Key to Online Business Success: How to Fix WooCommerce Performance Issues

Key to Online Business Success: How to Fix WooCommerce Performance Issues

Did you know that nearly half of internet users don’t return to a website with performance issues?

Sadly, this is something many business owners face from time to time. Sure, WooCommerce is a great eCommerce platform, but it’s no exception. If you’re not keen on dealing with this on your own, you can hire the popular web development companies‌ that will monitor performance and fix any problems as soon as possible. You can take your time and read some helpful hints when you’re ready.

But, if you want to take the bull by the horns and fix the problem on your own, here’s what you should do.

Change your web hosting provider.

When you’re just starting a WooCommerce, you’ll see there are a lot of different web hosting providers. Many of them are pretty cheap, which is great when you’re not earning any significant amount from sales.

But, as your business picks up and more orders come in, you’ll have to switch to a better hosting provider. Otherwise, your website will become too slow because it can’t handle a large volume of traffic or media at the same time. And that is the perfect recipe for abandoned carts.

Naturally, a better hosting provider is also a bit more expensive, but it pays off in the long run.

Here are some good hosting providers:

We recommend you stay away from  Bluehost, ‌   GoDaddy, ‌  Site5, HostGator, and Crazydomains. You can expect multiple short outages every day and slow and irregular maintenance if you opt for these providers.

A bonus tip: check the location of your web host. If most of your customers live in New York, see if you can find a host in the same country or nearby. This will result in a shorter response time.

Use a CDN.

If changing your host didn’t help, using a CDN‌ most likely will.

A CDN or Content Delivery Network refers to a group of servers located across the world that provide fast delivery of Internet content. It works with HTML pages, JavaScript files, style sheets, images, and videos.

Now, it may seem similar to web hosting, but there are some significant differences. For starters, a CDN does not host content. CDN servers simply copy files from your origin server – web host. Web hosting is a must while using a CDN is optional.

Even though a CDN doesn’t host content, it does impact the website speed and makes it less prone to crashes, since it doesn’t rely on just one server. You’ll also be able to handle more traffic‌, improve the user experience, and SEO ranking.

We recommend using Cloudflare, Image CDN by Jetpack, and StackPath, as these have a lot of data centers and are very user-friendly.

Remove unnecessary plugins or change your theme.

WooCommerce allows you to use as many plugins as you like. But, many of these plugins are not compatible, which can cause crashes and similar performance issues. This is because WooCommerce simply cannot examine all third-party plugins and codes.

To detect which plugin is conflicting, go through the list of plugins‌ and manually disable them one by one. Once you’ve disabled the right one, you’ll notice that your website is working better.

Keep in mind that you should disable the plugins you don’t use, even when they aren’t conflicting. They’re likely to impact your CPU power and slow down your website.

A similar thing can happen if you pick the wrong theme. For that reason, it’s best to create a backup and switch to the default WordPress theme. You should be able to tell if your site loads faster after the switch. If it does, you should change your theme.

Letting unnecessary plugins run on your WordPress installation might also have an impact on your budget, as your hosting costs will increase due to higher power consumption. It isn’t good for the environement either, as power usage will be wasted!

Install a caching plugin.

Aside from your host provider and a CDN, caching can also help you optimize the website speed. This is because a cache collects temporary data to help websites and browsers load faster. Without this plugin, your host provider must load the website from scratch each time you open it, which takes a lot of time.

When installing a caching plugin, make sure to exclude the /myaccount/, /cart/, /checkout/, and /wishlist/ pages and their child pages from caching. If you fail to do this, you’ll end up breaking the checkout functionality, or having your shopping carts switch between users.

Some good and reliable caching plugins‌ are W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket. These can help you speed up your website significantly.

Optimize image size.

Most online stores have a lot of images of products. You most likely have not one but multiple photos of the same product. This can take its toll on the website’s performance and slow it down significantly (we’re talking seconds here) if the images are high-quality.

But fear not, as you can fix this problem easily. All you need to do is to compress the images‌. If you use lossless compression, the images will remain the same in terms of quality, and users won’t notice a thing.

Of course, you don’t need to compress each image manually. There are numerous plugins you can use for this, such as Shortpixel.

If you are using a CDN as proposed above, some of them might even be able to perform this optimization – and even more of them, on your behalf. Some of them, like the Ezoic  Site Speed Accelerator ‌  can perform various boosts with your content, as they act as an intermediary between your web hosting and your visitors.

Change the PHP version.

WordPress, as a content management system, is written in PHP. Since WooCommerce is a platform built on WordPress, it also relies on PHP.

PHP has released different versions over the years. Of course, each version is better than the previous. You can increase performance by running processes more efficiently and reducing memory usage, which will shorten the load-time on your website‌.

WordPress hosts automatically update the PHP version, so most of the time, you won’t need to do it manually. The inconvenience is that some plugins may not work properly with the newest PHP version. If that’s the case, you can downgrade the PHP to version 7.4, for instance, until the problem with the plugin is fixed, or just disable the plugin or a theme.

Switch to HTTPS.

Running in HTTPS mode is generally recommended because it is more secure, especially because your customers will need to fill out at least one form for delivery purposes. We can safely assume you don’t want their personal data to leak.

Regardless of the privacy issues, there are other reasons to switch to HTTPS mode‌. The HTTP 2.0 protocol used by HTTPS is significantly faster than the older HTTP 1.1 protocol.

Keep in mind that your host must support HTTP2 and most cheap hosts don’t. That brings up back to the first tip – it’s better to invest in a good web host provider than to risk having issues with data protection and website speed.

Hopefully, this article helped you identify the type of performance issue and a solution. Of course, if you’re still having problems, you can contact someone experienced in WooCommerce, such as a developer, to look into it.

Author Bio

Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.

Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious.

Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne‌, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.

Comments (0)

Leave a comment