As an online retailer you might have wondered why customers abandon their shopping carts and move away from your checkout page, even though they were sure of what they were going to buy. As per experts there are many reasons why customers abandon their purchases midway and some of these are summarized below:
Reasons why shoppers abandon their shopping carts:
– Trust issues:
Customers are hesitant to share their debit/ credit card information on ecommerce sites that they are unfamiliar with.
– High shipping costs:
Sometimes customers find shipping costs to be very high and if they don’t find any free shipping promo coupons, they abandon their carts.
– Complexity of the checkout process:
The more complex the process, the more it de-motivates the customers.
– Preferred payment options not available:
These options either do not appear at the time of checkout, or are simply not available.
– High prices:
Some customers compare prices in real time and abandon their carts if they find the prices to be higher, than what is being offered on competitor sites.
Sometimes customers encounter technical glitches and get logged out of the site automatically.
– Slow website:
Last but not the least, customers face delays and have to wait for a page to load-up. Even a delay of a second or two is enough to make them abandon their carts and leave a purchase. This is a major reason why merchants want to improve the page speed of their ecommerce sites and enhance the user experience of their customers.
For this, they typically hire WordPress developer, who is experienced and understands the nuances of eCommerce web development and is able to quickly address the problem of page speed.
Hire WordPress developer and deploy techniques to improve page speed:
Before we delve deeper into what a hired WordPress developer can do to improve page speed, let us understand how Ecommerce stores are set up on WordPress.
WordPress is an open source Content Management System (CMS) on which websites are built. Within this, WooCommerce is a plugin that is designed for small and mid-sized merchants. It is a very popular plugin because it is not only simple to install, but also easy to customize and maintain.
This is the reason why most WordPress sites use WooCommerce for their stores. The problems starts when merchants and online retailers outsource their critical eCommerce project just to any other web development agency; and these agencies neither have the appropriate background, nor the technical infrastructure or WordPress skill-set to properly execute and deliver these projects. As a result the projects fail and precious time and money is lost.
To avoid such a situation, it makes sense to hire WordPress developer who can take ownership to successfully y maintain a WooCommerce store and also solve issues related to its functioning such as page speed and tasks associated to improve it.
How does hiring a WordPress developer help in improving page speed?
– Checking current status to ensure things are up-to-date:
Check and ensure that WordPress core files, WooCommerce, and themes are all up-to-date and relevant. Install new patches, if required, so that security and performance remain optimized.
– Choosing an alternative web hosting provider:
This option works well if the site is hosted under a shared hosting provider and is sharing server space with other websites.
– Using a lighter WordPress theme/ framework:
The hired WordPress developer uses themes that have less elements and small pages sizes and avoids using dynamic elements, sliders, widgets, social icons etc.
– Reducing the size of images:
Uses image optimization plugins such as Optimole, WP Smush and EWWW Image Optimizer. Kraken and TinyJPG are also good plugins. However, plugins will not work for images that are embedded in the template of store layout and these images have to be worked-on manually.
– Normalizing images:
Each image is rendered so that it is as per the requirements of the website’s image size template. For example rendering a 2000 x 2000 px photo into a 300 x 300 px photo.
– Script selection and optimization:
Scripts are a big help to optimize page load speeds. Scripts run on both the frontend and the backend of the site and can’t be substituted. Each script has to be taken up and optimized individually.
– Minimizing the size of JS and CSS files:
Google PageSpeed Insights tool provides notification of minimizing JS and CSS files. Additionally, the developer uses guides provided by Google for manual fixing and plugins like Autoptimize.
– Using advanced caching mechanisms and plugins:
The key is to use WordPress caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache and combine them with advanced caching mechanisms such as Varnish.
– Multi-language optimization:
This is a must in case the site runs in different countries and on different languages. If the site uses WooCommerce, then there are two options to optimize – the developer can optimize everything for WooCommerce and then add a plugin like WPML. The second is to optimize the website that is already using a localization plugin and then add WooCommerce to it.
– Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network):
The hired WordPress developer assesses users who visit the site since the loading speed is directly dependent on the distance between the user and website host. The longer the distance, the longer it will take for the page to load. For this reason CDNs help in keeping site loading speeds to a minimum across different countries.
– Enabling GZIP compression:
This helps to reduce bandwidth usage and time taken to access the ECommerce site. This is done either manually, or with a plugin such as PageSpeed Ninja.
– Revamping the WordPress database:
The developer cleans up the WordPress database so that it is optimized in terms of size and content. This means removing unwanted plugins, themes and getting rid of spam comments, fake users, old drafts of website content etc. The end result is that the size of web files is optimized and page load-time is optimized.
From the above it is clear that merchants who hire WordPress developers are able to drive the speed and optimization of their WooCommerce site and thereby keep their sales conversion rate as high as possible.