Starting a WooCommerce store is quite simple – just purchase a domain, get the hosting, and add the WooCommerce plugin to the WordPress website. Your WooCommerce store is open for business.
However, in order to be successful, a store has to be fast and offer a great experience to the visitors. Store performance is the single most important factor that determines the success or failure of the business.
In this article, I will discuss several ways of speeding up WooCommerce stores. In order to turn a profit, WooCommerce stores should make sure that the store remains optimized at all times.
Increase WordPress Memory Limit
Once the store is live, the first thing you need to do is to go to wp-config.php, located in the WordPress root folder. At the very end of the file, right after the line that says, “Happy Blogging”, add the following line:
Edit the PHP.ini file
If you have access to the php.ini file, edit the maximum allowed memory limit. For instance, if the line shows 64M, change it to 256M.
memory_limit = 256M ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (64MB)
Edit .htaccess file
If you couldn’t access php.ini, access the .htaccess file and paste the following code in it:
php_value memory_limit 256M
In this age of visual marketing, images form the core of the design of WooCommerce stores. However, many store owners make the mistake of using unoptimized images that severely impact the performance of the store.
Large image files slow down the user experience of the store. In addition, the slow page load speed (a direct result of using huge image files) means that search engines downrank the store in SERP.
To deal with this situation, a good practice is to reduce the size of the images through plugins such as WP-Smush.it, EWWW Image Optimizer or Hammy. These plugins reduce the size of the images without compromising the quality of the images.
Use a Cache Plugin
Caching basically allows you to speed up the store by storing a copy of the resources of the store. This way, the visitors experience fast page load speed because the WooCommerce doesn’t waste time by getting the resources (CSS, JS and other files). Instead, it serves the caches version directly to the visitor. As a result, static pages are rendered almost instantaneously while dynamic pages take less time to display the content to the visitors.
WordPress offers a great selection of caching plugins such as Breeze, W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, etc. Of these, I prefer Breeze WordPress Cache plugin because of its simple and easy operation.
Use Varnish Cache
Varnish cache allows WooCOmmerce stores to speed up user experience by storing a copy of all the resources of the store. In response to the visitor’s request, the cache serves the stores data. The good news is that Varnish compatible WooCommerce hosting such as Cloudways allows you to launch Varnish compatible WooCommerce stores on top of reliable cloud infrastructure providers.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN service speeds up your store load speed by serving cached static content from servers located near the users’ geographic location. Popular CDN options include MaxCDN, Sucuri, Cloudflare, StackPath, KeyCDN,Cloudways CDN, etc.
Speeding up your ecommerce store should be on the top of your priority list. The tactics I have mentioned in this article will have you improve load times on your online store that will enhance user experience. If I have missed out on anything, let me know in the comments.