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Woocommerce Speed Optimization Tips

speeding up woocommerce site

How to speed up WooCommerce Store?

Do you own a WooCommerce store and struggling to improve the speed? Are you trying your best to optimize your Woocommerce store to rank higher on Google?

Shoppers are always in a hurry. If you run an eCommerce store, you know the importance of making it load faster. Speed of the website ensures a great shopping experience. A website that loads quickly will have a better position on the search engine results pages, better ROI, happier customers, etc.

WooCommerce is one of the easiest ways to launch an online store. Buy a domain, purchase hosting, set up WordPress, install the WooCommerce plugin, and your store is ready to take in orders. Due to the simplicity of the installation, WooCommerce has managed to get huge popularity in such a short time that no other Ecommerce system has managed to do so. According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce is the most popular checkout system in the top one million sites. WooCommerce checkout powers 28% of the top one million sites, making it the first on the list.

 

a pie chart of Wocommerce percentage on top one million site by BuiltWith

A pie chart of Wocommerce percentage on top one million sites by BuiltWith

If you are a proud WooCommerce store owner and are looking for ways to improve the site’s speed, we got you covered. We will share some excellent tips and tricks that will surely help you optimize and improve the speed of your WooCommerce site.

 

1. Increase WordPress memory limit

The default memory of WordPress is set to 32MB only. The first thing one should do after setting up a WooCommerce store is to increase the WordPress memory limit. As it is expected to exceed at one point and eventually start giving a fatal error message, we suggest combating this problem once you open the store. There are two easy ways to solve this: do it by yourself or ask your hosting provider to do it for you.

Edit the wp-config.php file

  • Let’s open the wp-config.php file, which is located in the WordPress root folder. Scroll to the bottom, and you will see a line like this: /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */
  • Add this line above the happy blogging line: define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’)

Edit PHP.ini file to increase WordPress Memory limit

If you have access to the PHP.ini file, you can also increase the WordPress memory limit from here. If the line shows 64M, just change it to 256M: memory_limit = 256M

Edit the .htaccess file

Did you know that you can also use the .htaccess file to increase the WordPress memory limit? If you are missing access to PHP.ini, add this line to the .htaccess file: php_value memory_limit 256M

If you have followed our instructions above to increase the WP memory limit, you have completed one of the best ways to speed up a WooCommerce site.

2. Use a WordPress Caching Plugin

As you already know, WordPress pages are dynamic. One of the easiest ways to speed up your WooCommerce store is by creating a static version of the website.

Caching means temporarily storing or copying resources from the first request so that the subsequent requests are executed more quickly. Often overlooked, this is one of the best ways to speed up your WordPress site. 

There are two types of web caching that we can implement: 

Server-side caching: WooCommerce sites are dynamic. Our target is to make static to improve the speed. If your hosting or server provider supports a caching solution by default, it would just show an HTML version of the webpage to increase the speed. Another way to explain this would be to the server’s caching feature remembering part of the web page, meaning the whole page does not have to be loaded every time.

Client-side caching / Browser Caching:

Simply put, browser caching is a system where the browser remembers how a web page looked like in the fast visit so that the browser doesn’t have to load all the files if requested again. Browser caching is suitable for WooCommerce users as the customers are always looking for related products, and they will be visiting multiple pages of your site. The browser can store static files like stylesheets and Javascript files, improving the speed of the website. 

Recommended Plugins:

Breeze WordPress Cache Plugin: Breeze cache plugin recently got fame for some of its cool features like file exclusion feature, combining ability of CSS and JS files, enabling GZIP compression.

Wp Rocket: Wp Rocket is one of the best WooCommerce caching plugins that one can imagine. It has cache preloading, browser caching, GZIP compression feature, HTML & CSS minifying ability, lazy loading feature, and more. The pro version of this plugin comes with tons of other cool features designed to load WooCommerces sites much faster.

W3 Total Cache: W3 total cache is a seasoned cache plugin that has served thousands and thousands of WordPress users for a very long time. Unlike other WooCommerce cache plugins, this one is a bit tricky to use. If you want to make the best out of it, you will have to tweak some settings. They have features like browser caching, database caching, page caching, object caching, etc.

3. Optimize the Images

Optimizing images is a no-brainer. If you upload big product images, it will just add to the size of the page and slow it down. If you are a WooCommerce store owner, you will be uploading a lot of product images. While it is important to have pictures of products from different angles, it may slow down your website if the images are not optimized. If you are using a jpeg, png, and another popular format of images, we highly recommend you reduce its size. If you run your web page on the page speed insights tool, you will see that Google is recommending webp format. While Google Pagspeed insights do give you the list of the images, you can also use a plugin to create webp files online. 

There are many plugins available online to reduce the size of the image, make them lossless, and more to help you speed up your WooCommerce store.

WP Smush: WP Smush is one of the best image optimization plugins for WooCommerce store owners. You will be able to compress any images on the directory for free. However, the free option only allows you to compress 50 images at one time.

Imagify: This is a great plugin to automatically optimize your JPEG, PNG, and GIF files. You will be able to reduce the size of the images by up to 70%. 

ShortPixel: ShortPixel is by far one of the most used plugins by different CMS owners to reduce the size of their products. Their image optimization technology has always been improving, and you will be able to check the examples on their website.

4. Deliver Static Resources Via CDN

CDN or content delivery network is simply a group of servers placed strategically around the world to deliver a faster connection to the users once requested. Once enabled, a CDN will cache and deliver the static resources like images, JS files, CSS files, etc. You will be surprised to know that some of the powerful CDNs can also deliver dynamic content like audio and video.

Let’s say you have a WooCommerce site that covers different places in the United States. Let’s say you don’t have a CDN enabled. In that case, the customer’s connection will travel to the only data center you are using. However, if you have CDN enabled, the data will be derived from the closest data center, making it quicker than the single data center connection.

Besides improving the speed of the WooCommerce website, a CDN service will also protect your site from malicious attacks. Also, even if your site is hosted on a high-speed server, it is still limited by its physical/geographical location. The time to first byte (TTFB) will always be higher than normal. By using a WordPress CDN, you can decrease the distance between the data center and the user.

5. Optimize Website Code

As a veteran eCommerce site webmaster, I have noticed that the number of files on most sites can be staggering. As the number of products and customer grows, the number of files also grows rapidly. And if you are implementing new features on your site, it even becomes worse. While some CMS may be able to handle this smoothly, WooCommerce struggles with it. It is imperative that the webmaster works with the developers to minimize the codes to improve the overall speed of the WooCommerce store. There are many ways one can reduce the size of the codes, and GZIP should be the first one.

Gzip Compression: Enabling Gzip compression is a no-brainer. Gzip compression reduces the size of the static resources. It will compress HTTP content before it is delivered to the client on the server-side. Usually, Gzip compresses around 80% of the file size, significantly improving the website’s speed. It is the most popular lossless data compression method that you can enable using a plugin or editing the .htaccess file.

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    Woocommerce Speed Optimization Tips | Speed Up WooCommerce Sites