Any website can have a ridiculously slow load time of many seconds, but when it’s your ecommerce site, it’s especially bad. After all, you’re trying to get people visiting your site to make purchases. If they start to feel uncomfortable, keep running into roadblocks, or lose their patience, they’ll abandon the process and potentially head straight to your competitor’s site. This leaves you without a customer and without an attractive revenue stream. It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s one you have control over.
There are some common reasons for slow-performing and slow-loading ecommerce sites. Below are a few of the most often seen, along with ways to fix the basic issues either alone or with the help of a professional web expert.
Problem: Your CMS Is Outdated or Lacking in Quality.
When you first opened the virtual doors to your ecommerce site, you may have chosen a content management system (CMS) you thought was on the money — and it may have worked well for months or even years. Now, it’s a hindrance rather than a help.
Obviously, the fastest way to rid yourself of this problem is to update to a better CMS that’s constructed specifically for ecommerce trade rather than for blogging or general usage. Another option can be a special plug-in if your ecommerce site is running in WordPress.
Finally, you can always move your site to a hosted solution, although you will lose some of the hands-on feel since the host will take care of all the back end considerations.
Problem: Your Site Pages Include Too Many DNS Lookups.
DNS stands for Domain Name System. In general, it shouldn’t take forever for a web page to load. If the web page includes tons of DNS addresses, however, it could affect the loading time.
Where do all these DNS addresses come from? Feeds, videos hosted on a separate platform like YouTube, pictures hosted on other sites, etc. are all culprits. When possible, streamline the amount of DNS addresses per page when load time starts to go up.
Problem: Your Ecommerce Site Has Tons of Redirects.
Redirects are quite helpful when you need to tell a server to head to a different page. Just don’t use redirects all the time, or redirect to a redirected page. Ecommerce sites can end up being filled with redirected pages, and that just makes the server work harder to find the final, acceptable page.
Clean up your redirects, and you may just see your pages’ load times decrease.
Problem: You Haven’t Compressed Your Images.
A giant image is a giant problem on the Internet. You’ve no doubt been to plenty of websites where you waited forever for images to load. The underlying reason for the slow load time might have been the size of the images.
Whenever possible, compress your product images so they load faster and more efficiently. If you’re not sure how to do this on your own, ask a professional web developer for help.
Problem: Having a Web Host That Can’t Accommodate Traffic Spikes.
What would happen if you had a sudden influx of traffic because of a social signal, an ad campaign, or some other event? Could your web host handle it? Or would your website crash at the first sign of a significant traffic increase?
If you know you’ve taken care of all the slow-load problems on your ecommerce site and you’re still experiencing below-average load times, it could be your web hosting service. Move to one that’s built to accommodate ecommerce entities. The price you spend could be worth it in the customers you maintain and woo.
The Bottom Line? Your Site Load Time Can Improve
As with all ecommerce website problems, super-slow site loading is just an indication that you need to do a bit of digging. There’s always an answer to every Internet issue, and there’s no need to assume the answer is expensive or incredibly time-consuming. In many cases, it’s indicative of a temporary roadblock. Plus, you can always work on other upgrades concurrently to maximize your time and the overall workings of your site.