Woocommerce page speed optimization is a hot topic as we know that based on Neil Patel’s research, eCommerce websites lose about 7% of online sales for every second it takes their website to load. Depending on your revenue, that could be thousands of dollars a month! There are many things that can be done to make Woocommerce faster, but these 10 tips will get you started.
1) Enable GZIP compression
Gzip compression is a computer programming technique that can improve performance by up to 75% when files are transferred over the internet. Gzip compression reduces the size of the data in an HTML document by dividing it into blocks, finding repeating strings of text, and replacing them with pointers to earlier parts of the file. This transformation typically reduces files by about 30-50%. Gzip was designed for use on much larger files than those found on websites, but it still helps Woocommerce stores speed up because any reduction in data size will lower loading time.
This site speed feature is most likely enabled on your server if you’re running Woocommerce on an optimized e-commerce host such as WPEngine or Cloudways. However, turning GZIP on in your .htaccess file will compress all the data being sent back and forth from the server to our browser and then back again which not only speeds up your site but also improves security. The quicker your Woocommerce store loads, the better the SEO, customer satisfaction, and sales!
2) Minify your CSS and JS files
This is by far the easiest way of decreasing your file size and increasing speed in Woocommerce. Minifying simply means removing all unnecessary characters such as white spaces, new lines, and comments without changing how the script runs. This also might break your Woocommerce theme or plugin, so be sure to backup first just in case.
The best practice is to minify all CSS and JS files on your Woocommerce store, this will decrease the file size, which means that your Woocommerce site will be loading faster. There are a number of different ways to do this depending on what host you are running Woocommerce on. Our recommended approach is to leverage WP Rocket.
3) Use a better Woocommerce cache plugin
There’s no magic bullet when it comes down to page speed optimization as there are literally hundreds of things that could probably slow Woocommerce down. However, a number of Woocommerce cache plugins will improve site speed drastically on busy stores. Some caching software can slow Woocommerce down, so choose one that has a good reputation as Woocommerce is very finicky when it comes to caching plugins.
We recommend WP Rocket, which has plenty of features including Woocommerce support for lazy loading images, gzip compression, and Woocommerce minifying as well. It’s simply the best woocommerce cache plugin out there.
4) Use a Woocommerce cache preloader like WP Rocket
A preloader will load your Woocommerce site in the background before a visitor clicks on any links, this means that visitors don’t have to wait for Woocommerce to fully load.
Remember, Woocommerce is very sensitive when it comes to just any cache plugin. A Woocommerce cache plugin that works for one Woocommerce site might not work on another Woocommerce store with a different Woocommerce theme. However, WP Rocket has a number of safeguards in place for any Woocommerce store like the avoiding of caching a shopping cart or other customer sessions that need to be dynamic.
WP Rocket’s preloader is called the “Rocket Preloader” and it will show your content as soon as possible (even if Woocommerce hasn’t finished loading). Combined with WP Rocket’s page speed optimization features, your site will be up to 75% faster!
5) Use an external CDN to host Woocommerce site media
Almost every Woocommerce website owner will have at least some type of hosting plan. As stated above though we want excellent store performance so using an external CDN or content delivery network will help us do just that. An external CDN will host Woocommerce images, media, and scripts on servers that are closer to your visitor. This will speed up woocommerce site load times drastically.
Cloudflare is an important CDN service that you can use with Woocommerce. It offers a free application programming interface(API) and lets domain owners change the domain name server (DNS), Cloudflare caches website content like webpages, product images, and scripts and expands website bandwidth. There are three pricing plans: Free, Pro, and Enterprise.
There is no reason not to try out Cloudflare because it’s free!
6) Optimize images for Woocommerce store
Woocommerce stores have a lot of product images that can negatively impact page load speed. Don’t worry, they can be optimized to make Woocommerce faster! There are many ways to do this, however, one way would be to install the Shortpixel plugin which will optimize images on upload automatically.
Woocommerce stores require images to render properly. The more images a Woocommerce site has, the slower it will be. There are many ways to optimize Woocommerce images, but one way would be by installing the Shortpixel plugin which will compress Woocommerce images automatically upon upload. Remember though, if you have product zoom enabled and Google Pagespeed Insights suggests that you need to scale down the image it is false. Scaling down will cause quality issues with your Woocommerce pictures and you should not resize images!
There are nextgen formats that can also compress images further. One example of this is compressing Woocommerce images by using WebP or even AVIF instead of JPG or PNG formats.
7) Clean up Woocommerce database frequently with a plugin
A bloated database is something that will slow down Woocommerce performance. It will also cause issues like Woocommerce errors or Woocommerce problems. You need to regularly clean and optimize your database.
Woocommerce doesn’t have a native way of doing this. However, I highly recommend using a database cleanup plugin for your Woocommerce store. The best one I’ve used is called WP-Optimize and it’s completely free. It’s also extremely simple to use and just takes seconds to clear out all your Woocommerce errors/problems that usually slow your website down.
8) Use cloud hosting for Woocommerce if possible
Cloud hosting, as opposed to shared hosting, is the best option for Woocommerce speed and performance. Cloud hosting will allow Woocommerce sites to have a lot of resources available. It also limits the number of shared resources you have on your server. This means your Woocommerce site will not be slowed down by the memory limits or won’t timeout due to low server resources. Don’t turn away your customers due to these errors!
If you want to leverage dedicated web hosting for your Woocommerce website today, Bauertech can hook you up.
9) Upgrade PHP version to 7.x
By default Woocommerce works on PHP 5.x however Woocommerce is very slow on older versions of PHP. I highly recommend upgrading to at least PHP 7.3. PHP 7 has demonstrated a 30% increase in page load time. It also uses less memory and CPU than PHP 5 which Woocommerce store owners will appreciate.
10) Run a WordPress speed test
It’s always smart to run a Woocommerce speed test every once in a while just to get an idea of how much time you’re actually saving by speeding up Woocommerce. There are several free WordPress plugins you can use for this however my recommendation would be the GTMetrix website performance tool.
And that’s it!
After reading this article, we hope you’ve learned how to speed up Woocommerce with these tips. If you know other Woocommerce speed optimization techniques, feel free to post them in the comments.
Need to make a bigger dent? Try our Woocommerce page speed optimization service today!
Our developers will speed up Woocommerce site load times and fix Woocommerce store errors. We’ll also monitor page speed for you as we’re experts at Woocommerce site performance!
CONTACT US TODAY TO GET YOUR WOOCOMMERCE STORE SPEED UP!