8. Use Better WordPress Plugins
One of the most often asked questions by WordPress beginners is that how many plugins they should use on their store without affecting performance?
The answer is as many as you like.
The total number of plugins does not impact the performance of your online store. It’s the quality of code that does.
A single poorly coded WordPress plugin may load too many scripts or stylesheets that could affect page load speed.
On the other hand, a well coded plugin would use standard best practices to minimize the performance impact. We recommend testing your plugins for performance impact before and after installing them.
For instance, the SeedProd drag & drop landing page builder helps you build blazing fast eCommerce landing pages without writing any code.
9. Reduce External HTTP Requests
Each such component is separately loaded by users’ browsers by making an HTTP request to your server. More HTTP requests mean longer page load times.
Your server may also be fetching things from third-party tools and services like Google Analytics, social media retargeting, and other services. These are called external HTTP requests. These can take even longer to finish on a typical web page load.
It is ok to have these scripts on your WordPress website, but if they are affecting your website’s performance, then you need to consider reducing them.
You can view external HTTP requests by visiting your website and opening the Inspect tool in your browser. From here, switch to the Sources » Page tab to view all external HTTP requests.
10. Reduce Database Requests
WordPress and WooCommerce use database to store a lot of content and settings. Your WordPress theme and plugins also make database queries to fetch and display that information on screen.
Database queries are extremely fast, and your website can run hundreds of those in mere milliseconds. However, if your website is handling a traffic spike, then these queries can slow down your page load time.
You can check the database calls by using a plugin like Query Monitor in WordPress. Upon activation, the plugin will add the query monitor menu into your WordPress admin bar.
However, minimizing these requests may not be possible for beginner-level users. For example, you may need to adjust your WordPress theme to reduce database calls.
If you are comfortable editing your WordPress theme files or debug code, then you can look for database calls that can be avoided.
Other users, can try finding a better WordPress theme and alternate plugins to reduce database calls if needed.
11. Optimize WordPress Database
Over a period of time, your WordPress database may get bloated with information that you may not need anymore.
This clutter can potentially slow down database queries, backup processes, and overall WordPress performance. From time to time, it’s important to optimize your WordPress database to declutter unnecessary information.
Simply install and activate the WP Sweep plugin. Upon activation, simply visit Tools » Sweep to clean up your WordPress database.
12. Use Staging Sites to Track Performance Issues
Making changes to a live eCommerce store can cause issues. For example, a customer may lose their order, or your site may go down during a sale event.
A staging site helps you easily try out performance optimization tips, new plugins, or a theme without affecting your live store.
Basically, a staging site is a clone of your live website that is used for testing changes before making them live.
Many popular WordPress hosting companies offer 1-click staging site set up. After set up, you can try your changes and track your page load speed and performance.
Once you are ready to implement those changes, you can simply deploy staging site to the live version.
13. Offload Ecommerce Emails
Emails play a very crucial role on an eCommerce store. They are used to deliver order confirmations, invoices, password reset emails, sales and marketing messages, etc.
However, many beginners don’t realize this and use their hosting provider’s limited email functionality for eCommerce emails.
Most hosting companies don’t support the default WordPress mail function. Some even disable it to prevent spam and abuse.
This is why you should use a dedicated SMTP email service provider along with the WP Mail SMTP plugin. These companies specialize in sending mass emails and ensure higher deliverability, which means your emails don’t end up in the spam folder.
We recommend using SMTP.com as one of the best SMTP service provider for transactional emails in the market.
It is super easy to set up and works with WooCommerce and all top WordPress contact form plugins. Plus, they offer a 30-day free trial with around 50,000 emails.
If you want to look at alternatives, then do check out Sendinblue or Mailgun.
14. Use Better Conversion Rate Optimization Tools
In terms of eCommerce website, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is important for increasing sales.
A typical online store has many dynamic elements to increase conversions such as free shipping bar on homepage, black friday sale countdown timer in website header, exit-intent popup on checkout pages, or even spin a wheel gamification on mobile site to reduce abandonment.
Often store owners and retailers use a combination of tools and plugins to add these dynamic elements. The challenge is that not all of them are properly optimized for speed.
This is why it’s crucial to choose conversion optimization tools that provide a suite of features in one platform, so you’re not loading multiple external scripts.
Below is a list of popular conversion optimization tools that we use on our eCommerce websites:
- OptinMonster – it’s the most powerful conversion optimization toolkit that lets you create personalized popups, gamification campaigns, floating bars, etc.
- LiveChat.com – it’s the best live chat software. They also provide ChatBot automation software as well that works for both WooCommerce and Shopify.
- TrustPulse – it’s the best social proof software in the market that’s optimized for speed. You can use it to show real-time user activity without slowing down your site.
In terms of analytics and A/B testing tools, we recommend only using what’s absolutely needed.
For instance, if you’re launching a new landing page or website design, it’s important to run heatmap analytics. However after a short period of analysis, we recommend disabling heatmaps so it doesn’t slow down your website speed.
Similarly, for A/B testing tools, you don’t need to run those scripts on every page of your website. You can selectively load A/B testing scripts on specific pages, and when you’re done with the test, remember to remove the script.
We hope this article has helped you speed up your eCommerce website.