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How often do you do a speed test for your e-commerce website? Speed determines the performance of your website in terms of conversion rates.

Statistics show that 1 out of 4 visitors will abandon a website that fails to load within 4 seconds. You only have at most 5 seconds to grab the attention of your potential customers.

About 74% of those that abandon your website due to slow speed will never revisit your website.

It is difficult to maximize your conversion rates on a slow website. The speed also determines the usability and visibility of your website.

Your website speed should complement all the efforts in SEO and digital marketing.

Top web developers in Kenya will ensure that your business website has an outstanding and responsive design. However, you must track the website speed to improve the users’ experience.

Before we give you the tips on how to optimize your website’s speed, take a few minutes and test the speed.

Google insights can you help determine the current performance of your website.

You can also search for additional tools online to test the speed.

Your goal should be a load time of less than 3 seconds for all the pages. How do you achieve this goal?

1. Reduce CSS and JavaScript files

Many CSS and JavaScript files lead to multiple HTTP requests.

The visitors’ browser will handle one request at a time. Hence, if the visitors’ requests involve accessing several files, the load time will be slow.

You can group all the files into one. For instance, combine all CSS files and do the same for JavaScript files.

Alternatively, you can use tools to minimize the size of the files such as Grunt or Script Minifier.

2. Minimize the size of images

Quality images capture the attention of internet users.

Images are excellent ways to break large blocks of text on the website.

However, large images take a long time to load, especially if you have several on each page.

You cannot do without graphics because they boost engagement.

However, you can compress the images using tools like JPEG mini, Tiny PNG, Kraken, and Trimage among others.

Compressing all the images may take some time but it will boost the load time.

An alternative way is to ask your preferred web developers in Kenya to use HTML responsive graphics only.

3. Optimize the CMS

Consider the size of the CMS (Content Management System) database, which affects the website’s speed.

It is very tempting to keep adding new plugins for additional functions on the CMS.

The plugins occupy more space in the database.

A CMS like WordPress stores all the posts on your blog including the comments.

While you can use tools to optimise a specific CMS, limit the number of complex plugins you add to the CMS.

4. Review your hosting service

Choosing the wrong hosting plan or service can lead to slow speed. Ensure that you have the best hosting service.

Most hosting companies give three hosting plans; shared hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Servers) or dedicated servers.

Shared hosting is cheap but slow because you share space with other websites.

VPS and dedicated servers are expensive but you are assured of fast loading speed.

If you really want to make the best out of your e-commerce website, paying a little more for a good hosting plan is worth it.

5. Utilize a CDN

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of several web servers in different geographical locations.

If you use such a network for your website, your visitors will access content from the nearest server.

Without such a network, all the requests from all visitors are directed to the same server, which takes time for the website to load.

The speed is worse if the visitors are far from the single server.

With a CDN, end users access the content because they only share a server with other users in the same geographical location.

Consequently, the website loads fast for all users in all locations.

6. Set up website caching

You may not need e-commerce web developers in Kenya to do this for you.

Check the settings on your content management system for the option of setting cached web pages.

Caching involves storing the most current version of your website on the hosting platform.

This means that multiple users do not have to access the same server for one page, which takes time.

Cached pages do not send new requests to the server database whenever users access them.

However, the settings change when you update the web pages.

If the setup is still activated, the platform stores the new version of the web page.

7. Defer Javascript loading

If you notice that JavaScript files are taking time to load even after minifying, try deferring the files.

The slow speed is expected because they are large files.

When you defer files, you prevent them from loading until all other files and elements on the web page load.

You can defer the Javascript files from the CMS platform or add the command while coding a HTML site.

The idea of deferring files is that the user can be viewed other content as the large files load instead of staring at a blank page.

8. Explore external hosting platforms

Compressing large files may not be enough to speed up your website. Explore external hosting platforms for such files, especially for videos.

You can offer video tutorials or market your products through short videoclips.

However, such content takes up much of the server database and takes a long time to load.

Instead of uploading the videos directly to your website, use an external platform like YouTube.

You can then embed the videos on your website. Users will have an easy time playing the videos.

You can also explore paid platforms such as Wistia and Vimeo.

9. Reduce redirects

You need redirects whenever you delete or move a web page.

Users are directed to the new page instead of getting an error but the process takes time.

Conduct an audit of the redirects on your site to determine if all are necessary.

The ideal action is to remove all redirects, which is not practical.

However, you can eliminate any unnecessary chains to improve the speed of loading new pages.

You can implement most of these tips with basic skills in website design and development.

Some of them are easy to do through the content management system. However, if the speed is still too slow, you need the help of e-commerce web developers in Kenya. The website may need back-end changes by professional web designers.

Post Author: Keziah Murage

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