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.
The 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
The 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
The 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
The 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
With 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.
6. Effective Use of Cache
The 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
A 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
To 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
The 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
After 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.