Online entrepreneurs are constantly advised to focus on providing excellent customer experiences in order to achieve ecommerce success. Specific tips usually revolve around UX principles and deep personalization tactics. What’s often overlooked yet equally important is the matter of website performance.
If you’re using WooCommerce for your ecommerce store, you’re in luck! All you need to do is consider some best practices, apply a few tweaks, and take advantage of some tried-and-tested WooCommerce plugins — even if your web store is already running and generating sales
Table of Contents
- Why WooCommerce Optimization Matters
- How to Optimize the Performance of Your WooCommerce Store
- WooCommerce Optimization Complete Checklist
Why WooCommerce Optimization Matters
Optimizing your WooCommerce website is ultimately about improving your online store to achieve its maximum sales potential. Sure, a few seconds of improvement might not seem significant, but its impact on your revenue might actually surprise you.
In general, ecommerce sites are advised to make sure pages take no longer than two seconds to load. For high-performing sites like Google, the ideal is less than half a second. If your website takes too long to load, you risk losing almost 60% of your visitors. In fact, Akamai data reveals that even a 100-millisecond delay can impact your conversions by up to 7%. So if your website generates approximately $1,000 per day in sales, one-tenth of a second is all it takes to lose as much as $25,550 in potential revenue.
Fortunately, running your web store on WooCommerce makes it easy enough to optimize for conversions. So what exactly do you need to do?
How to Optimize the Performance of Your WooCommerce Store
Since even a minuscule improvement in speed can have a significant impact on your revenue, every effort to optimize your website pays off. To optimize your WooCommerce store and maximize your conversion rates, here are the most critical steps to take:
1) Prepare for a Mobile Audience
With the growing use and reliance on mobile devices, it’s inevitable that smartphones and tablets will be the main channel used for online shopping. In fact, as much as 79% of smartphone users have used or regularly use their mobile devices to buy products online. Make sure you give them the best online shopping experience possible.
Optimizing for a mobile audience starts with making sure you’re using a responsive WooCommerce theme. You can use apps like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to determine whether you can make any improvements or if you need to change your theme altogether. Additionally, audit your customer journey and streamline it to provide the best mobile customer experience.
2) Setup Your WooCommerce Store for Speed
Using a tried-and-tested theme with excellent reviews for performance gives you the best chance of maximizing your conversion rates. But it’s still crucial for you to go through all the settings to configure it for optimum speed and customer experience.
Among the most impactful yet often overlooked things you can do is to disable WooCommerce cart fragments. While updating shopping carts dynamically without having to reload the page might seem like a good user benefit, it’s not worth the resources it requires.
Using a website caching tool will also speed up your website significantly. Take advantage of WooCommerce plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, which boost loading times by storing copies of resources from a request so that subsequent similar requests can be executed much more quickly.
3) Use WooCommerce Plugins Judiciously
The availability of WooCommerce plugins and extensions is one reason why so many web merchants build their stores on this platform. However, it’s important to note that these tools also use up resources and, consequently, affect your website’s performance.
To minimize the load on your WooCommerce site, use only the plugins that are critical to your business, and avoid those that use too many resources. Additionally, keep all your plugins updated to the latest versions and find suitable replacements for those abandoned by their developers.
4) Optimize Delivery of Your Static Assets
High-quality media is critical to an enjoyable shopping experience. However, it is also associated with large file sizes that can significantly affect loading times. Use plugins like Compress JPEG & PNG Images and Cloudinary to compress rich media and reduce its impact on your website’s performance.
5) Choose Your Web Host Carefully
Your web hosting package has the most significant impact on your website’s performance. Choose a company with a reputation for stability as well as excellent value for money. Then, make sure you choose a package that’s best suited for your operations.
If you’re just starting out, you should do fine on a shared hosting package. But as you gain more traffic, you’ll want to choose a hosting solution that will give you the perfect balance between speed, reliability, scalability, customizability, and value for money. That might mean having to look into a virtual private server (VPS) or possibly even a dedicated server or cloud hosting solution.
Hopefully, this WooCommerce optimization guide enables you to boost your ecommerce store’s performance so that it contributes more significantly to your bottom line. As you work towards the continued improvement of your website, here’s a condensed version you can refer to more easily:
WooCommerce Optimization Complete Checklist
- Prepare for a mobile audience. Apart from choosing a responsive theme, streamline your entire customer journey to address the unique needs of the mobile shopper.
- Setup your WooCommerce store for speed. Find a good theme and take the time to tweak the settings for optimum speed. Also, make use of caching solutions for even better performance.
- Use WooCommerce plugins judiciously. Install only the plugins and extensions that you absolutely need. Then, keep them updated and make sure you monitor the impact of each one on your website’s overall performance.
- Optimize the delivery of your static assets. Enhance your user experience by using the necessary tools to compress all media and other assets. Use a CDN to optimize for a worldwide audience.
- Choose your web host carefully. Make sure you find a reliable web host that offers incredible speed scalability, customizability, and value for money.
Considering how greatly website performance can impact revenue generation, there’s no question that conversion rate optimization is an endeavor all web entrepreneurs need to take seriously. Although some websites might need a complete revamp, others might only need a few simple tweaks and the support of some carefully chosen WooCommerce plugins.
No matter the current performance of your website, completing this WooCommerce optimization checklist admittedly involves a lot of work. Thankfully, every step results in incremental growth in your conversion rates and, consequently, your overall revenue.