For eCommerce success, online entrepreneurs should always be focused on creating great customer experiences. Many tips revolve around UX principles and deep personalisation techniques. Website performance is often overlooked, but it’s equally important.
You’re in luck if you use WooCommerce for your eCommerce store! All you need to do is follow some best practises, make a few tweaks and use some tried-and-tested WooCommerce plugins, even if your web store is already up and running and generating sales.
Why WooCommerce optimisation is important
Optimising your WooCommerce site is about improving your online store in order to maximise its sales potential. While a small improvement may not seem like much, it can have a significant impact on your revenue.
eCommerce websites should ensure that pages load in less than 2 seconds. At Google, they aim for less than half a second. Page speed influences the willingness to buy online for nearly 70% of consumers. An Akamai report shows that even a 100-millisecond (0.1 second) delay in loading a website can have a significant impact on conversions, by up to 7%. If your website is generating approximately £1,000 in sales per day, one-tenth of a second can cause you to lose up to £25,550 in revenue potential.
WooCommerce makes optimising your web store for conversions easy. So what do you need to do?
How to optimise the performance of your WooCommerce store
Every effort to optimise your website will pay off, as even a small improvement in speed can make a big difference to your revenue. Here are the important steps you should take to optimise your WooCommerce store and boost your conversion rates:
1) Ensure your WooCommerce store is mobile-friendly
Mobile devices are becoming more and more popular. This means that tablets and smartphones will become the most common channels for online shopping. In many developed countries, over half of consumers have used their smartphones to shop online. You want to give your customers the best online shopping experience.
A responsive WooCommerce theme is key to optimising your website for mobile users. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if you can make any improvements or if you need to change your theme entirely. To determine if your theme needs to be changed or whether there are any improvements, you can use apps such as Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. You can also audit your customer journey to optimise it for mobile customers.
2) Setup your WooCommerce store for speed
You have the best chance to maximise your conversion rates by using a proven theme that has received excellent reviews. It’s important to review all settings so they can be configured for optimum speed and customer satisfaction.
Disabling WooCommerce cart fragments is one of the most important, yet overlooked, things you can do. While dynamically updating shopping carts without having to reload the page may appear to be a good user benefit, it’s not worth the resources required.
A website caching tool can also help speed up your website substantially. WordPress plugins such as WP Rocket and WP Super Cache can speed up your website by storing copies of resource requests so that similar requests can be processed more quickly.
3) Use WooCommerce plugins judiciously
One of the reasons why so many online retailers choose to use WooCommerce for their stores is the availability of its plugins and extensions. It is important to remember that these tools can also consume resources, which can affect the performance of your website.
Use only those plugins that are essential to your business. Avoid plugins that consume too many resources, as this will increase the web page load time of your website. Keep your plugins up-to-date and search for suitable replacements for those that have been abandoned by their developers.
4) Optimise delivery of your static assets
A pleasant shopping experience requires high-quality media. However, you should optimise large files as they can impact loading times. To compress rich media and decrease its impact on website performance, use plugins such as Smush.
A content delivery network (CDN) can help you optimise the delivery of your static assets. A CDN such as Cloudflare stores copies of your static content in multiple data centres around the globe. This will direct visitors to the closest copy and reduce loading times for them.
5) Carefully choose your web host
The most important factor in your website’s performance is the web hosting package. Look for a company that is known for its stability and excellent value for money. Then, ensure you select the package that is best suited to your operation.
A shared hosting plan is fine for those just starting out. As you grow your traffic, you will need a hosting package that offers the best balance of speed, reliability, scalability and value for money. This could mean that you need to consider a virtual private server (VPS), a dedicated server or a cloud-based hosting solution.
This WooCommerce optimisation guide will help you improve your eCommerce store’s performance to make it more profitable. Here’s a simplified version that you can use to help you continue improving your website:
Checklist for optimising WooCommerce
- You must be ready for mobile users. You should not only choose a responsive theme but also streamline your customer journey to meet the needs of mobile shoppers.
- Your WooCommerce store should be set up for speed. Choose a theme that you like, and then tweak the settings for optimum speed. You should also use caching solutions to improve performance.
- Use WooCommerce plugins judiciously. Only install the plugins or extensions you really need. Keep them up-to-date and monitor their impact on your website’s performance.
- Optimise your static asset delivery. Use the right tools to compress all media and other assets to enhance the user experience. To optimise your site for global audiences, use a CDN.
- Be careful when choosing a web host. You want a web host that is reliable and offers great speed, scalability, customisability and great value for money.
Conversion rate optimisation is an endeavour that web entrepreneurs must take seriously, given the impact website performance has on revenue generation. Some websites may need a complete revamp, such as a new eCommerce website design, while others might need a few simple tweaks and the support of some quality WooCommerce plugins.
Regardless of your website’s current performance, completing this WooCommerce optimization checklist will require a significant amount of effort. Fortunately, every step increases your conversion rates and, as a result, your overall revenue.