For the site to work well you need to think in several ways. A powerful server cannot guarantee the stable operation of an online store and ensure a high level of performance. The same applies to additions to optimize the work site. They can not only reduce the speed of the online store but even lead to an error and inaccessibility of the store. From the side, it may seem to be a problem with the server, but it is not.
Frontend (JS, CSS, imagery, and animations)
One of the major problems that you may face with respect to load speed is the excessive number of images. Modern browsers limit the number of simultaneous requests from a page to a host. Say, some browser a limit of around 20 requests. This means that while the first 20 images are loading, the rest are waiting for their turn and not loading until the place in the download queue becomes free. Since there are a lot of images, it turns out that the browser is waiting for them all to download.
Next comes the JS, which waits until all the pictures are downloaded and only then displays the blocks. Online stores have lots of blocks with images. Thus, two dependent processes create the problem of long loading of the website.
To speed up the loading of the storefront and quickly show your products to customers, we recommend:
- Optimize image size. Thus, without loss of quality, images will be loaded much faster.
- Use progressive JPEG images. Depending on the file size, progressive JPEGs can be much better optimized, resulting in a smaller output size (leading to faster load times)
- Do not display too many images on one page at a time. You can use pagination or load other images while scrolling the page.
- Revise the number of images in the block. Do not try to show as many goods as possible at once, show the best and most profitable for you. This will not only speed up the loading of the store but also improve the shopping experience of the buyer.
- Enable CDN. This will increase the number of hosts from which content will be downloaded simultaneously.
Backend (PHP and MySQL)
Add-on developers rarely think about how their products will work with the main platform under high load conditions. Often we see an excellent module that adds useful functionality to the store but is unable to withstand the load even of an average level. Slowing down the store reduces customer satisfaction, which either cannot use the functionality or do not see it at all. Peak loads during marketing campaigns can overload the module and cause the database to crash, leading to inaccessibility of the store. Such situations are not uncommon.
More often this kind of conflicts arises between add-ons from various developers. Nobody conducts load testing of the work of a bunch of such applications. And, of course, compatibility checks are not carried out.
To reduce the risk of such conflicts, we recommend:
- Do not install “useless” applications. Focus on those that affect the increase in sales and business growth. Postpone minor improvements for the period when your customers are least active.
- Warn your hosting provider about work in the store. An extra pair of eyes will help identify possible threats to your online store as quickly as possible. Of course, if the provider is monitoring.
- Choose your add-on vendor carefully. Try to find out more about whose code you add to your online store.
- If possible, use the products of one developer. This ensures product compatibility since the culture of writing code and the approach to its testing and implementation will be identical.
How we can help you to speed up your online store
AWS Cloud hosting for CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor has several advantages that will help speed up your store.
We set up server configurations so that it demonstrates the maximum performance of your store, with all its features.
The latest server software allows it to demonstrate the highest performance. Moreover, the software updates provide security from malicious programs that can harm the operation of the online store.
We will optimize all your imagery to ensure the best page load speed without harming the quality of the images. We use our own technology which we can control, tune and optimize.
In conclusion, I want to tell you that website load speed is a complex work from the server side. But at the same time, the user side work also means the world. Both parties (server team and user) have to work in conjunction to ensure the best performance of the online store. Another time you decide to blame the hosting service for the low load speed of your store, make sure you’ve done it all to improve it (at least not to harm it) from your side.
We are always happy to help you find ways to improve your eCommerce site performance.