The loading speed of your site matters a lot when you expect a steady flow of traffic to your website and want to convert them into leads. Generally, fast loading websites perform very well on all fronts- easy accessibility of the sites by the users both from desktop and mobile applications, higher search ranking, better user engagement, excellent user experience, higher conversions and revenue.
Now, consider an opposite scenario. A slow website is disliked by visitors and they stop vising it again and again. This increases the bounce rate of the site and negatively affects its rankings and conversion rates. If you talk about Magento based E-commerce stores, slow loading speed affect your customers’ experience and their ability to shop.
How to find out your site is slow?
If you think that your site is running slow, use speed checker tools to know how long your site takes to load on PC/Mobile devices, and which factors are contributing to your site’s slow speed. Here are some of the main reasons that make your store slow and their solutions are discussed also:
1. Using Too Many Extensions And Modules
Online entrepreneurs add several extensions to their Magento store with an intention to improve the functionality of their site and provide the best shopping experience to users. Modules are very helpful when your E-commerce business is increasing swiftly and you need to add more features and functionalities to your site to handle the growing traffic of shoppers.
But, on several occasions, you install the modules, which are not very useful for your store (from a business perspective) and they put unnecessary load on the system/server, making your site slow.
Disable all modules on the site which are no longer being used by you. Always keep in mind that disabling extensions in the Magento admin don’t mean that you have disabled it completely. Consult an expert Magento developer to deactivate a module fully or remove it from your site.
2. Cheap Quality Hosting Plans
Your site’s speed depends a lot on the server you use. The majority of store owners uses shared hosting for their site to cut their operational cost. Shared hosting services (whereon your site is hosted on a server with several other websites) have speed issues because the resources of that server is shared across all sites hosted on it.
If you run an E-commerce website that receives high traffic and order for several products on a daily basis, consider using a dedicated server. Websites hosted on dedicated servers have more bandwidth to handle a heavy flow of traffic. There are many websites where you can even read out reviews of leading hosting providers.
In order to ensure that your site is not suffering from a mismanaged server or traffic overload, you can use website uptime monitoring tools to get instant notifications whenever your site goes down (become unresponsive) due to the lack of enough bandwidth. Change your hosting company as soon as possible if you are getting regular downtime alerts.
3. Unoptimized Images
Unoptimized images one of the main reasons why your site is slow. As E-commerce websites are full of HD images, photos, and screenshots- high resolution images may consume a lot of bandwidth while loading and make your site’s page sluggish.
Use images prudently,
You can use Magento extensions for image compression. These extensions compress your site’s images automatically when they are uploaded. This helps your site load quickly on electronic devices (as compressed images consume less bandwidth and put less pressure on your site’s server).
4. External site’s link on your Store
E-commerce websites contain several links to external websites (such as payment gateways, Supplier’s resource pages, etc,). When you add external links to your site, your page speed will be as fast as the host site. If simple words, if you embed a slow site on your websites, it can affect your site’s loading speed also.
Add only useful external links to your site and make sure that the host site is fast,
Minimize redirections as far as possible. If possible, host all content on your site’s servers and use a content delivery network to distribute your content all over the world without generating an HTTP request.
5. Not Cleaning Site’s Database
All websites store database information for each and every activity that takes place. When your site grows, it collects a lot of data due to increased traffic. All information that is stored in your site’s database can consume the valuable space and make them slow.
You must clean and remove expired data to help your site run swiftly and respond quickly. You can use Magento extensions to cleanup unnecessary database quickly.
6. Excessive ads
Google Adsense and similar services help you to earn extra money easily by displaying advertisements on your website, but they can make your site slow also. Generally, all those websites, which displays ads in the header, at the bottom of the page, in the main body of the post and to the right sidebar, take more times to load than a website with only one ad on the web page. Displaying too many ads can make your users unhappy if they don’t serve their needs.
Display ads on your site with great caution and vigil. Remove them immediately if you don’t get financial benefits out of it.
7. Excessive Social Media Buttons
Add only selected social media buttons to your site that help you generate traffic and leads.
8. Lack Of Caching On Your Site
E-commerce websites receive immense traffic once they have good visibility in Google and other search engines. There are many store owners, who don’t enable caching on their site. As a result, for every query made by the user, a request is generated to the site’s server, which can slow down your website.
Enable caching (web caching, data caching, application/output caching and distributed caching) on your site. It offers a much browsing faster experience to your visitors by storing a version of your site based on their browsing habits. You can use cache extensions for Magento to ease your work.
There are several factors that make your website slow and damage your sales. Optimizing the loading time of your site is essential for having better search engine rankings, offering an enjoyable user experience to shoppers and increasing conversions and leads. These are some of the tips, which you can utilize to make your site faster and win in E-commerce business.