6 Proven Performance Optimization Tips for E-Commerce Websites

 

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Websites are critically important for a business because they offer online visitors the first impression of your products, goods, and services. It’s your digital storefront for describing how your business is going to meet their needs.

 

Of course, to be most impactful a website should be user friendly, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Not to mention, it should be optimized for various kinds of mobile devices and site traffic. These are all facets of designing and building a business website that are fairly well taken for granted today.

 

But oftentimes in the process of putting up a website we’re so busy focusing on the “big stuff” like design, content, and digital marketing that we forget one of the most fundamental parts of keeping that business site operational: website performance.

 

In the rush to introduce your cool new application to the world, it’s easy to overlook the “nuts and bolts” of keeping your website healthy. For example, did you know the costs of downtime on your brand, services, SEO, and overall customer satisfaction? Did you know that you can overdo it on design “best practices” to the point that the website becomes unstable and difficult to load?

 

In order to mitigate the unwanted impacts of poor web performance, businesses need to keep mindful that the ultimate goal of any website should be to attract visitors and convert those visitors to sales leads and/or customers.

 

Web performance therefore should be viewed as a key driver of business sales, not as a mere adjunct running in the background.

 

In what follows, we’re going to discuss 6 ways to increase your sales with web performance monitoring and related techniques.

 

 

Keep Things Fast

 

Research shows a clear relationship between web load speed and customer conversions. The faster a page loads the more likely customers will be to visit and do business on your site. The inverse is also true. The slower a page the less likely customers will be willing to wait around and engage with your brand.

While this seems fairly straightforward, it’s surprising how few business owners really get the importance of website performance and the role it plays in their business strategy. It might be nice to have a trendy looking website, but if it takes 10 seconds to load visitors won’t hang around long enough to appreciate it in all its glory anyway.

 

Increase Your Mobile Page Load Times

 

Another piece of research shows mobile pages that load 1 second faster can experience up to a 27% increase in conversion rates.

 

An important strategy for ensuring quick and painless mobile load times is to minimize the amount of JavaScript needed to render a page. One technique is to compress your JavaScript files to remove extra spaces and ultimately shrink the file size.

 

Another approach is to employ <script async> attribute where appropriate; this will defer the parsing stage until after the browser UI is done processing and thus help avoid diminished load performance.

 

 

Get a 360 Degree View of Your Customers

 

To some this sounds like a well-worn cliché by now, but it needs to be drilled in more and more. If you’re not tracking the behavior of your online visitors with metrics, then you’re leaving money on the table.

Closely monitoring your customer’s online behavior will give you better insights about your ecommerce strategy than any business book whatsoever.

 

 

The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will ensure that you can tailor your brand to their needs. For instance, you want to learn more about when and where they’re visiting from, what devices they’re using, what are their online activities, and other key demographics such as age.

 

 

Use a CDN

A frequent recommendation for enhancing website performance is to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is described as “an interconnected system of cache servers that use geographical proximity as a criteria for delivering web content.”

In other words, a CDN offers a way of taking the static files of a website, like CSS, images, and JavaScript, and delivering them through web servers that are closer to the user’s physical location.

Shorter proximity amounts to faster load time; some examples of CDNs are AWS Cloudfront, Fastly, or Cloudflare. But another benefit is that by offloading the bandwidth you also get less risk of downtime disruptions due to traffic volumes. Every way you look at it a CDN is a win-win for uptime.

 

Cache Often

Caching is a mechanism for the temporary storage of web pages in order to reduce bandwidth and improve performance. When a visitor arrives at your website the cached version will be served up unless it has changed since the last cache. This saves server time and makes things altogether faster.

 

Mobile pages especially rely on a lot of redirects from one URL to another, replacing “www” with “m.” To avoid getting bogged down and speed up the page load time, caching will be your best friend. But also keep in mind that caching storage on mobile devices is much less than on desktops, so ultimately it’s best to keep redirects to a minimum and serve up pages to the user directly.

 

Adopt Cloud-based Website Monitoring

 

There are significant advantages to offloading your website monitoring to a cloud based host – cost, scalability, efficiency, to name a few. Not to mention, this frees you up to focus on growing your business, which matters the most anyway.

 

If you’d like to get onboard with the latest in cloud based monitoring, then you try a 24/7 monitoring service like Monitis. With its first-class global service, Monitis allows organizations to monitor their network anytime and from anywhere. For instance, with Monitis you can load test your website to determine at what point it starts creating traffic issues.

You will receive timely alerts by most convenient means (live phone messages, text, email, Twitter, ect.) to keep you apprised about your site performance. In a word, if anything goes wrong with your IT system, Monitis will be first to let you know (and not your clients!)

When it comes to monitoring your website, you don’t want to shortchange yourself. Get the peace of mind you deserve by entrusting your business to a proven industry leader. Go to Monitis and sign up for a free trial today and let them help boost your bottom-line. You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

 

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