating and lead to users abandoning the site, but a faster website can encourage users to stay longer and explore more.
A faster website can increase the chances of users making a purchase or taking other desired actions. Users are more likely to convert when they can easily find what they are looking for and complete their desired actions quickly.
A faster website can improve search engine rankings, as Google and other search engines prioritize websites that provide a better user experience. A higher search engine ranking can lead to more traffic and potential customers.
A slow website can impact overall site performance, leading to increased downtime, slower load times, and decreased functionality. By speeding up your WooCommerce store, you can improve overall site performance and reduce the risk of crashes or other technical issues.
A slow website can damage your brand's reputation and make it harder to attract and retain customers. A faster website can improve your brand's reputation and encourage users to recommend your site to others.
Overall, improving the loading speed of a WooCommerce store has many positive outcomes, including happier customers, more sales, higher search engine rankings, smoother operations, and a more trustworthy brand image.
Here’s a list of tasks you can perform to speed up WooCommerce stores.
Let’s start with the basics.
First, you would want to disable pingbacks. They typically produce spam that serves no purpose. It's preferable that your site generates as few queries as possible.
To disable pingbacks, go to WooCommerce>> Settings>> Discussion Settings and uncheck the following boxes.
WordPress also provides a way to divide up lengthy threads of user comments on posts or pages. The same sorting rules apply to rating your product reviews as well. If you care about page load times, set this value between 10 and 20.
Not all WooCommerce stores need to allow comments and reviews. For example, if you have a super responsive live chat or tutorials, and training resources, or even a rich FAQ for every product, you may want to disable comments. Also, when you host comments from third-party providers such as Disqus, you wouldn’t need default comments features from WooCommerce.
Similarly, if you encourage your users to give feedback on third-party platforms or use review plugins, then you can disable the default reviews. As a result, it will save you load times and improve WooCommerce speed performance.
To disable WooCommerce reviews, go to WooCommerce>>Settings>>Product tab.
You don’t have to be a hacker to know how to log in to a WooCommerce website. Every WordPress WooCommerce user knows the link to the admin panel login page. Just add /wp-admin after the domain name, and it will take you to any WordPress site’s admin login page.
However, this can be a security threat to you. You can be a victim of brute force attacks. A brute-force attack can make your website unusable, slow it down, or even crack your passwords to install malware.
To prevent that, you can hide your login page and change the URL to something unique. You can use free plugins such as WPS Hide Login to do this easily.
Images are the biggest reasons for an eCommerce store to load slowly, be it Shopify or WooCommerce. If you want to optimize a slow WooCommerce site, you should start by compressing your images.
Compressing your product images will significantly speed up WooCommerce stores. However, you want to make sure the image quality is still good for the viewers. Therefore, you need to balance image size and quality.
Here are some tips on image optimization-
Overall, image optimization is one of the fastest ways to speed up WooCommerce stores.
Using a content delivery network (CDN) can be a highly effective way to speed up your WooCommerce store. A CDN is a network of servers located in different geographic regions that work together to deliver your website's content to users quickly and efficiently.
Here are some ways a CDN can help speed up your WooCommerce store:
Reduced Latency: When a user requests a page on your WooCommerce store, the server closest to the user's location delivers the content. This reduces the latency, or delay, in delivering the content, resulting in faster load times.
Increased Availability: A CDN increases the availability of your website by distributing content across multiple servers. If one server goes down, the other servers in the network can still deliver the content, ensuring your website remains available to users.
Improved Scalability: A CDN can handle increased traffic to your WooCommerce store, ensuring that your site remains fast and responsive even during peak traffic periods.
Caching: A CDN can cache static content, such as images and CSS files, on its servers. This reduces the number of requests to your server, resulting in faster load times.
To use a CDN with your WooCommerce store, you need to sign up with a CDN provider and configure your website to use the CDN. Many CDN providers, such as Cloudflare, Key CDN, etc., offer WordPress plugins that simplify the configuration process.
Once your website is configured to use a CDN, your website's content will be delivered faster and more efficiently to users, resulting in improved performance and user experience.
If a page has many images, the browser will have to load all of them before a user can see the page, even if they are outside of the viewable area. The more pictures you have to process, the longer this will take.
Your best solution is lazy loading. Lazy loading defers the loading of images until the user scrolls to reveal them. This means customers won't be forced to wait for your media to load before they can start watching it altogether. Customers will be able to browse your store and pages more quickly, leading to increased revenue.
The image compression and caching plugins we discussed earlier also offer lazy loading features. Besides that, Jetpack or other popular caching plugins also offer this feature.
Choosing the right hosting provider is essential for ensuring that your WooCommerce store runs quickly and efficiently. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a high-quality hosting provider:
Speed and Performance: Look for a hosting provider that offers fast servers with high uptime guarantees. Check if they have SSD storage and offer Content Delivery Network (CDN) services to boost speed.
Scalability: Ensure that the hosting provider can scale up the resources when needed without affecting website performance.
Security: Choose a hosting provider that offers security features like SSL certificates, malware scanning, DDoS protection, and automatic backups to keep your site secure.
Customer Support: A good hosting provider offers 24/7 customer support to assist you in case of any issues.
Pricing: While pricing is important, don't compromise on quality for a cheaper option.
Based on the above factors, some of the high-quality hosting providers for WooCommerce stores are:
It is advisable to research and compare different hosting providers before making a decision to choose one that best suits your WooCommerce store's needs.
Your theme affects the speed of your WooCommerce store. A theme with too many features or poorly optimized code can slow down your site. Choose a theme that is lightweight, well-coded, and optimized for performance. Avoid using free themes that may contain malware or poorly written code.
Some popular fast and reliable themes for WooCommerce stores are:
It's essential to choose a theme that fits your specific needs and requirements. Always check the theme's reviews and ratings before making a purchase and test it on a staging site before using it on your live website.
Using a caching plugin can significantly speed up your WooCommerce store and improve the overall user experience.
Caching is a process of storing frequently accessed data in a temporary storage area, allowing the data to be quickly retrieved when requested. Caching plugins create static versions of your pages and serve them to visitors, reducing the load on your server and reducing the time it takes to load the page.
Some popular caching plugins for WooCommerce stores are:
W3 Total Cache: This is a comprehensive caching plugin that can improve website speed and performance. It offers features like page cache, object cache, database cache, browser cache, and more.
WP Super Cache: This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site, reducing the server load and improving website speed.
Not all caching plugins are compatible with all hosting servers. When choosing a caching plugin, make sure to test the plugin on a staging site first to ensure that it is compatible with your host, theme, and other plugins. Also, ensure that the plugin is regularly updated and has good reviews and ratings from users.
Product feeds can indirectly help improve the speed of your WooCommerce store by reducing the workload on your server and improving the overall performance of your website.
A Product feed is a file that contains all the information about your products, such as product names, descriptions, prices, images, and URLs. These files can be submitted to various platforms, such as Google Shopping or comparison shopping engines, to promote your products and drive traffic to your site.
By submitting your product feeds to these platforms, you can reduce the workload on your server and improve the speed of your site. When users search for products on these platforms, they are directed to your site through the links in your product feed. This means that the platform is handling the search queries and directing traffic to your site rather than your server handling each request individually.
Furthermore, using product feeds can also improve the overall performance of your WooCommerce store by driving targeted traffic to your site. When users find your products in marketplaces and price comparison engines, they are more likely to be interested in what you are selling, leading to higher conversion rates.
You will need to create product feed files to list your products on different marketplaces, price comparison engines, and social media platforms such as Google Shopping, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. Different channels have different attribute requirements and guidelines for their product feed files.
Therefore, collecting all guidelines and manually creating product feeds following all the attributes can be a daunting task. Especially if you have a large volume of products, it can get more hazardous.
Fortunately, you can automate the whole process using a WooCommerce product feed generator plugin. Plugins such as the CTX Feed can generate product feed files for hundreds of channels with little to no effort.
The plugin already knows what attributes different channels ask for. It has integrated all the attributes under templates. All you have to do is select the specific template, and CTX Feed will automatically populate all the attributes. Also, the plugin will collect all your product information and generate the feed file automatically when you click the generate button.
What’s more and best is the plugin automatically updates the feed files after set intervals. So, for any changes you make to your product pages, CTX Feed will fetch those changes and update the feed files automatically. Thus, you can display accurate information across all your channels.
Videos are a great way to attract your customers and convince them to buy from you. However, video files are generally larger files and take more time and server space to load. You need to optimize the videos you put in your pages to speed up the WooCommerce store.
Compressing videos, using appropriate formats, hosting videos on external platforms, optimizing video thumbnails, and lazy loading are all effective ways to optimize videos.
Installing too many plugins or using outdated ones can slow down your website. To optimize your plugins, you can delete any plugins you don't need, replace outdated plugins with newer ones, and only install plugins that are essential for your website.
As your WooCommerce store grows, your database can become bloated with old or unnecessary data, leading to slower loading times. To optimize your WooCommerce database, you can use a plugin like WP-Optimize or WP-Sweep to clean up unused data and optimize the tables.
HTTP2 is the latest version of the HTTP protocol, and it offers faster loading times and better performance than HTTP1. To use HTTP2, you must have an SSL certificate installed on your website and ensure that your server supports HTTP2.
By default, WooCommerce uses AJAX to update the shopping cart and other elements on the page, which can slow down your website. You can disable AJAX Cart Fragments by adding some code to your functions.php file or by using a plugin like Disable Cart Fragments.
Updating your PHP version to the latest version can significantly improve your website's performance. You can also increase your PHP memory limit to ensure that your website has enough resources to handle traffic spikes.
Keeping your WordPress, WooCommerce, and plugins up to date is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and security. Always update to the latest version of WordPress, WooCommerce, and any plugins or themes you're using to ensure that you're using the latest features and fixes.
In conclusion, WooCommerce performance optimization is a crucial factor in ensuring that your online store runs efficiently and provides an excellent user experience. Slow loading times and poor website performance can result in a high bounce rate, decreased customer satisfaction, and lower conversion rates.
By taking steps such as selecting a reliable hosting provider, using CDN and caching plugins, optimizing your database, and updating your PHP version, you can significantly improve your WooCommerce store's speed and performance. Additionally, selecting a fast and responsive theme that is compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce and other plugins can help you create a smooth and engaging user experience.
Ultimately, prioritizing WooCommerce speed optimization can lead to increased traffic, improved customer satisfaction, and higher sales for your online store.
Hope this article on speeding up WooCommerce stores was of help to you. Let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions or questions.