5 Ways to Speed Up Your eCommerce Site

by | November 11, 2015

A fast-loading, reliable website is essential for a successful eCommerce website. Even if your company’s site is running smoothly, any ground lost in performance can cost business.

It’s widely cited that pages need to load in two seconds or less to avoid losing visitors. According to an Aberdeen Group study, a single second of page load delay time causes an 11 percent drop in pageviews and a 7 percent drop in conversion. Speed is also important for how well your site ranks in SEO.

The following five tips can boost the holistic experience of an eCommerce site and potentially lead to increased sales.

1) Sufficient Servers

The more customers you have, the more data you move, which means your business needs to grow its server capacity with sales.

An overloaded server means longer page load times, which translate to missed sales. Fixing insufficient server power usually involves buying more from your hosting provider or switching to a better-equipped host.

Load testing services are proactive testing tools to help you make sure your site is ready to handle any spike in traffic, such as the holiday shopping rush. Don’t be a victim of your own success: ensure you have enough power to quickly serve your customers’ content.

2) Test for Mobile

According to a ComScore study, the mobile web accounts for 60 percent of web traffic. If the mobile site experience isn’t tailored to those devices you could be missing out on substantial sales opportunities.

Side note: any website that is not mobile optimized will suffer the wrath of Google and may not show in mobile search results, meaning it’s more important than ever to optimize for mobile!

Mobile devices are a bit different from traditional computers because you can’t count on the customer having a broadband-speed connection. Additionally, phones have less processing power and can take longer to render complex pages. This means your web development team needs to make sure all pages fully function and load quickly on mobile devices.

3) Efficient Coding

Your development staff can improve load times with efficient programming techniques that minimize how many HTTP requests pages make, and store frequently used files locally on devices so those files don’t need to be reloaded on each page. Advanced programming techniques like splitting up page content loading via AJAX and configuring server-side page caching can also help with load times.

4) Cut the Clutter

Adding features to your website adds functionality but negatively impacts load times. Social media widgets from Facebook and Twitter can add several seconds to the page’s load time. Consider providing a link, utilizing ad retargeting, and paying for sponsored posts to build your social media following instead. Advertisements can substantially contribute to longer page loads, so you should avoid using more than a handful on any page.

5) Optimized JPEGs

High-quality images look great, but they won’t do you any good if loading them takes so long that customers abandon your site. Making image optimization a priority can dramatically bring down load times, even cutting them in half in some cases. PNG images sport amazing quality but are ill-equipped for website load times, easily chewing up five times as much data as a similar JPEG image. If the image is larger than a small icon, your site should always feature JPEG images unless pristine image quality is required. Web-optimized JPEGs at 70 percent quality are very efficient size-wise with next to no noticeable image quality loss.

For more information on how you can speed up your site, contact us!