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8 Effective Ways to Speed Up Your E-commerce Site

Written by
May 19,2020

Your site speed is one of the most important components in creating a more well-rounded e-commerce store.

When you make an e-commerce website, and the speed is slow, users will bounce before your page even loads. Even if they make it to your site, and each clicks takes them approximately ten seconds, it is unlikely that they will purchase something from you.

According to data by Google, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, this can cause a massive increase in your bounce rate.

Site speed is a real, direct ranking factor. So in this post, we will talk about the eight effective ways on how you can speed up your e-commerce site:

  • Change Your Web Host:

    Far too often, e-commerce startups pick the cheapest hosting in the market for their online store. But as it gradually develops and their traffic grows, most merchants have to update their hosting plan or even switch a hosting provider.

    Depending on the size and type of your online store, there are a couple of hosting options to choose from:
     
    • Shared hosting: Good for e-commerce startups with limited product inventory.
       
    • VPS hosting: Incorporates dedicated and shared hosting. With this kind of hosting, you could share your server with several sites. At the same time, you are provided with a couple of dedicated parts of server resources.
       
    • Dedicated servers: It is a more expensive option, but you have full control over your hosting. It also includes ample resources to launch your e-commerce store.
      Whatever service you choose, make sure it best fits your website's needs. Do not hesitate to think outside of the box and work with the solution that suits your best.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN):

    Another way you can optimize your site's performance is to utilize a CDN (Content Delivery Network). It refers to a network of servers that are geographically distributed.

    After enabling your CDN, all your website files will be copied and then stored on these servers. When users from different countries access your online store, the data that will be loaded will come from the closest server, making your site load a lot faster.

    CDN is great for all types of websites and is a great solution or e-commerce sites that have high traffic. Because of performance metrics optimization, this improves your search engine rankings as well.
  • Optimize Product Images Without Sacrificing Quality:

    Your e-commerce store might have dozen of product photos. It's also pretty commonplace to have high-resolution images in the products of your website.

    However, these high-resolution images also come with a downside. They significantly slow down your site.

    High definition images are usually 6mb on average. That's a huge weight on your site only for a single photo.

    While you can crop and resize it, it isn't a feasible option in the long run. You need to compress your images before you upload them to your website or online store.

    Image compression removes or even combines the part of your images to decrease the file size. You can do this each time you add a new image in your online store, whether its a logo, blog photos, product photos, or any type of image that you can compress.

    Reducing your image file size will significantly improve your load times. All you need to do is to conduct a quick Google search for “image compressor,” and you could come across countless free tools that will help keep the job done.
  • Decrease Redirects and Redirect Chains:

    Every time a page redirects to another, a user needs to wait for the HTTP request-response cycle to be completed. This increases the time a website takes to load. If a redirect chain is in place, the situation could get a lot worse.

    The solution here is to significantly decrease the redirects by redirecting page A to page B. This will decrease the waiting time, and you do not lose any link equity.

    Most redirects need some coding work. However, there are a lot of redirect plugins that will help you get this done without the need of a developer.

  • Limit the Page Size:

    Apart from reducing image sizes, you also need to decrease the number of embedded objects so that you can considerably decrease your loading speed.

    You need to look for the right balance using rich graphics and your site loading speed. Make it your goal to maintain your site loading time within three seconds.
  • Make Your Website Mobile Friendly:

    More than 50% of the global internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, and as this trend grows, you need to ensure that your site provides mobile users with a reliable and quick service.

    If you do not optimize your site for mobile devices, then it is likely that you will experience lower search engine rankings. In turn, this could negatively impact your sales.

    Therefore, it is crucial that your site loads quickly and functions well ‒ even on mobile devices.
  • Enable Caching for Faster Load Times:

    Caching will save the outcome of various operations on your site that will help you produce your final content.

    With an excellent caching solution, your site will be as quick as a static page until you make any changes.

    The cache will also be refreshed. That way, your page will load faster than usual.
  • Revise Third-Party Extensions:

    Both plugins and extensions will improve the functionality of your e-commerce store. But although some of them will help you on one end, others can harm your website as well.

    The abundance of poor quality, buggy code, custom functionality, and other issues found in several third-party integrations can significantly slow down a website.

    Therefore, you need to weigh in the pros and cons. Delete some unused plugins and those that do not weigh down your online store. You can also fix the code in plugins that cause errors in your site.

Having a site that is optimized for speed will always be an advantage. A quick loading site will help convert your visitors into paying customers with better efficiency and streamlined experience. Speed-up your e-commerce store today and start seeing the difference!

Jake Rheude

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce order fulfillment service provider. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.