There’s no doubt that every website owner dreams of high traffic and successful monetization of their projects. When running a site, many nuances have to be managed, but one feature requires special attention – website loading speed. In this article, you will learn why your website loading speed is important and how to improve website performance and increase uptime.
In e-commerce, there are several key factors that influence purchasing decisions. One of them is website loading speed. Website speed is one of the most important indicators which positively affects search engine rankings and conversion. Every additional second of loading threatens the business with the loss of 7% of targeted actions. It is believed that conversion rates drop in direct proportion with each passing second. After three seconds, 50% of users will leave your site. Nearly half of them will even tell some friends how dissatisfied they are with your application and its performance.
Shopping giants like Amazon and Walmart have already proven that improving website performance influences sales rate. Amazon research has shown that every 0.1 second of additional site speed brings the store 1% more revenue. Walmart estimates that a one-second site speed optimization increases conversion rates by up to 2%. Be that as it may, around 40% of customers are not going to wait if your site takes more than three seconds to load.
Surveys show that slow website loading speed can damage the reputation of any company, but this is especially concerning for e-commerce websites. For example, 44% of users said that they would definitely tell their friends about issues during an online purchase if they encountered any.
Particular attention should be paid to how the website behaves on mobile devices. as more and more users shop via smartphone. Not only does slow site performance affect sales, but also the number of internal clicks, the length of time on the blog, etc. By improving website performance, you will increase conversion and brand loyalty.
According to the Deloitte study, a boost in mobile site speed increases the number of page views, conversion rates, and funnel progression level.
Modern e-commerce is based on technological advances. To achieve success in e-commerce, a company needs to constantly update its website, adding new features and functionality. At the same time, it should provide the best service for online shoppers. Customers want their shopping experience to be immersive, personalized, and interactive, as well as enjoyable.
For developers, this poses many challenges: they are expected to improve website performance, as well as fix, improve, and deploy existing software with the fewest bugs. To keep up with the latest trends, developers also need to continuously update their code – to add new features, to improve the operation of the current system, etc. DevOps can help resolve all of those issues.
DevOps breaks the barrier between the IT departments and operation personnel. In order to achieve the goal of frequent and rapid deployment, exactly as required by customers, DevOps focuses on improving communication, collaboration, and productivity. How exactly does it work? DevOps improves bugs in production: developers create a program, test it, and if everything works, the program is deployed under the supervision of both developers and operation personnel. This increases the effectiveness of the process and makes it easy to add new functionality to the programs.
What does DevOps do for e-commerce? In order to help you understand why DevOps is so important for the industry, and for improving web performance, we listed some of its key components and their implications for e-commerce development.
Iterative Deployment: for any e-commerce project, it is vital to upgrade its website ( make website faster, add new features, buttons, expand the product line, etc.) When the process is sufficiently resilient, DevOps deployments can be constant, with minimal or no human input. Companies can deploy the code in a live environment.
Ceaseless Integration: it implies the integration of new code several times a day rather than entering it all at once. Developers test new code many times to be sure that it does not affect existing code and the system runs smoothly.
Automated Testing: it guarantees that the provided code matches the desired plan and does not introduce new bugs into the system. The goal is to obtain ongoing feedback that will lead to a solid e-commerce platform that can provide a comprehensive user experience.
Incremental Cycles: as we already stated, changes are often required in the e-commerce industry. DevOps combined with Agile focuses on fast, incremental development cycles. This is especially useful for projects where continuous change is a daily part of functioning successfully? With the help of DevOps, you can write and deploy short lines of code to quickly test/deploy new features of the program.
Personnel Cooperation: collaborative teamwork is crucial if companies are willing to release new efficient functionality regularly. Development, operations, and quality must be combined to minimize the chances of errors in the system and to quickly resolve any problems that arise.
Benefits of Using DevOps in E-commerce
Basically, DevOps can help improve website performance and the productivity of e-commerce projects in general. It can also provide the following benefits:
- The main benefit of implementing DevOps is that it bridges the gap between developers and the rest of the company’s operational staff.
- DevOps enables faster deployment of novel solutions. It makes the business more efficient and competitive. With DevOps on board, all processes run sequentially.
- The end goal of DevOps is to boost productivity and release software faster. DevOps helps companies meet high customer expectations by delivering new features quickly and without errors.
- DevOps makes production processes more flexible. Its means and techniques help shorten the production period. This enables e-commerce companies to regularly offer new quality features to their customers.
It is time to discover how to make website load faster. In order to build a successful business, you must monitor website performance and be ready to work on web site speed optimization. We have prepared a comprehensive list of effective ways to help you with your website speed optimization strategy.
CSS and JS
Improving web performance can be achieved by minifying and compressing all CSS and JS files without fail. This can be done both using online services and using Gulp, Grunt, or Webpack. If you are using the latter, then it will be helpful to use PostCss or smart plugins like CSS Nano, which will not only work on the size of your files, but also perform additional optimizations. Use critical CSS for your web site speed optimization. As for JS files, you should add the async property to the script tag, in everything except the jquery library. To make website faster, try not to use massive libraries unnecessarily. It is also advisable to upload the libraries with one minified file (also using the builders mentioned above). Improving website performance with these actions will give you a better score and faster page rendering.
Right now, you are probably wondering how to speed up web page loading time with PHP optimization. PHP optimization requires the use of a cache. The bottom line is that the files that the site uses are not downloaded from the server, but are already stored on the computer. True, this method is suitable only for those who have an Apache server, if suddenly there are problems with this and PHP web site speed optimization does not suit you, you should look towards service workers. Service workers is a modern PHP alternative for website speed optimization. This tool is a script that the browser runs in the background separately from the page and does not require user interaction.
Cleaning your cache is one of the most important steps in improving website performance. The cleaner the browser cache, the easier it is for a website to load. To ensure high speed of loading pages, and downloading applications and files with minimal “504 gateway time out” errors, you must clean the cache of the site as often as possible.
To improve website performance, choosing hosting carefully:
- Hosting type: for effective site speed optimization it is important to strike a balance between the cost of hosting and the advisability of overpaying for it. Small online stores and media outlets are better off choosing VPS/VDS. In this case, you don’t have to share the capacity with a dozen other sites. For large websites, it is worth choosing only dedicated servers with a predetermined capacity that will withstand the load.
- Hosting speed: if you need fast hosting, choose it on servers with SSD drives. Such hosting is a little more expensive than usual, but their speed is worth the money.
If there are a lot of heavy elements on the page and you are worried about how to make pages load faster, it makes sense to load them just before the moment they are used. Consider watching an online video: we do not wait for the entire video to load every time, we wait for a small fragment to load and start the video. This should be done for images, videos, iframes, and sometimes for text on your website.
External Scripts & Plugins
Very often, developers implement an entire plugin to have a single tooltip on the site, using one of the hundreds of library features. But such a strategy won’t help make website faster. If this plugin uses other libraries, then a huge pile of unused code appears on the site. Plugins provide various accessibility features for a site, and in most cases they are unavoidable. But using a large number of plugins can cause security problems as well as decrease the website page speed, which can negatively impact traffic.
So how to get rid of all unnecessary external scripts and how to improve site speed? Avoid plugins that add a lot of scripts, database queries, and styling. It is worth analyzing the site code and reducing the number of rarely used plugins. This will allow you to load pages faster.
When adding a Share button, we connect external scripts, Facebook, Instagram, etc. These are additional requests to different servers. We have already said that you need to at least implement lazy loading to improve website speed. However, there are situations when this is not possible. For example, many people use external scripts that add new fonts to the site (for example, Google). Often scripts are embedded in the HTML code which slow down performance. For dynamic web site speed optimization, use no more than 6 scripts.
Each website inevitably accumulates various kinds of “garbage” that make page speed optimization even harder. This happens, for instance, when the design and functionality are changed. Your task is to find and remove code fragments that do not perform any tasks. This will allow you to significantly speed up website. Consider removing the following elements:
- pieces of code from third-party resources, services, add-ons;
- duplicated scripts;
- dead code;
- unnecessary plugins, widgets and forms inside the CMS.
- CSS Drive
- CSS Compressor
- Online Compressor
With AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) you can create extremely simplified website pages that contain only the basic content: no widgets, dynamic blocks, ads, and even comment forms. Such pages have a very high loading speed – usually no more than 2-3 seconds. But there are also disadvantages to such web site speed optimization: reduced functionality, faded appearance. That’s why this technology is mainly used by blogs, news portals and information sites.
TCP, TLS, HTTP/2
TCP is a popular network protocol based on a “restart window”. The higher the size of the window (the number of packets for transmission), the greater the bandwidth. But how to speed up your website adjusting this protocol? Your job is to correctly calculate and adjust the TCP buffer size. Most developers use two times the latency and bandwidth for this. To change the size of the buffer, use the Setsockopt call if you code in C or the setReceiveBufferSize and setSendBufferSize methods for Java. This adjustment is focused on speeding up large-scale portals and servers letting users load pages faster. The main thing is to regularly update the system.
As for TLS tuning, it will shorten response times and increase the level of connection security. It helps load web pages faster by making the following changes:
- enable shared session cache and disable built-in analog;
- equalize the number of working operations with the number of processors;
- allow keep-alive connections;
- increase the session lifetime.
HTTP / 2 is a fairly young protocol that contains performance mechanisms designed to reduce the impact of network delays. To enhance your web site speed optimization, SEO pros recommend that you avoid embedding files in HTML, domain sharding, sprites, and file concatenation.
The page opening time is 80% dependent on the loading of CSS, scripts and images. Reducing the number of the aforementioned items results in a faster web project. But how to make websites load faster without changing their look? To do this, it is enough to use the Inline images and CSS sprites embedded in the page – combined images that consist of small fragments. If you use multiple JS and CSS elements on a page, you can combine them into one file – this is a powerful and simple technique.
Now you know how important the performance of a resource is for its conversion and how to make your website load faster. We hope this article has answered all your questions about how to improve website performance and has helped you optimize your site with minimal effort! Continuous work on the site can lead to its success. But if you feel like you need help, you can always resort to professionals in the field!