How to Accelerate the Speed of Your WooCommerce Store

Chances are, if your website is not optimized for speed, you are likely running slow. WordPress is a powerful system, but if it’s not optimized, it can lag. Your E-commerce operation cannot afford slow speeds. Because 51% of online shoppers say that site slowness is the main reason why they would abandon a shopping cart, speed optimization is imperative.

As we demonstrate a few ways you can accelerate the loading times of your WooCommerce store, let’s look at a few reasons why your site may be slow.

Your WordPress is laden with plugins

The sheer amount of plugins and extensions that are available can pose a problem. Webmasters have been guilty of indiscriminately downloading plugins, even if they don’t serve a functional purpose. Though plugins can be extremely useful, they can negatively impact the performance of your website. If your site is noticeably slower than before, and you’ve recently downloaded a plugin, try uninstalling it too see if you get a speed boost. Some of your plugins are absolutely essential for your site’s performance, while some are probably just bloat that can be shaved off.

Too many products and pages

This is a problem that you’ll likely encounter as the size of your store grows. The pages and products on your site will not be cached automatically. Unlike other platforms, WooCommerce makes it easy to cache your web pages. We’ll continue this topic later in the post.

You have weak, shared hosting

To set the record straight, if you plan on having a successful store, you should distance yourself from shared hosting plans. Yes, they’re cheap. And, yes, your host company may have promised blazing-fast speeds at that bottom-level price, but eventually you will be forced to find a more powerful and reliable solution. Shared hosting plans are great if you’re a small-time, hobbyist blogger, but if you want to make consistent revenue from your store, you need something more professional. From the start, invest more money into a dedicated hosting plan that has a strong infrastructure.

The two plugins that can significantly reduce loading times

There’s a reason why we recommend using WooCommerce over other platforms. The main reason (among many others) is that WordPress is an open source platform that is constantly being improved. As I said earlier in the post, you don’t want to overload your WordPress with too many plugins and extensions, but if you choose the right ones, you will benefit from them tremendously.

The first plugin to optimize your WooCommerce store is W3 Total Cache. To explain why you need to download this plugin, you need to understand the concept of caching. When someone enters your site’s url into their address bar, the visitor’s browser attempts to contact your web server. From there, your server contacts your host, and then your host will contact and enter the database where your site’s information is stored. The content within the database is then organized into an HTML page which is sent back to the visitor’s web browser. The request to retrieve data from the database is what often consumes the most time. Caching solves this problem. Think of a cache as a temporary storage area that allows commonly frequented pages of your websites to be accessed quickly without the time-consuming server requests and data retrievals.

The W3 Total Cache plugin is arguably the best tool of its kind for this type of task. Bursting with features and configuration options, the plugin is the first choice for brands like AT&T and Mashable, and is recommended by many of the major web hosts. It promises a 10x performance enhancement when it’s fully optimized. It can cache pages, browsers, databases, and so many other things.

The second plugin is Better WordPress Minify. Minification simply trims the unnecessary elements from a source code like Javascript. Minifying JS or CSS is known to effectively boost site loading speeds, and the Better WordPress Minify plugin is consistently considered as one of the best and most easiest tools in the industry for this task.

Conclusion

Over 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a purchase is made. As I already mentioned earlier in the post, a good portion of those abandoned shopping carts are due to slow site loading speeds. Follow the tips in this article to turbo-charge the speed and performance of your website.

Are you ready to discuss your next eCommerce project with the leader in shopping cart website development and digital marketing? If so, contact Zen Agency today! We are a group of web development experts, specializing in WooCommerce.

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Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on: Business.com, Redbooth.com, Kabbage.com, MaterialDesignBlog.com

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