Top 10 Tips – How to Improve Web Performance?

More than 97% ratio of the newly established eCommerce websites fails to achieve the desired business objectives due to many reasons that include the poor website performance as one of the top factors.  

tips on web performanceThe total number of online websites at the time of writing of this article is about 954 millions, and the number of internet users stands at about 3.246 billion. The number of internet users and online websites is increasing very fast with every passing second. About 4 new websites are being added to this gigantic number of online websites with every passing second. A careful estimate of RJMetrics suggests that the number of eCommerce websites constitutes roughly about 10% to 12% of the entire websites on the internet. If we consider it as the baseline, then the total number of eCommerce websites – all types – must be around 9 millions. The Lemon Stand forecast the number as 12 million eCommerce websites in 2015.

Irrespective of the question what types of websites are there on the internet, a huge chunk of these websites has been established purely to make money one way or the other. The eCommerce global market in 2015 is estimated at about $1.6 trillion, which is just a 6.6% of total global retail sales. The eCommerce market is growing at double digits annually, owing to a huge potential in the near future round the globe. The current growth is tentatively estimated at over 20% in 2015.

To create a medium sized website costs in the range of about $8,000 to $18,000; while maintaining this website costs about $1,200 to $1,500 annually. You will need search engine optimization SEO and web performance optimization WPO services, which will cost you about $700 to $1,000 per month. In such circumstances, the impact of poor performance of your website for your business is very huge.

More than 80% of the people who face bad experience don’t return to your website, and over 50% of those visitors share their bad experience with others through different media aggressively. According to the Load Impact research report, more than 53% of eCommerce related people believe that they lost revenue due to the website performance in 2013. And, more than 18% of online shopper abandon cart due to bad performance; the Load Impact research suggests further. Thus, a huge damage is sure to happen, if your website does not perform as per desired standards. To avoid this gigantic damage to your online business, you should follow the following top 10 tips to improve the performance of your website.

1.     Stay away from Redirects

RedirectsThe redirect is very useful in the field of web environment for different purposes, but it has numerous downsides too. For example, the redirects – especially 301 & 302 status codes – create problems with your web performance, and SEO campaigns. Thus, your eCommerce website may sustain a substantial business loss, if you are using redirects extensively. It becomes even worse when you insert it between a page and an HTML document because it causes substantial delays to load a document. So, redirects are detrimental for customer experience and web performance. Similarly, it is also recommended to avoid any kind of bad requests such as HTTP 404 error, and such other kinds.

2.     Reduced HTTP Requests & DNS Look-ups

Reduced http requestsThe HTTP request is a multi-step process; therefore, it takes some time to accomplish the desired task. Thus, your website slows down after every HTTP request that is made on your website. You can reduce it by using the cache option on the dedicated servers from different service providers or by making your own with the detailed information about the websites.

Secondly, the DNS lookup takes a substantial time to resolve the IP address of the website address. So, it directly impacts the performance of your website. Therefore, it is recommended to keep it as low as possible by using the caching and other fast DNS service options.

3.     Employ Content Delivery Network CDN

CDNThe content delivery network is an integrated service of content through multiple servers networked through cloud computing globally. According to the Markets&Markets forecast, the CDN’s global business value is estimated at about $15.73 billion by 2020. The CDN service providers offer fast and reliable service to deliver static content such as images, downloadable files, multimedia files, and other such types of content from the geographically nearest server in the area from where request for content has originated. The large files slow down your websites, if you are using the same server from your main location. This issue can easily be resolved by using CDN service.

4.     Use of Gzip Components

GzipWith the advancement in the technologies, especially in the browser’s capabilities, the transportation of compressed content has become very common in web transactions. It is a great idea to configure your web server to compress the requested content through Gzip, and sent to the supported browsers. This increases the speed, and decreases the bandwidth usage on the internet; thus, you can create a great experience for the visitors on your website. So, the compressed html code increases the speed of your website substantially.

5.     Minify CSS & JavaScript

minify codeThe lesser the code processing, the faster the speed of your website! To achieve a faster speed, the minifying of the CSS and JavaScripts is a very important factor. You can increase the speed of your website by implementing the industry best practices in your website, such as code minifying. The major components related to CSS & JavaScript minifying include JavaScript compression, CSS optimization, CSS compression and others. Another important thing to increase the speed of the website is to avoid CSS expressions. This takes substantial processing resources in frequent evaluations as well as the production of backgrounds. Meanwhile, it is not supported in all browsers equally. So, it is a good idea to avoid the CSS expressions.

6.     Effective Use of Cache

cacheThe efficient use of the caching option increases the speed of your website substantially. You can cache the output of frequently used requests at both the server-end and the browser-end. You can decrease the database processing time by effectively implementing the cache output at server side. Similarly, a browser based cache can increase the response time against the HTTP requests. You can also make AJAX cacheable to increase the speed and performance of your website easily. The main reason behind the increased performance of your website due to effective use of cache lies in the reduced processing and the transmission of same data output.

7.     Use of Better Infrastructure

better infrastructureA robust infrastructure always plays an instrumental role in every field of industries. Likewise, the use of better IT infrastructure increases the performance, reliability and customer satisfaction for an online website. There are many options for IT infrastructure to choose from, such as shared resources, dedicated servers, third party hosting, on-premises hosting and many others. All these options have their own advantages and shortcomings. The more you pay the better service you get. So, it is highly recommended to use dedicated servers and IT resources to make your website perform more efficiently. Moreover, the advanced technologies should also be used in all parts and sections of your eCommerce website.

8.     Keep Style Sheet at Top & Scripts at Bottom

Style sheetTo achieve the better website performance, you should follow the basic technical axiom “Style Sheet at Top & Scripts at Bottom”. If you put the scripts at the top of the web page code, the progressive rendering would not be allowed; thus, your page will not show the loading progress until the entire page is loaded. That creates a bad experience for the visitors. The style sheets put at the top will allow the progressive rendering and thus, the client will have a good experience. Moreover, the implementation of this formula also increases the speed of your website.

9.     Optimize HTML & Images

HTMLThe parsing of your page in the browser is directly affected by the HTML code complexity. If your code is copied from the word processor or it is written in a complex and nested format, it will decrease the speed of your web page due the fact that, it takes a bit longer to assess and execute all characters, formats and symbols. It is always recommended to use simple structured HTML code, which is in compliance with the industry’s technical standards.

The optimization of images is another critical part to enhance the performance of your web environment. You should carefully choose the best suited image that is best for your desired objectives. To optimize the images, you need to take care of its format, resolution, size, quality and supported features. You should also take care of SEO features in the image optimization.

10.      Use of an Enterprise Level Website Monitoring Service

Siteobservers1After having implemented all above mentioned tips, you should make sure that everything is functioning properly to achieve the desired performance objectives. You can do it by using the enterprise level website monitoring service such as SiteObservers‘ unified website monitoring services. This monitoring service offers you numerous options to track and resolve the performance related issues with the help of many features and capabilities, such as powerful drill down options, true and timely alerts and warnings, detailed reports, and root cause analysis support and many more.

To get a deeper perspective on the current performance of your web platform, try SiteObservers FREE monitoring services now.

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Relationship between Web Performance and Business Revenue – A Valuable Analysis

A sustainable growth in the revenue of online eCommerce website can only be obtained by achieving the best conversion ratio, high level of web process functions, brand reputation and the netting of missed opportunities on a consistent basis.  

web performance and business revenueThe share of online revenue is swelling in all businesses all over the world. Multiple factors contribute to this increase in online revenue, for instance direct online sales, brand presentation, effective customer outreach, and many other value added features of services/products. Only in the USA, according to the eMarketer research, the number of online shoppers has crossed the 200 million mark in 2015. This huge increase in the online shoppers accounts for as much as about 90% of the all internet users in US.

But, this increase in online shopping has also prompted many factors related to web performance that impact directly on the number of online purchases, and subsequently on the business revenue. According to Microsoft Bing, the web pages that were 2.2 seconds slower sustained more than 4.3% of revenue loss. About a couple of years back, Google, Inc found that the number of its daily searches decline by 8 million, if the search results slow down by just 4/10th of a single second. Likewise, 1 out of 4 online shoppers abandon the website, if it takes more than 4 seconds to load.

Moreover, it has been found in many researches that the increase in the Amazon website load time by just 1 second results in as much as $1.6 revenue loss. In general, the better implementation of web performance optimization (WPO) of an eCommerce website increases the revenue by more than 13%. In this article, we are going to discuss the factors related web performance that leaves direct impact on the business revenue.

1.     Low Conversion Ratio

conversionThis first impact of a low performance website is the decreased conversion ratio that leads to substantially decreased business revenue. In a research, it was found that more 2% of conversion ratio of Wal-Mart website increased with just 1 second faster loading of the website. According to GlobalDots research study, the average load time for the converted population is estimated at about 3.22 seconds. The performance of the website that falls out of this limit is likely to get either low or no conversion. The Web Performance Today research suggests that an increase of just 100 microseconds in web page loading incremented the revenue by about 1%. So, a better web performance is fundamental factor in increasing the conversion rate and subsequently the business revenue of an online eCommerce website.

2.     Cart Abandonment

cart abandonmentThe cart abandonment is directly or indirectly related to the performance and design of the website. A bad web performance will lead to reduced conversion and consequently the loss of business revenue. Based on the 31 major eCommerce companies’ surveys conducted during the past 5 to 6 years, the average cart abandon rate is as much as 68.53%, says BayMard.  The three technical reasons for cart abandonment, according to the Shopify research – include complicated website navigation (25%), process taking too long (21%), and website time-out (15%). These factors are directly concerned with the web performance and efficient design. So, a better performance and professional design will increase the business revenue tremendously for all types of eCommerce/online businesses.

3.     Existing Customer Retention

customer retentionThe customer satisfaction is the key factor to retain your existing customers and convert the visitors into customers on your website. Many researches suggests that any website with more than 3 seconds of loading time, loses more than 40% of its traffic on the website. And a huge chunk of over 80% of that traffic never return on your website, and they opt for your competitors. The increase in web page load by just 1 second causes 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, says the Gomez case study report by Aberdeen Group. This is very clear indication that you cannot retain your existing customer base with a poor performing website.

The loss of your existing customer base is a huge loss to your reputation, and subsequently the business revenue in the long run. The Yottaa research reveals that 79% unsatisfied shoppers due web performance are not likely to purchase from that site again. So, the impact of web performance is directly proportional to customer satisfaction, which lead to increase or decrease in the business revenue.

4.     Reputation/Brand Damage

brand damageThe cost of brand reputation damage sustained by Volkswagen in recent months is estimated at tens of billions including the shrinking of $18 billion capitalization in just one single day. The cause of brand damage can be numerous on commercial as well as technical grounds. The major reason for brand reputation damage on technical grounds for an online eCommerce website is the bad performance of your eCommerce website. If your website underperforms, then the reputation of your online website will definitely be damaged. In normal circumstances, if a customer gets a bad experience on your website, would tell more than 4 other people through different means. This will lead to a very bad reputation and negative marketing chain on the internet, and consequently your online business revenue declines very badly. So, you should always make sure your website performs very well within the desired criteria.

5.     Missed Opportunities

missed opportunityIn today’s fiercely competitive market environment where every single shopper is valuable, the missed opportunity inflicts heavily on your online business. There are many factors that fall within the region of missed opportunities, such as website outage, dissatisfaction of customers due to website performance and reduced traffic are few of them. According to Aberdeen Group, just one 1 second delay in page loading results in 11% lower page views. The reduced traffic also impact on your search engine ranking and subsequently the impact of bad web performance compounds exponentially in terms of the loss of business revenue.

So, it is very obvious from this analysis that the web performance is directly related to the business revenue in this cut-throat competitive online marketplace.

How to Improve Web Performance?

There are many important factors that can help you improve your web performance, and subsequently the business revenue.

  • Efficient use of enterprise level web monitoring service like SiteObservers to improve web page performance and user experience.
  • Implementing simple web design
  • Content optimization (image, video and audio)
  • Use of content data network CDN
  • Avoiding redirects and minimizing JavaScripts
  • Regular cleanup of the codes

To get a deeper perspective on the current performance of your web platform try SiteObservers monitoring services for Free. For more information, click here.

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Why eCommerce Businesses Fail – Top 5 Technical Reasons?

To cause failure of an eCommerce business in today’s fiercely competitive business environment, the technical reasons are equally critical along with the basic business management related factors.

eCommerce failureA popular axiom “think creatively, plan rationally, and execute intelligently” describes a successful startup business eloquently. Any short lapse in the proper implementation of this business principle puts your eCommerce website in the list of 97% of all startup websites that fail at the end of the day. It requires both the technical and managerial perspectives of starting and running a successful business. You can find numerous reports, researches and case studies citing the reasons that punctured the bubble of the dotcom boom in the early 21st century globally. A large majority of those reports focused on the reasons pertaining to business management for that global failure, and the technical reasons were analyzed at the secondary level.

In today’s changed business environment, we are going to re-analyze the technical reasons that leave a direct adverse impact on the survival of eCommerce businesses. Top five reasons for a failure of eCommerce business in today’s competitive market environment are given below.

1.     Poor Content & Website Design

Poor website imageIt is obvious from many researches that more than 99% of the traffic that terminates on your eCommerce website does not convert into purchases. But, some of the eCommerce websites have more than 1% of conversion ratio due to numerous value added features, capabilities and qualities. According to the WebVantage Technologies research, the remaining 3% of the eCommerce businesses that sustain in the market earn double, triple, quadruple or even more profits. The first and most important quality of those successful websites is the content, and perfect web design. A website with poor content and design brings disastrous results to the business because, any online visitor that visits your website does not remain more than 5-7 seconds, if your website design and content is not up to the mark. Your website is supposed to capture the attention of your visitor within that short period of time.

To avoid eCommerce website failure, you need to take care of the following points related to the website design and its content.

  • Proper description of the products in legible size and fonts
  • Well captured photos, and related images in natural and eye catching colors
  • Use of attractive heading at the proper place on the web page
  • The website should be secure, reliable and smooth in terms of surfing its contents
  • The related items should be properly linked in a professional level website layout
  • The on-site search option should be at a prominent/notable position on the website
  • Proper video formats should be used that can draw attention of the visitors
  • The user interface should be easy to use, organized and intuitive

2.     Poor User Experience

Poor user experiencePoor user experience really sucks your eCommerce business! You will not only lose your potential customers, but also create a bad reputation online that spreads like a jungle fire. So, your business sustains a substantial loss – tangible and intangible – on the internet marketplace. Normally, online visitors want your website to load in about 2 seconds or so.  If your website suffers any kind of slow speed, then you are sure to lose more than 40% of your potential revenue as suggested by many researches. The cost of an outage is critically high in the range of thousands of dollars per hour. So, you should make sure that your eCommerce website don’t fall victim of the following important factors that impact the user experience directly.

  • Avoid slow speed of your website. It should load in about 2 seconds or so.
  • Your website should not be cluttered with many things, items and information
  • The checkout process should be very simple, easy and secure
  • Checkout form should be as short as possible

3.     Use of Poor Technology

Poor technology useTechnology is one of the most powerful factors for a successful online eCommerce business in the modern era of information technology. A large number of eCommerce websites fail due to the use of poor technology in their back-end operations. The back-end platform technologies include operating system, server type, web-technology, eCommerce software platform and others. The eCommerce software platform is one of the most important factors – if improperly chosen – can lead to complete failure of your eCommerce business. A bad choice of operating system, server type, CMS platform, and eCommerce software can create numerous issues related to the speed, security, and performance of your eCommerce website.

Thus, the bad performance creates a horrible customer experience, service outages, malfunction of the website, and other systems that lead to a complete failure of your website at the end of the day. So, to make your eCommerce website safer, you need to take the following steps carefully.

  • Choose the most secure, powerful and robust operating system
  • Choose the best cloud hosting service provider with 99.99% of system up-time
  • Choose the most featured and dynamic content management system CMS platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla or the likes.
  • Choose the reliable and effective eCommerce software platform such as Woo Commerce for WordPress platform and others that suite the web technologies you are using
  • The website should have responsive design and support for mobile devices
  • The open source technology is more suitable for SMBs eCommerce websites
  • The exciting features and advanced capabilities should be used to create ease, and great experience for the online visitors
  • Use web technologies that are SEO friendly, lightweight and fast

4.     Low Search Engine Ranking

Low search engine rankingThe search engine optimization SEO is the heart and soul of eCommerce business on the internet. A successful SEO strategy can make your business a multi-million entity in a short span of time; otherwise, your business is destined to fail for sure. The SEO is a combination of powerful use of social media, content, programming skills, website designs, and many other such factors. According to B2B marketing research, more than 10.3 billion monthly searches conducted on Google only in 2014. A large ratio of over 54% of marketers believes that a huge growth in the adoption of SEO will continue in 2015. A gigantic spending of over 12% increase was observed during 2013-2014 globally, as per Adobe, Inc research report. More than 76% of SEO professionals tap the power of social media to achieve SEO objectives, according to IMPACT branding and design research report. The SEO is used to induce customer loyalty in more than 95% of existing customers, says the Regalix, 2014 report.

In the light of such overwhelming figures, it is very clear that bad search engine ranking can lead to disastrous business results for your eCommerce website. To avoid from this impact, take the following measures.

  • Use the professional services of SEO experts
  • Use social media extensively to promote your eCommerce website
  • Use associate/partner websites and blogs to promote your website
  • Always create useful and valuable content – video, audio, and text – for viewers, listeners and readers respectively
  • Use affiliate programs to get useful links, and subsequently the potential customers from your business affiliates
  • Make SEO friendly and mobile-optimized websites

5.     Lack of Perfect Monitoring and Analytics

testing and monitoringTesting, Monitoring, and Analysis play instrumental role in handling all technical as well as non technical problems that damage your eCommerce business on the internet. A properly tested eCommerce website under different real world scenarios will definitely prove to be one of the most powerful online websites to face the common issues that arise on the internet in day to day operations. In many studies, it has been found that the lack of traffic analysis on your website, and proper monitoring of their experience can lead to complete failure of an eCommerce website in this cut-throat competitive marketplace. There are many unified monitoring service providers available in the marketplace to monitor your eCommerce websites with 100% precision and accuracy. Among such enterprise level monitoring services, SiteObservers website monitoring service is the best to provide a comprehensive set of monitoring solutions for your business.

You should use the following services to save your eCommerce website from a complete failure or any service degradation.

  • Use enterprise level eCommerce website monitoring service such as SiteObservers for free
  • Use the user experience monitoring service to measure user experience in the real browser
  • Get instant and real alerts for any kind about untoward incident in your eCommerce services
  • Get detailed reports, and root-cause reports related to the issues or faults that damage the performance of your website.
  • Always use the best analysis software to make sure you are targeting the right segment of customers get deeper insight into the issues of and behavior of your website visitors.

SiteObservers offers unified monitoring solutions for all types of eCommerce websites and other online business activities related to customer experience and high level of website performance. You can monitor numerous WordPress eCommerce plugins through this enterprise level monitoring service. To know more about SiteObservers’ free web test development services, click here.

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