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eCommerce Website Speed Optimisation: The Ultimate Guide to Measuring and Improving Ecommerce

July 5, 2022

Ecommerce websites are constantly competing with other digital retailers. Stores that have good user experiences and clean layouts are key to getting shoppers to spend time on your site and buy from you again.

eCommerce website speed optimisation

However, users have short attention spans these days. They’re willing to spend a little time browsing a site but they don’t have the patience to wait for a website to load or scroll past images, videos, or HTML elements that take more time than text to display. 

With high hopes for their seo ecommerce site, many merchants make the mistake of not testing their site on real users and seeing what happens. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about measuring and improving Ecommerce site speed.

What is Ecommerce Site Speed?

Ecommerce site speed is the measure of how fast your site loads. This can be used to compare your site against competitors, as well as for internal analytics. 

The number one reason why ecommerce sites are slow is because of the images on the website. Images impact the speed of a site more than the text and elements of the layout. That’s why you should minimize the use of images on your online store.

Causes of Site Slowdowns

Too Many HTTP Requests

A single request to the browser can be avoided by using a content delivery network (CDN). These networks store copies of your website so that you can serve the site from one server and the user from another. 

A CDN optimizes the website by scaling it down to the size of the server so that it doesn’t take up much space on a user’s computer.

Poor Content Delivery

A website with poor content delivery has the content squeezed into the available bandwidth. This can lead to unpredictable page loads, misrendering of content, and most importantly, a poor user experience.

Slow Servers

We’ve mentioned that your site speed is affected by how quickly the content on the page gets displayed. The same applies to how quickly the server sends the content to the browser.

Excess Processes

The browser has to manage several tasks when it loads your website. That includes parsing the HTML, loading the images on the page, and fetching the content from the server. If the browser has to do too many of these tasks, it can lead to a poor user experience, slow page loads, and even crashes.

Slow Servers

We’ve mentioned that your site speed is affected by how quickly the content on the page gets displayed. The same applies to how quickly the server sends the content to the browser.

Strategies for Improving Ecommerce Site Speed

Reduce the number of images on your site.

As we mentioned earlier, images impact the speed of your site more than the text and elements of the layout. So, it’s best to include as few images as possible.

Optimize your images for the best possible loading time.

There are plenty of image optimization tools that can help here.

optimized web server and hardward

Make sure your web server and hardware are optimized for the best possible speed. If your server is too slow or is underpowered, the browser has to work harder to load the page and end up spending less time on each page load.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to reduce the number of HTTP requests. This is particularly useful for large ecommerce stores that serve international customers.

SEO plug-in that optimizes your page’s speed and load time.

Use a SEO plug-in that optimizes your page’s speed and load time. There are plenty of these on the market and they’re usually offered for a free trial period.

Website speed tester

Use a website speed tester that can help you find the root cause of your slowdowns.

Measure your site’s speed to find where improvements are needed

If you don’t measure your site’s speed, you’ll never know if it’s fast enough and if there are any bottlenecks. First, you’ll need to install a tool on your server and then on your own computer. This is to ensure that you’re not influencing the results. 

The tool is a protocol analyzer and it will measure the load on your computer and the server. Next, you’ll need to run the tool and then open your ecommerce site in a new browser window. You’ll want to load the site as slow as possible without affecting the site’s functionality. 

You’ll want to take note of when the site first loads, the time it takes to fetch the images, and the time it takes for the server to send the content to the browser.

Test your site’s performance to find the root cause of slowdowns

The best way to know if your site is fast enough is to run a speed test on real users. This will give you an indication of how fast your site is, how long it takes users to load, and how fast it responds to visitors. 

Depending on the speed of your connection and the size of your site, these tests can take a few seconds up to a few minutes. You can find a wide range of free and paid speed tests on websites like PageSpeed Insights and Webpagetest

To run a successful speed test, you need to make sure that your visitors’ web browsers are up to date. This is crucial as it ensures that you get the most accurate results. You also need to make sure that your site is as fast as possible. 

This is because visitors will leave a slow site faster than a fast site, also measure how much bandwidth it uses, and which geo-location factors are affecting the speed of the load. A lot of these tests are offered for free, so you can choose the best one for you. 

You can also use paid tools to compare tests. There are several factors that affect the speed of a site, including the user’s computer, the server, the type of connection they have, the location they’re using, and the time of day they’re running the test.

Use CDNs and Cache services in order to boost your site’s speed

CDNs are useful for reducing the number of HTTP requests your website makes. They store copies of your website so that users can always fetch content from them, regardless of where they’re located. If you’re using a CDN, your visitors will have the content from the server closest to them. 

This means that if you’re serving content from the US, the user will receive the content from an American server. A good way to test if you’re using a CDN is to see if the URL of your site ends with “.com” or “.net”. If it does, then you’re using a CDN.

Measuring E-commerce website speed

Conclusion

A slow website may be due to technical limitations, such as limited bandwidth or slow loading times. However, a slow website can also be the result of poor content creation, leading to a site that is difficult to navigate and navigate.

Therefore, a slow website will impact your business negatively, as it can make customers feel uninterested in what you have to offer. It can also lead to lower search engine rankings, resulting in lost customers and lower profits.

Speed is one of the most important factors in choosing a winner as a brand. It’s no surprise, then, that having a slow website can lead to lost sales and lower profits. 

If you want your site to load fast and be able to handle a high amount of traffic, you’ll need to implement these tips and make some changes to your website’s architecture. There are a few things you can do to speed up your site, and these tips should help you get started.

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