Slow website are annoying, 40 percent of users leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Due to slow website speed, conversion losses can reach up to 7 percent.
In this issue, I will give you a brief overview of techniques and tools to help speed up your site.
Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. It is one of the most popular open e-commerce systems in the network.
1. The right platform for fast site operation
All modern online shopping engines are quite fast. But they are fast until the store owner turns the store around.
Because the speed of the online store does not depend on a single engine, and yet on the server, filling, design, shop window and much more. Therefore, between several engines it is better to choose the fastest, even if it will be a little more expensive.
Almost all developers provide demo versions of their platforms. To check the speed of your demo-shop, open the Google tool – PageSpeed Insights and enter the address of your demo-shop in the field. The tool will show you the speed of loading your store. The more points you score, the faster your website is, and help to improve your Slow website score.
2. Proper choice of hosting
The platform for an Magento site online store is just a program. To use it, you must install it on your computer. In our case – on the server.
Online store platforms work closely with the server, so it is important that the server itself is productive, and the server software – fresh and properly configured, then the online store will be fast. Check this article to find out how to choose Magento hosting.
When choosing a hosting service, pay attention to these items:
- In what country the server is located. Choose the country of your potential customers. If this is not possible, choose the closest server location.
- Is it possible to upgrade the hosting. If you plan to expand your online store in the future, think about expanding hosting. You may need more RAM, hard disk space and a more powerful processor to speed up your site. To do this, hosting should allow you to move from a virtual server to a dedicated one, for example.
- Which hard disks the server uses. Choose only a server with solid-state drives (SSD). They are much faster than conventional HDDs. SSDs are the key to a fast online store.
- Whether hosting supports chips useful for e-commerce. First of all, it is important to support SSL-certificate. It is needed for secure data transfer between the server and the buyer’s browser.
3. Image optimization increases the speed of your online store.
When uploading images to the online store, pay attention to the image size and format.
Images that are too large will take a long time to load and slow website down the page as a whole.
For example, if you add a banner to a blog of the store or to any other page, reduce its width to the width of the page.
It is not enough just to specify the width attribute in the properties of the image and set it to a value that corresponds to the width of the page. In this case, the browser artificially compresses the image to the desired size, but the download speed does not increase. It may even get worse because the browser processes the additional code.
The lightest picture format is JPEG. But pictures in this format are usually of poor quality. Therefore, for an online store, it is better to use the golden mean – format PNG. Such pictures weigh a little more, but the quality is preserved.
It is better to forget about heavy, but high-quality images in BMP and TIFF format.
This is probably all that you can do for the speed of your online store by yourself. For further speed boost, you will need deeper knowledge on code and web server optimization.
How to make your site even faster? I will list what else you can do:
- Minimize HTTP requests:
When loading a page, 80 percent of the time is spent on loading various elements of the page – pictures, scripts, styles. And for loading each element HTTP-request is executed. The fewer elements on the page – the fewer requests are executed – the faster the page is loaded.
- Reduce server response time:
The server response time should not exceed 200 milliseconds. To start with, you can run the site through the Google PageSpeed tool and use Google recommendations after checking.
- Squeeze pages:
The smaller the page weighs, the faster it is transmitted from the server to the user’s browser. To shrink the page size, you need to compress it. To do this, the server must have the Gzip tool or similar. Fast Online Store is a lightweight online store.
- Enable caching:
- Connect the content delivery system:
CDN systems store static content of your site on their servers and deliver it quickly to your visitors.
For example, the server of your store is in Russia, and you have connected a content delivery system with servers in the U.S. When a U.S. customer enters your store, static content will not be downloaded from the store’s server, but from the CDN server, which is much faster.
I hope you now have a general idea of how to speed up your online store. If your stores slow down, try to make something of the above. And check the speed via Google PageSpeed.