Empowering nearly a one-third of all eCommerce sites, WooCommerce is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for those who want to build an E-commerce online store!
This online store plugin makes it easy to sell a great goal of physical and digital products to consumers around the world. This also includes a large and extensive library with a variety of prices. Being that 51% of Canadians prefer to shop online, having a quality foundation on WooCommerce in your store is crucial to success. It gives you good upload speed in addition to boosting conversions and SEO, also reduces stall abandonment, increases pageviews, and keeps customers engaged. The good news is that in most cases you can fix a WooCommerce site that is slow by checking out some important things.
Here is a comprehensive guide on WooCommerce and how to put it into practice on for optimization of your online store.
1. You are using a slow hosting provider
The hosting server for your virtual store is not an initial concern of a website, but about a year may be needed or rather, depending on when traffic and transactions start to increase you need to pay attention to it.
One of the things that make your website WooCommerce slow can be your server hosting. If you want your pages to load quickly, you need a good hosting service. There are two main solutions to solve your problem could be:
Use decent shared hosting: Most shared hosting plans do not allocate much disk space, memory, or bandwidth. Because you share server resources with other clients. But isn’t it a problem when 10,000 people are using the same bandwidth? This slows down your site. Simple! Now you’re probably wondering: how do I know if my shared hosting is too slow? “You can do this by logging in to cPanel or your host panel and accessing your site’s resource usage information look for your bandwidth usage and how much disk space you have available.
Use a managed Cloud or VPS hosting: This option is more expensive but also more efficient if you’re getting a lot of traffic. To improve your store’s performance, make sure your host server is located in the country where most of your customers are living. This is related to the next point the importance of using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
2. You do not use a content delivery network
Did you know that integrating a content delivery network (CDN) into your website is one of the easiest ways to improve your speed?
A CDN is extremely useful, especially if your target customers are spread across different countries. There are many CDN services available, including:
• Photon Jetpack
CloudFlare is a free option that is widely used by most of the worldwide sites. In addition to improving the performance and speed of your site, you also have the option to install a totally free digital security certificate (SSL).
Free plans are available for most CDNs, and there is really only a need to invest in a premium plan when your store is larger and has many simultaneous accesses daily. To check the number of hits, you can check in Analytics to get a sense of the growth of your site traffic.
3. You are not using a cache plugin
To reduce time to access your storage device cache is used. It involves data storage in a media that can be accessed much faster than your device. In other words, a caching plug-in stores the newly used information, allowing it to be quickly accessed later. In other words, the cache can be used to save and display a static version of your site to visitors.
A great free option for you to use in your virtual store is the LiteSpeed Cache plugin that is now one of the most used and even recommended by major hosting companies. But, cache plugins only improve the speed of loading your site if configured correctly. If they are not configured correctly, cache plugins are often problematic.
For example, you do not want cart pages or checkout pages to be cached, as this may prevent customers from adding products to the cart or paying for the purchase. If you decide to try a caching plug-in, learn how to configure the LiteSpeed Cache plugin.
4. Your image sizes are not optimized
When investing in creating your virtual store it is very important to use high quality images to impress your visitors and get a good impression of your products. High quality generally also means larger file sizes, and larger file sizes can slow your WooCommerce site.
The solution to avoid this is to optimize your images. Especially since the images represent 50% of the loading time of a website. Fortunately, optimizing your images does not mean that you are going to display blurry images of products to your customers. Follow these steps:
Use your images in the right size: This own Woocommerce image guide recommends that “the original images uploaded by you must be at least 800 x 800px or higher to work well on most themes.”
Compress your images: The Google Chrome Labs team launched in October / November 2018 the perfect tool for this, called Squoosh . This tool uses the latest in image compression technology to compress your photos into smaller files with minimal loss of quality.
But what really impresses in the app, encoded in the WebAssembly programming language, is its speed of execution. In less than 5 seconds the application can convert an image to a smaller 10x size with a minimum quality loss.
If you’re familiar with photo editing software, you can also directly optimize your photos using one of them. For example, Photoshop allows you to save your photos using the “Save to web” feature. You can also try another well-known and efficient web tool, TinyPNG.
If you would like to bulk-compress the images you are already using on your site, we recommend the Wush Smush plugin. This solution is good because of its user-friendly interface and integrated image resizing capabilities.
With WP Smush you will be able to reduce the weight of the image and the dimensions as well. However, depending on the size of your images, the plugin may not be able to compress as much as the other applications mentioned above. Keep in mind the point about Amazon.com’s profitability: A 1-second delay in page response could result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
5. You are experiencing problems in the database
During the life of your WooCommerce website, your database will store lots of information: products, orders, settings, etc. At first, this is no big deal. But after several months of existence, this can become a problem because the size of your database can affect the performance of your site. In other words, the loading time may be high due to problems in the database.
If this is the case, you will need to do some cleaning. You can do this task manually, for example, using your cPanel, but there are some WordPress plugins that make the process much easier, allowing you to automate the optimization process.
The LiteSpeed Cache plugin already mentioned in this article has the option to clean and automate weekly or monthly cleaning of your database. After all, plugins are great tools, but ideally you can concentrate the most tasks on a single plugin, so you do not overload your site with different plugins.
Now there are options available in WooCommerce to automatically delete old user accounts, etc. This makes sense of both the database performance and the privacy viewpoint.
Last but not least: do not forget to back up your site – both files and databases – before using this type of plugin!
6. You are using a bad theme
Selecting a theme is not easy, especially for beginners discovering WordPress. There are many themes available, and some of them inject too much code into pages to get a certain layout. There are many things to consider when selecting a theme for WordPress. An important point to check is whether your theme is well coded and follows WordPress standards.
A simple test to check if your theme is making your WooCommerce site slow, is to create a backup and then switch to the default WordPress theme or Storefront – the theme recommended by WooCommerce and therefore the most optimized and great for testing. If your site loads faster after the exchange, you now know that the problem lies with your theme.
Try the Storefront, “an intuitive and flexible WordPress theme that offers deep integration with WooCommerce.” If your store is still slow, it’s time to see if the problem is not in the plugins you’ve installed.
7. You are using bad plugins
Sometimes performance issues are related to the plugins you’re using. To check if there is a plugin that makes your WooCommerce site slow: Disable all plugins and re-enable each by one until you find a potential cause. You can also use the Plugin Organizer to control the order of activation and enable / disable plug-ins on a per-page / post-per-mobile basis.
Another option for testing bad plugins – recommended by WooCommerce Happiness Engineers – is to use Health Check. Try not to use many plug-ins and always disable and / or remove any plug-in that is no longer needed.
8. You did not enable the latest version of PHP on your site
As you probably know, WordPress is an open source CMS based on PHP, a server-side scripting language. Using the latest version of PHP could increase the performance of your store. PHP 7.0 is 2-3 times faster than its predecessor (5.6)! You can upgrade your PHP version through your host’s Cpanel with just one click.
To work properly, WooCommerce needs many styles and scripts. Unfortunately, these scripts and styles are loaded on every page of your site and this really slows things down. There is a way you can tell WooCommerce to only load the scripts and styles you need into pages and posts that WooCommerce is running. To solve this problem, you can use a plugin called WooCommerce Speed Drain Repair.
A final WooCommerce secret is something your visitors can not see while browsing your store – is the AJAX cart fragments feature, which automatically updates the total value of the customer’s shopping cart without having to refresh the entire page. This feature is very interesting, however it can slow down WooCommerce stores on shared hosting servers.
You can remove it with the Disable Cart Fragments plugin and make sure you enable the “redirect to cart” option in the WooCommerce settings. If you liked this article, then you will love to accelerate your site and receive 24×7 support from our veteran WordPress team.
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