As you may know, your website’s loading times are critical for your ecommerce’s conversion rates. There are many actions, modifications, and improvements you can make in order to have better conversions. However, optimizing your site for faster loading times is definitely the easiest to work around and the one that is guaranteed to improve results – as long as you can actually improve it.
Among the universe of changes you can execute to improve this metric, the options usually fall into one of two groups. (1) Website improvement from a code and asset perspective, and (2) improve the powerhouse that is making your site available to the world (i.e. your hosting). Hosting improvements may cover several topics, and it pays off to have experts helping you out to figure out the best hardware and software needed to run things, as well as settings for optimum performance. The same applies to point 1, if you look for any site on the internet, there will probably be clear low-hanging fruit to optimize it for speed. Of course, some of those fruits are lower than others, and as previously mentioned, it is worth it to have experts pointing you out where you can make the most progress with the least amount of effort.
If you know your way around your site and code, you may be looking for quick ways to improve your site’s speed. This is why we have written down the most common low-hanging fruits in which we typically see significant improvement after being optimized in a site.
- Image size:
Images can be really heavy, and the toll for having heavy images is big. We have seen sites reduce their size ten times after optimizing images and this will certainly impact loading times. Make sure you are using last generation formats, such as .webp and always remember to avoid high resolution content challenging your site’s performance.
- Compressing and minifying code:
The code that is intended to be read only by computers does not need to have unnecessary characters. Of course you want to keep your site easy to code and read what you have done, but once it is put live, the need for human readability disappears. Get used to handling the code that goes into production this way and you will see improvements in speed. Especially with those that are code heavy in the frontend.
- Reduce the amount of calls to other servers:
External calls take time and the performance of our site will be directly affected by it. We understand we need to call external services so we can provide a full experience to our visitors (i.e. chat widgets, data trackers, UI related tools, etc). Nonetheless, make sure you are not overloading your site with apps with no added value that are causing important delays in terms of site loading.
- Prioritize your loading order:
Everything in a site can be linked to other dependencies to work correctly. HTML will not look good without the CSS and some JS will have an impact in the rendering too. Make sure you are getting the frontend rendered correctly first, then worry about loading functional JS or other aspects that will not add to the first render. This will improve the user’s first experience as they will see your beautiful site rendered correctly quickly and you will then have time to work on functionality.
- Improve your backend code:
It does not matter how fast and well configured your hosting is, inefficient code will add unnecessary time to your loading. Take the time to see if there is room for improvement in your site’s code. This also applies to database logic. Small changes can go a long way and boost everything that happens before you see the first line of code in the frontend.
Lastly, consider contacting someone that can help you sort out these performance requirements, such as Onetree. Do the math on how much conversion would improve with faster loading times and you will quickly see that this is a good investment. We would be thrilled to have you join our team.