Did you know that over 40% of consumers expect ecommerce websites to load in two seconds or less? Did you also know that over 40% will abandon the page if it takes three or more seconds to load? It’s not just the customer that loves a fast loading website, Google loves them too and will rank you better for your fast loading website. In this post I’m going to explain how a few simple steps could drastically speed up your WordPress WooCommerce site. Faster sites mean more sales.
How does Google rank faster websites?
We don’t need to get into the nuts and bolts of how Google actually determines a sites speed other than to say that Google will crawl your site and determine site speed from it and rank you based on that as well as other factors.
Determine the site speed of your website
Before you start making some tweaks to your website you’ll first need to determine how fast your website is and I’ll present two different websites for you to check your site speed out with. I’ll give a little details about each one but as a rule for this you should do both to determine your overall speed. Along with telling you how fast your site loads it will tell you what you need to improve upon to speed up your site.
GTMetrix.com – This is the go to website for determining site speed. Running your ecommerce site through GTMetrix will give you your overall site speed in terms of seconds it took to load the site. It will also give you the total page size it took to load. This is good info in determining how much you’re loading. In particular your images. If you have large size images on your site then it takes longer to load your page. The idea here is to reduce the images to the smallest size possible. As a rule I would never have an image over 200k if I didn’t have to. The smaller the better.
tools.pingdom.com – This site performs the same tests on your site. The only real difference is the location selection is easier to use than GTMetrix. This means you can test load your site from different parts of the world to see how your site is loading from those countries.
Both sites will give you your overall site speed, load time and score. The takeaway here is to improve your score so if you’re scoring an “F” then you really need to take the necessary steps to increase your site load time.
How do I increase my website speed?
There are few things you can do to increase your loading time on your WordPress website. I’ve noted a few of them below.
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Rocket
- WP Optimze
We love the WP Optimize plugin because it performs a few other functions besides optimizing your database. It has a really nice caching feature built into it that works really well. The only issue with this plugin is that you can’t remove the cache from a specific page unless you go into the page edit and delete the cache for it otherwise it’s a great plugin.
Reduced Image Size
As I mentioned above you want to keep your image sizes under 200k. This will help in the loading time for your site. If you can reduce them down under 100k then that would be even better. Remember, the smaller the image the faster the loading time will be.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network is a solution that takes cached files from your server and places them on servers throughout the world. For example, if your server is located in the states and a user from Germany hits your site then he would have to wait for the site to load from the states to his computer in Germany. That would take a bit of time but with a CDN network there would potentially be a server in Germany that has cached (copies) files and would load them to the user from there dramatically cutting the loading time. There are a few CDN’s out there and I’ve listed some good ones below.
- MaxCDN (Now StackPath)
Our favorite is MaxCDN due to its ease of use and pricing structure. It’s a good choice and we highly recommend them.
Customers want fast loading websites. If your site is not loading fast then you will lose customers and that is losing money. You want your website to load as fast as possible so use some of the above tools to improve the loading time of your website.