3 reasons why your e-commerce website is slowSyah Ismail
According to Statista, e-commerce was responsible for around US$2.3 trillion in sales in 2017 and is expected to hit US$4.5 trillion in 2021. Therefore, the speed and overall performance of e-commerce websites have become a priority for businesses, as more customers go online to do their shopping. An online store must offer a fast experience or you risk losing conversions and perhaps future earning opportunities.
Content delivery network not enabled
A lot of things can cause e-commerce performance problems, one of them is a disabled content delivery network. A content delivery network, or CDN, stores a cached version of your web store content on servers around the globe. This dramatically reduces load time because it improves latency, which is the time it takes for a page asset like an image to load after being requested. That’s because these CDN servers are much closer to most consumers than the origin server, so the bytes don’t have to travel as far.
So how can you check if the CDN is working correctly on your website? CDNPlanet is a tool that allows you to see if you’re using a CDN, though it will not reveal the source of the problem. For instructions on figuring out why the CDN is not working and enabling it, take a look at this article on our developer site. Enabling it may be as easy as checking a box on the back-end of your e-commerce platform.
Unnecessary content creates delays
You know your site is sluggish, but what is slowing it down? There’s an easy way to find out with a tool called WebPagetest. Simply enter your website and run a test to get a visual representation of how long it takes each piece of a web page to load and see if anything is taking an unreasonable amount of time.
WebPagetest also provides a pie chart that breaks download time by images, fonts, CSS and more. Unnecessarily large images are the most common source of delays. Use image compression software to downsize them and you will see an immediate improvement in load times. There’s no reason for your site to carry needless extra weight.
Third parties impede page rendering
WebPagetest also has a “visual comparison” test that will provide a filmstrip view of how a web page looks in one-tenth of a second increment. It displays the percentage of the page loaded at each benchmark, as well.
Slow page rendering is often the result of third-party requests that you may not even realise are part of your website. If this is an issue, you can block those individual requests or domains using the “Block” feature built into WebPagetest and re-run your test to see if there is any progress.
Heavy fonts are another common source of sluggish page rendering. If you think speed is deterring buyers from visiting your site, ask yourself if you can make do with the standard fonts built into all web browsers.