206.558 miles per hour.
That’s the highest speed NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon achieved in his more than 20 years on the racetrack.
NASCAR drivers aren’t the only ones who have the need for speed.
Fast page loading and reliable performance are essential for a successful eCommerce website.
How much of a difference does website performance make?
Loading speeds of under 2.4 seconds have a 1.9% conversion rate – which is almost double the 1% conversion rate of pages that take 4.2 seconds to load.
So let’s get to it, and explain a few simple steps you can take to boost performance on your Magento website.
First, make sure that you’re running the latest version of Magento. If you’re running an older version of the Magento platform, you could suffer from slower speeds – as well as security vulnerabilities that could put your store at risk.
As a general best practice, it’s a good idea to upgrade to the latest version of Magento as soon as it’s possible to do so. It may take a little bit more legwork and development time, but staying updated will help improve the speed – and security – of your Magento eCommerce website.
Outdated extensions can also negatively affect the performance of your Magento 2 site – and you can also suffer from slower performance if you have a lot of unnecessary extensions.
The Magento Marketplace is a great place to find extensions that help improve the functionality of your Magento store, but we recommend choosing extensions carefully – installing too many extensions can slow down your website. For more information about using Magento extensions properly, we recommend the following posts from the 121eCommerce blog:
Maybe you think you have a fast Magento website – but you suddenly experience a 100% increase in traffic, which causes things to slow down to a crawl during peak shopping hours.
Spikes in shopping traffic can cause serious performance issues with your website – which is bad, because slow performance leads to lower conversion rates. At the times when you have the most traffic, you may actually end up making fewer sales if slow speeds are affecting your shoppers.
So we recommend keeping a close eye on your store’s traffic. Look for correlations between loading times and the total number of visitors to your Magento website – if you notice performance issues during peak traffic, it may be time to upgrade your server or hosting service to handle a larger volume of customers.
We’ve mentioned this step in a previous blog post – but it’s still amazing how many eCommerce stores are using uncompressed, full-quality product images that can slow their performance to a crawl, so we think it bears mentioning.
Compressed, optimized images are able to maintain great image quality – at only a fraction of the size of an uncompressed image. That’s why they’re the best choice for eCommerce stores, where a little bit of quality loss is not as important as fast loading times.
When viewing your products, the difference between loading a page of 20kB thumbnails and a page of 2kB thumbnails can be quite dramatic – particularly for customers who may have a slower internet connection, or are shopping on mobile devices.
We highly recommend that you take steps like converting .PNG and .GIF images to .JPEG or another compressed format, and resizing excessively large images. You can do this manually as you add photos to your website – or you can use a Magento extension to convert images and resize them automatically.
Caching allows a version of your eCommerce website to be saved to a user’s phone or computer. Then, when they access your store again, this version of your website will be read from the user’s device.
Only the information that has been changed or updated since the user last accessed your site will need to be sent to their device again – which speeds up website performance greatly.
If it hasn’t already been enabled, you can turn on full-page caching in just a few minutes on your Magento dashboard. You can click here for the full instructions on how to do so, and speed up your website right away.
eCommerce is a competitive industry, and you need every edge you can get – including a fast and reliable Magento store. So start thinking about how you can implement these tips in your store today. And if you need help managing, upgrading, or retooling your Magento website, remember that 121eCommerce is just a call away!
As experts in the Magento platform, we can help with projects of every type and size – from routine maintenance and new site builds to platform migrations, project rescues, and more. Feel free to contact us to learn more about what we do, and get the help you need to optimize your Magento eCommerce store.