Did you know that once your web page takes 4 seconds to load, 25% of people will abandon your website? Or that 47% of online shoppers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less?
Speed is a huge factor in increasing conversions on Ecommerce websites. So how do you make your Ecommerce site faster? Well first you need to know the loading speed of your web pages before you make any changes and there are several free tools you can use to discover this:
Once you know your loading speeds, work through the following 5 hacks and then retest the speed of your pages – you should be happily surprised at the difference these few changes will make to the speed of your website.
Every time a visitor opens a new page on your website or returns to your website, their computer accesses all of the files for your web page from the server. This takes time, so the idea is that information regarding static components of your website, such as headers, sidebars and images are saved to the visitor’s browser. Not having to access the server repeatedly for every component on your web page, speeds up the loading times.
Check that your E-commerce site has caching enabled and if not you can use a plugin or a third party service such as Varnish.
Not all web hosting companies are equal as some hosts specialize in providing the best environment for E-commerce websites. It is always best to ask a potential hosting company - Calgary Web Solution, how they have optimized their servers to suit E-commerce websites, before you sign on the dotted line.
However, you also need to compress your images, particularly on an Ecommerce site which can have hundreds of images, causing your loading speed to be considerably reduced. You can compress images using PhonePages.ca or check out CSS Sprites as an alternative.
Compression can also be achieved by using plugins, such as WP Total Cache or WP Super Minify. Just be aware that these plugins can interfere with other plugins on your website.
Reduce DNS lookups
For every domain name there is an IP address. However, every external component on your web pages has their own IP address, for example YouTube, Facebook, Twitter feeds etc. So every time one of your web pages is loaded, the visitor’s browser has to retrieve all of the relevant IP addresses from the server. Reducing these ‘DNS’ lookups increases your loading time.
Optimize for Mobile
In this day and age with more and more people accessing the internet using their mobile devices, your Ecommerce site must be optimized for mobile devices. For this you have three choices – a native application, a separate mobile site and a responsive design. The best advice here is to discuss your requirements with your website developer who can design the best solution for your company.
Lastly, updates and patches are regularly released for Ecommerce sites and many of them will help speed up your website’s loading times. So make sure to always keep your software up-to-date.
For more information on increasing your Ecommerce site’s loading times or on Ecommerce design, contact us on (403) 688 5533, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online inquiry form.
Digital technology has changed dramatically over the past ten to twenty years and the internet is now a permanent fixture in our lives. All you have to do is to think back to the early days and your very first website to know that the internet is an ever changing beast.
There is however, one part of the internet that we see every single day that has not changed – the HTTP we see at the beginning of a website address. You might be surprised to know that this is going to change very soon.
So what exactly is the HTTP? What does it do? Why do we need it and why does it need to be changed? More importantly, what will these changes mean to your business?
The World of HTTP
HTTP is short for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web and what is actually does is control the transfer of information and data from your web browser to the server of the website you want to visit.
When you type the URL of a web page into your browser, this sends a HTTP message to the server commanding it to find the web page and to transmit it to your browser.
In the early days of the internet, can you remember that we had to type HTTP into the browser? Now with the current generation of browsers, we no longer need to do this anymore, but it is still there even though we don’t need to actively type in HTTP.
So why is HTTP Changing?
In a nutshell, HTTP will change to HTTP/2 in about a year or two from now and its main focus will be to decrease page loading times. You might have noticed that loading times have increased over the past few years, but that is mainly due to the improvements in broadband connections. To speed loading times up even more, the underlying HTTP needs to be updated.
You might be surprised to learn, that with all of the advances in digital technology and the way the internet has evolved over the years, HTTP has remained unchanged. It is way past time for an update, especially if we want to continue making use of the eCommerce web solution available for our websites.
After all, there is no point in putting premier gas in your car if its top speed is only 50mph, so is there any point in trying to improve the internet with better broadband connections if the underlying protocol can’t cope with these changes? So to keep up, HTTP needs to change and become HTTP/2.
What will HTTP/2 Mean to your Business?
HTTP was created when websites were much simpler, so when you send a HTTP request for a web page to the server, every single part of that web page is requested individually. It’s like having a shopping list and instead of going to the market and purchasing everything on your list, instead you make separate trips to buy each item on your list.
That doesn’t make any sense does it? In the early days of web development however, it made perfect sense. So in essence when you request a web page, a request is sent for each image, for example, to the server. Even worse, your browser has to wait for a response from the server for the first image, before it can request the second image, and so on.
This is why your web pages can take so long to load. Every time another component is added to a web page that is another request that has to be made to the server. The newer browsers can have multiple connections to a server, but still, each connection is limited to one request at a time.
That’s where HTTP/2 comes in, because it allows your browser to make multiple requests at one time. In essence, web pages will load much quicker because your browser doesn’t have to send individual requests and then wait for a response before sending the next request.
Even with a fast internet connection, this issue with HTTP holds you back from achieving really fast loading times. HTTP/2 will help you to take more advantage of your fast internet connections, because it removes the blockage from the system.
What do you have to do?
Absolutely nothing. All you need do is to keep your browser up to date and if your website is compatible it will use this protocol. If it is not compatible, it will simply use the old HTTP which will still be available.