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site performance

Responsible online store owners should always optimize their sites for speed; otherwise, they will lose lots of clients, who will prefer to purchase stuff from their competitors' much faster sites. The good news is that the tips below are proven to work, allowing anyone to win more customers.

According to, two out of three customers will leave a site if it doesn't load in less than five seconds. This result correlates with an Eggplant study which has highlighted the fact that 73% of people would try an alternative website if the current one was too slow.

Begin by using a reliable hosting company; you want to store your site on an array of redundant servers which have a 100% uptime guarantee. Actually, few companies can "guarantee" that, because networks can fail, servers can be hacked, and so on, but many companies who guarantee a 99.99% uptime will often deliver 100% under normal circumstances.

You need to make sure that server performance is well above average; otherwise, your site will be in trouble if it sees a surge of visitors, who were led to your online store by a popular blog post on an industry related site, for example. A web hosting package that can be scaled up and down automatically is the perfect solution for small to medium-sized businesses.

Server response time is very important. Pay extra attention to the Time To First Byte (TTFB) value, which is the time that passes since a visitors accesses your site (by clicking an email link, for example) and until the server delivers the first byte of data. Well configured servers have a smaller TTFB, while servers who use poorly coded or set up firewalls will have a huge TTFB.

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can be of great help as well. CDNs utilize vast arrays of servers which have been deployed all around the world. This way, visitors will get the requested data (website pages) from web servers that are really close to them, thus improving their shopping experience. Popular e-commerce platforms such as Shopify provide CDNs which include servers located in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and more.

Mobile performance optimization is essential; as we have highlighted in one of our blog articles, mobile shopping is on the rise. Unfortunately, many mobile users aren't too happy, because most online shopping sites load slowly. To fix this problem, test your site's loading speed using a service like this. Then, optimize your site by reducing the number of hero slides and pop-ups, choose properly sized images, minify your code, etc.

You can also improve site performance by getting rid of broken links. These links point to web resources that no longer exist, and thus lead to a terrible user experience. So, don't link out to many external sites, because you don't have any control over them. And if you delete one of your own website pages, make sure that all the links which were pointing to it are removed. Most e-commerce platforms have their own tools which can detect broken links, so be sure to use them to your advantage. And if the platform you're using doesn't provide that service, you can discover all the broken links by making use of a website audit tool.

Online stores which use lots of redirects aren't loved by search engines, which are forced to navigate from one URL to the other until they can finally reach the target website page. Some webmasters use 302 redirects, which are meant to indicate that a specific website page has been moved temporarily, and then they forget about those 302s. However, if a page has been moved for good, 301 redirects are the best solution.

Don't forget to make your website easy to navigate. Do your best to help customers find the desired products quickly, and then purchase them using as few mouse clicks as possible. And here's a final tip: an online store which displays all its products in well-thought-out categories will sell much more stuff than a site that has a complex, cumbersome layout.