Holiday shopping is just falling in few weeks and it is high time for you to prepare your ecommerce site to withstand the traffic. If your site is slow to download then it may result in losing the valuable customers. Also, the page downloading time is one of the key factor that is considered for search engine rankings.
Study reveals that
- 73% of mobile internet users say that they have encountered a website that was too slow to download
- 51% say that they have encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error
- 48% say that they have encountered a website that had formatting which made it difficult to read
- 45% say that they have encountered a website that did not function as expected
- 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less
- 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
The failure of a site to load properly can affect the satisfaction level of the customers. A one second delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%. Also, the customer may spread the news of site loading failure to others which will cause ill effect for the ecommerce site reputation. About 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.
With ever increasing broadband speed and 4G mobile web connection, customers demand quick loading and browsing. Customers are not ready to wait more than 3-4 seconds. Therefore some of the tips to manage the speed of the site downloading are discussed below which may be useful to make your ecommerce site to be competitive.
1. Know the speed
It is essential to know the speed at which a website gets downloaded. There are many interesting tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Yahoo’s YSlow etc., which can be useful to determine the speed of the site. Understanding the speed can help to take the necessary action.
2. Reduce HTTP requests
3. Compress and scale image
Most of the images are too large that it takes time to load. Compressing the image with good quality can considerably speed up the site loading. The images should be scaled to fit in the required size avoiding resizing of images by server to fit on mobile screen, desktop etc.
4. CDN and hosting provider
If you host your websites on west coast while most of the users are in east coast, then considering a hosting provider proximal to the user is a wise thought. CDN or Content Delivery Network places the website files on server in many locations throughout the world such that files can be loaded from the nearest server to the customer.
The unnecessary characters or extra spaces and elements that are added in the webpage can be removed to reduce the file size.
CSS can be minified using the site http://cssminifier.com and
All-in-one minifier is available with Google https://code.google.com/p/minify/.
7. Cache common files
Some of the elements on the site may be repeated or remain constant from page to page. Such elements can be cached by adding extra code to your site’s .htaccess file. The file name and type should be mentioned in the code along with how long the code should be cached.
8. DNS lookup
Domain Name System (DNS) also affects the speed of the site. For example, before a browser loads the site, it looks up the corresponding domain in DNS server. If there are embedded YouTube videos, a Twitter feed etc., which has to be obtained from external resources then it may slow down the page loading. Therefore external resources should be minimized.
9. PHP Accelerator
The PHP accelerators like Alternative PHP Cache (APC), XCache etc increase the speed of PHP application.
10. Avoid redirect
Each redirect triggers an HTTP request, so think if you really need a redirect. More than one redirect to reach a given resource should be avoided. It is recommend to use server side redirects when compared to client side redirects.
11. Broken links
Broken link is a hyperlink to a webpage that does not exist. It is a waste of time to load the page. Broken links can be detected using W3C’s link checker, Broken link checker for WordPress etc.