Growing markets and fierce competition force eCommerce store owners to seek new ways to stand out from the crowd and compel customers to make purchases. On the other hand, slow website performance is one of the critical factors that deter sales. If a website is slow in the eCommerce sector, every company indicator suffers daily attendance rate, conversions, bounce rate, search ranking, page views, and, most importantly, sales and revenue. Data is used to evaluate performance. The simplest way to assess the metric is to use eCommerce analytics tools designed to help web admins and store owners keep track of their projects and optimize their performance.
PageSpeed Insights from Google
The Google tool reports on the page’s speed on desktop and mobile devices and gives practical advice on enhancing the page’s performance. Google PageSpeed Insights’ key feature is providing both field and lab data. The final one is based on a simulated load page on a mid-tier device (Moto G4) with fixed network conditions. The lab data can be utilized to troubleshoot performance problems. On the other hand, the field data is a historical report on how a URL performed, based on anonymized performance data from real-world users on various devices and network conditions. The information can be used to determine the genuine user experience. The user can receive a thorough picture of the web site’s performance by combining and studying both data.
It’s a simple online tool that’s used to assess a site’s load time, assigning grades from A to F and offering a wealth of information about particular issues with your site, such as which sections take the longest to load so you can figure out what changes need to be made.
The tool includes several valuable features, including a full-page speed test that provides an overview and thorough analysis of how a website performs. The HTTP/2 test, for example, verifies whether a URL is provided using the HTTP/2 protocol.
Let’s look at what components of the website should be modified and what efforts should be taken to increase performance optimization now that you know how to assess the performance of your eCommerce store using various tools.
Enhance Your Hosting Provider
When it comes to eCommerce store performance, the hosting and the density and load of its physical servers are significant offenders. Due to a shortage of hosting resources, site performance suffers, and long downtimes result in potential customers and sales revenue loss.
The size of a store (the quantity of outgoing traffic it receives, the number of orders and visitors per day) and the CMS it runs on influence the hosting option chosen. A large or medium-sized Magento CMS-based store, for example, is not compatible with simple shared hosting. To run such a store, you’ll need scalable VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting to handle traffic spikes throughout the Christmas season or during sales.
Reduce the number of HTTP requests and server response time.
- The large volume of server requests has a detrimental impact on key metrics that measure how well your customers interact with your store. The longer it takes for a page to load, the more requests there are and the longer the response time is. Every JS and CSS file, script, stylesheet, embedded video, or image adds another HTTP request to the mix.
- Reducing server requests necessitates adjustments to the website’s backend. However, the specifics of these changes should be determined by a thorough audit that identifies the components of your website that slow it down.
- Web admins can reduce server requests by doing the following.
- Remove unneeded images or optimize them using the CSS sprites technique to combine multiple photos into a single image (specific tools – Spritegen, CSS Sprite Tool – allow you to do this).
- Improve your database’s performance. The large volume of data saved in your database is the system’s bottleneck in accumulating information on your website. When queries take too lengthy, the database or an incorrectly configured DB server can become a significant problem. Removing extra items, switching to flat catalogs to reduce DB searches, updating the database version, adding indexes to huge tables, and other arrangements are part of the website database optimization process.
- Configure caching to ensure quick delivery of files to users by reusing files from previous visits. You can, for example, install Redis (PDF), an open-source, in-memory data structure server. It can function as a distributed server cache or a database for storing frequently requested data.
- Remove redundant and long variables, comments, and unneeded characters from the code to reduce its size.
- Remove all bloatware (programs, plugins, applications that take up space without providing value).
- Make use of third-party add-ons
There are several extensions available for boosting eCommerce website performance and the default functionality. You may adjust some code with performance extensions, take advantage of browser cache, reduce picture size, optimize a website for specific use cases, (slightly) minify HTML/JS/CSS, and address the most apparent performance concerns.However, keep in mind that extensions aren’t a panacea for all website issues, so don’t expect them to fix anything complicated. No extension can comprehend the codebase as well as seasoned programmers Furthermore, each additional extension sends a new HTTP request to the server. The server takes longer to process the request, slowing down the page load time. If your online business has a complex code structure, you’ve already loaded a lot of third-party extensions, or your CMS is extensively customized, performance extensions aren’t a good option. Third-party extensions, for example, can cause more problems than they help solve for Magento-powered eCommerce stores that are difficult to optimize for performance. It makes sense to leave the optimization procedure to a business that specializes in Magento performance optimization.
Elasticsearch is a distributed document storage and search engine that stores and retrieves data structures. It was created in 2010 and had a Java-based full-text search engine. Elasticsearch is a popular platform that many leading eCommerce companies use to store, analyze, and search enormous amounts of data in real-time.
Because search is one of the store’s most important aspects, Elasticsearch allows eCommerce site owners to improve perceived and actual performance. It’s an excellent way to provide a quick user experience without investing a lot of money.
Elasticsearch works with any CMS, including WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento, and can be incredibly useful for online stores running too slowly due to intensive querying that overloads the database. Elasticsearch also has an interesting feature: it understands complex search queries better than default search.
Use Lazy Loading to Speed Up Media Content Loading
The amount of video, audio, and graphics in a typical eCommerce website’s payload can be enormous. On the other hand, store owners may be hesitant to remove media material from their websites. Here, lazy loading (also known as on-demand loading) can work wonders. It’s a media content optimization approach that puts offloading “non-critical” or “off-screen” data until they’re needed. The pattern can appear in the program depending on the settings, but it most typically occurs during user engagement, such as scrolling, clicking, or navigation.
This is a concern for various reasons in terms of loading content that the user will never see:
- It squanders battery and system resources.
- It squanders information (critical for users on limited data plans).
- If implemented correctly and responsibly, lazy loading of images and video can minimize initial page weight and initial load time, improving performance.
However, there are some drawbacks to using the approach. To begin with, its implementation necessitates the addition of new lines of code to the current ones, making it complicated. Second, due to the possibility of inappropriate indexing of the uploaded content, the pattern may impact your search engine ranking.
It is difficult for non-tech-savvy business owners to determine which areas of their website require attention. Not to mention that not everyone can improve the pace and performance of an eCommerce store. Many issues can become bottlenecks, so if you think your website isn’t working correctly, it’s best to choose an optimization business with excellent experience in website construction and optimization.