Most online store owners are aware that it matters how fast their website is. However, far from everyone knows how important it really is. According to a study by Kissmetrics.com for example, 47% of consumers expect your website to load faster than two seconds and 40% to leave your page,
if the loading time is more than three seconds.
Selling a webshop for f.ex. 100,000 kr. a day, a second in extra load time can cost 2.5 million kr. per year in lost sales. You can read more here.
Get more speed on your webshop
There can be many reasons why your online store is running slow. If you have an e-commerce system developed by a web or advertising agency that runs on their servers and is not uniquely designed for you, you may need to switch to another platform to solve the problem. However, there are a few things you can do yourself.
Check the size of your images. Do you have f.ex. a product page that lists 50 to 100 products at a time, it is important that they do not take up too much space. In my opinion, a product image displayed on such a page should not take up more than 3 to 5000 bytes.
If your images fill up too much, first find out if your CMS system or image server scales them correctly. Then you can use programs like Kraken or JPGmini that can make your images take up less space and at the same time keep a good quality.
JPEGmini is smart because you can select an entire folder at a time. So you just download all your images to a folder on your PC and set JPGmini in motion. In the program, you can choose either to copy all the pictures to a new folder, or just overwrite the old pictures with the same name.
If you choose the last solution, you can simply overwrite all the images on your web server with the images you have in your folder on your PC. I have even tried to reduce my images by up to 50% in file size, and that means a lot if you want to load 60 or 80 images per page.
Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom tools
You can try to run your page through Google PageSpeed Insights and see what result you get. This tool also offers suggestions for changes you can make to make your website faster. Remember that there is a difference between mobile and desktop.
You can also do a speed test via Pingdom Tools, which shows you an overview of load times on the items you have on your website.
Cache your website
Do you have the option to cache your website, I would advise you to do so. Then the page becomes free to download information from the server. It goes much faster, and there are a lot of CMS systems and ecommerce platforms that have this option. There is a big difference in how the different systems utilize the cache on the client and server side. If you have a system that does well, it can make a world of difference.
I have asked some online store owners what they have done to make their website faster.
Hos Katoni.dk are they aware of the importance of speed, and they have therefore spent a really long time getting their website running fast. Their system is built from the ground up, so they have the ability to adjust on just about anything.
I’ve asked the programmer behind katoni.dk which measures, he believes, have had the greatest effect.
The first thing they developed was a cache system that automatically caches pages, where the server takes more than a second to process the page’s queries. So every time a user visits a page, the system checks whether the server returns quickly enough. If it does not, the page will be cached and will then be downloaded as a normal HTML page. System then writes this page in a text file and makes sure to automatically cache the next time the Website is updated.
In this way, the fast pages will be run on the server, and the slow ones will be downloaded as HTML files.
Another thing they have looked at is their SQL statements. If we take a Category URL f.ex. the one who shows their blazers, so, due to their filters such as size, color, brands, sales, save the most, etc. call a great many SQL statements. Initially, they were built up, so the MYsql server made a lot of FILESORT and Temporary files. FILESORT means that it cannot use the index set on the table and will have to sort the data manually. Temporary file means that a temporary file is created on the hard disk containing a table.
By changing the SQL statements and minimizing the number of FILESORT and Temporary files, the page load time was reduced by over a second.
If you, like katoni.dk, using MYsql, by typing EXPLAIN in front of your SQL statements you can see how the server executes them. Do you have many FILESORT and Temporary files, you might want to consider getting them optimized.
Hos Refurb.dk do they sell laptops on the web that have been used professionally. They are optimized to be sold again at about half the price, but with a renewed warranty as with the purchase of new equipment.
In August, they launched their first nationwide TV commercial, and this, of course, meant a sharp increase in the number of visitors. Refurb the website was pretty pressured by it as they suddenly experienced very large amounts of traffic during the heavy advertising blocks between the evening programs. This meant that some of their visitors experienced some longer loading times on the site.
They got it solved by moving their site to clould hosting, and thus they had the opportunity to be able to turn on more servers during the time when they had these peaks. This means that they can now very quickly scale their capacity, and thus accommodate campaigns such as f.ex. TV advertising with great flexibility, and without the site thus becomes slower. The system is set up so that during TV campaigns a few extra instances are automatically started between f.ex. kl. 17 and 23, as of course typical there are the TV blocks really can send many visitors their way.
Another thing they have worked a lot with at Refurb is the optimization of images. They have chosen to use the svg-format which is a vectorized format. It’s a solution that works both well and quickly, and has really given a boost to the site’s load times.
Images and graphics elements are usually the heaviest parts of websites, and so were they at Refurb. When they got these optimized in this way, they both lowered their load times, and also got a solution that scales well up and down to all screen sizes. This means that today they can better adapt to the many new formats on smartphones, laptops, external displays, etc.
MurphyBedHQ.com is a webshop with floor plans for Murphy bed beds, which are beds that can be folded up on the wall to save space during the day. The shop runs on the WordPress system, with Woo-commerce as the shop part. On WordPress there are various plugins that can help increase speed, and one of the plugins that they use is W3 Total Cache.
The plugin helps to cache the site on the server, which is an important factor in terms of getting the load speed up. It has given them a significant boost. You just have to be careful to empty the cache when changing prices and content on the site, so you are sure that the visitors see the latest version.
In addition, they have changed theme on the site. The theme itself is quite crucial on WordPress, as not all themes run equally well and fast. They have found a theme that runs really well (flatsome) and with some tweaks on the image compression across the entire site, the speed has been lifted significantly.
Last but not least, they now have a goal of having as few plugins running as possible. Most plugins do not exactly help on speed, as f.ex. the caching plugin. With WordPress, many social media plugins are quickly installed. Many smart features can be set up that integrate Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc., however, one should consider. how often it is used in relation to it some extra code, which must be loaded every time.
All in all, these changes gave a boost of approx. 25-30%, and some of the next things they will work with in the future is to get reduced CSS and java script to a minimum.
Is your online store running fast enough?
Most online store owners are aware that it matters how fast their website is. However, far from everyone knows how important it really is.…
Written d. 27 jan 2015 – 1 Comment