As an eCommerce business owner, your website is your storefront, and that’s why it becomes necessary for it to be fast and reliable. Slow load times can negatively affect your online sales and customer experience, leading to reduced revenue and customer loyalty. In this article, we will explore the five common reasons why your BigCommerce website is slow and also provide practical solutions to fix them. So, let’s dive in:
Reason #1: Large Image and Video Files
Images and videos are critical components of eCommerce websites. They help to showcase your products and services and create an emotional connection with your customers. However, high-resolution images and videos can take up a lot of bandwidth, resulting in slow load times. According to HTTP Archive, images account for a large percentage of a website’s page weight on average. Therefore, if you optimize your images and videos it can bring out a significant impact on your website’s speed.
Solution: Optimize Your Images and Videos
To optimize your images and videos, you can use tools like Photoshop or Canva to resize and compress them without compromising on their quality. Additionally, using image optimization plugins like Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer can automatically compress your files. For example, as the world’s largest video-sharing platform, YouTube has a massive amount of video content on its website. In order to ensure fast load times, they optimize their video files by compressing them to reduce their file size.
Furthermore, it also uses a feature called “Adaptive Bitrate Streaming”, which automatically adjusts the video quality based on the user’s internet connection. This helps to ensure that the user always receives the best possible viewing experience, without any buffering or lag. Thus, optimizing your image and video files can improve your website’s speed and the overall user experience too.
Reason #2: Third-Party Scripts
Third-party scripts are add-ons that provide extra functionality to your website, such as chatbots, social media plugins, and tracking codes. While it can enhance your website’s features, it also slows down your website’s loading times. According to HTTP Archive, third-party scripts account for 15% of a website’s page weight on average. So, how can we resolve it?
Solution: Minimize Third-Party Scripts
To minimize third-party scripts, you can first audit your website and identify which scripts are necessary and which ones can be removed. Then, you can use tools like Google Tag Manager to manage your scripts and load them asynchronously. This means that the scripts won’t block your website from loading, resulting in a faster load time.
Reason #3: Dynamic Content
Dynamic content includes elements such as product recommendations, customer reviews, and personalized pricing. And since this kind of content often requires additional processing and server requests, it can eventually slow down the loading times of a website, based on the number of server requests. This is because it requires additional processing and database queries, which can increase the server load and result in a longer response time.
However, it’s important to note that not all dynamic content is equal in terms of its impact on website speed. Some types of dynamic content, such as personalized product recommendations, can be beneficial for the user experience and ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.
Solution: Optimizing Dynamic Content
BigCommerce offers the flexibility to showcase dynamic content on your homepage, including sections for new arrivals, featured products, and top-selling items, as well as recommendations such as “customers also viewed” and “related items.” However, to ensure optimal site performance, optimize the way that balances the user experience with website speed. This can be handled by integrating caching, compression techniques, optimizing images, other media files. While limiting can help, but it is also essential to take a balanced approach between user experience and optimization techniques for maximum functionality. This is where the experts come in. You can also consider hiring BigCommerce professionals from trusted BigCommmerce partner agencies like CodeClouds that can help you make the most of optimization. By partnering with them, you can easily get a dedicated international team that may offer you round-the-clock services so that your BigCommerce site never runs slow.
Reason #4: A Large Number of Redirects:
Having too many redirects on your website can slow down your site’s loading speed. As each redirect brings out additional server requests, therefore, it may increase the time it takes to load a page.
Solution: Minimize the Number of Redirects
To fix the issue, review and minimize the number of redirects on your website. Also, use redirects only when necessary and ensure they are implemented efficiently with 301 redirects for permanent redirects and 302 redirects for temporary redirects. Furthermore, BigCommerce offers an exceptional redirect solution that seamlessly redirects unwanted links to the correct categories or product ranges, resulting in faster loading times and improved speed for your online store.
Reason #5: Lack of Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that distribute your website’s content to users from the server closest to them. Without a CDN, your website’s content may have to travel long distances to reach its users, which may result in a slower load time in most cases.
Solution: Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
To use a CDN, you can sign up for a service like Cloudflare. With the help of a CDN, you can distribute your website’s content across its global network of servers, decreasing the travel distance significantly, and resulting in quicker load times. A CDN can also help you improve your website’s security and protect it from cyber threats. Retail giants like Amazon, use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to distribute their website’s content across a global network of servers.
Using a slow website can be detrimental to your BigCommerce business. It can also lead to decreased user engagement, lower conversion rates, and ultimately, lower revenues. Although there are several common reasons why your website may be slow but solutions to address these issues are also readily available. By following the solutions outlined in this article, you can optimize your website’s speed and provide a better user experience for your customers. Take action today and you’re set to roll!