Someone famous once said that speed kills… well for website loading times he or she couldn’t be more wrong.
The speed at which a website loads is arguably the most important requirement for any site, especially an Ecommerce website. As internet speeds have increased exponentially over the years, so has our patience for viewing websites that take too long to load.
No matter how well designed your site might be, no matter how much effort was put into User Experience (UX) and your User Interface (UI), if your site takes too long to load, you’re likely to lose half of your audience within about three seconds.
When it comes to Ecommerce sites studies show those numbers are even more jaw-dropping. Nearly 90% of carts are abandoned, and 80% of users who have a negative experience are likely to never buy from that site again.
Page Load Time is Key for SEO
One of the key metrics that Google uses for page ranking is the speed at which a website loads.
What should those speeds be? Well, that is a tricky question. Clearly, a text-only website is going to load faster than an Ecommerce website that has hundreds of products. The trick is for your site to load as fast as it possibly can and there are lots of strategies to help accomplish that task.
A recent study on page load time revealed the following:
if your site loads in 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
if your site loads in 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
if your site loads in 1.7 seconds, it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
if your site loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web
So all that being said, there’s help in the form of plugins that not only measure your site’s speed but can also show you where changes can be made to improve your site. The list below is by no means comprehensive, but I think it will give you several options, and at the very least, a starting point.
Speed Test Plugins
Before beginning the process of speeding up your website, it’s important to establish a baseline as to how your website performs.
Knowing your site’s current load speeds is not only important for comparison reasons, but also to know exactly how your site performs on various devices which will help identify the areas where your website needs to improve.
Here are some WordPress plugins that may help speed up your website, and to learn more about addons, read our Best WooCommerce Plugins guide:
Bottom line is that there are many ways to speed up a website, and sometimes it can be a daunting task to sift through all of the WordPress plugin options. In my experience, this process is hit or miss. More times than I can count, I have installed a plugin and didn’t like something about it, and moved on to another. My suggestion to you is to look at user reviews to see how actual users view a particular plugin, and finally, look at the last date the plugin was updated. You want to use the plugins that are regularly updated. Many of these plugin developers have real day jobs and neglect to keep their plugins working properly. The ones that are updated more frequently are more apt to work better and not cause problems in other areas of your site.
To learn more read our How Much Does WooCommerce Cost guide.