Site Speed – A Decisive Factor for Your Magento eCommerce Success

According to a recent survey on the Internet, nearly 40% of viewers leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to lead. It is also true for ecommerce websites. Perhaps, it is the reason for that Google had included website loading time factor in its ranking algorithm even before making the mobile friendly website a compulsion.

Therefore, site speed or time-to-load, or page speed like terms are gaining momentum to ensure proper conversion and SEO ranking to obtain more traffic. The site speed seems a general term, and technically, we can elaborate it by introducing four comprehensive explanations/terms:

  • Time to First Byte (TTTB)
  • Time to Start Rendering (TTSR)
  • Time to Interaction (TTI)
  • Total Load Time (TLT)

Time to First Byte (TTTB)

What Is It?

TTTB decides the responsiveness of a web server where your ecommerce site has hosted. If we are going to understand the server response time, we must know that browser is making a request for the website or website page to the server and after evaluating the request, the server accepts the request, process it, and start delivering the requested web pages.

Therefore, from the time when a browser is sending a request for a web page to the server, and the server delivers it to the browser becomes server response time. According to Google, server response time for your ecommerce store should not exceed more than 200 milliseconds or 0.2 seconds.

Yes, it is true because when server response time is ending, it does not mean that your site loading is complete. It is delivering only the first byte or a small chunk of the massive content/bytes like a logo or a header image with site loading symbol/animation. In other words, it is time to start rendering (TTSR), and we will discuss it in the next topic.

Factors Affecting Server Response Time

The server has to carry a lot of processes so we can pinpoint some highly influential factors those determine server response time.

  • Traffic on the site
  • Resource usage of the site
  • Software of the web server
  • Quality of the web hosting

Every ecommerce website has a target to increase the traffic, so we never think of reducing traffic load at all. Instead, we can focus on rest of the parameters to reduce server response time.

Of course, we can cut the website’s resources by different ways such as

  • By combining external CSS & JavaScript files into one or two files
  • By differing images or lazy load technique
  • By inline CSS and JavaScript
  • By Smart keep-alive use

Another way to improve the performance of server response time is to use platform specific hosting. For instance, WP Engine for WooCommerce and dedicated server or VPS hosting for Magento site are good options to think of it. No doubt, cloud hosting and content delivery network (CDN) are emerging trends by hardly applicable in all circumstances and for all kinds of ecommerce businesses.

Many seasoned ecommerce developers use caching solutions and configuration techniques for the web server software to mitigate several issues of server response time beautifully.

Time to Start Rendering (TTSR)

After Time to First Byte or the first pixel appears on the screen of the user’s device, the Time to Start Render begins, and it ends with the load of the last pixel of the web page.

TTSR is important at the point of view of the user experiences because users are always impatient, and mobile Internet had made them more aggressive. Therefore, they never like to stay up to the rendering of the last pixel of the web page, and we have to think smart ways to please them or engage them through some visual clues by early rendering some critical content such as:

  • Logo
  • Product Image
  • Navigation Bar
  • Fonts
  • Paragraph of Text
  • Hero Image

To do so, we have to make changes in coding and most likely in CSS as well as Scripts like JavaScript and others to define loading preferences. It has noted that style sheets and scripts are blocking fast rendering, particularly when it is coded inline or need to load other sheets before the critical one.

Remember your TTSR in Magento ecommerce websites should be in milliseconds and must reduce it as much as possible.

Time to Interact (TTI)

Once page rendering or TTSR has finished, web page elements get ready to interact so we can expect the user actions on the page. Once a shopper clicks on the button or a link and starts interacting with the page element, user journey begins and ends with conversion in good climax.

Improvement in TTI means an increase in conversion and ROI for a Magento site through enhancing overall user experiences by reducing delays and improving site speed.

Practically, measuring TTI is a better parameter than TLT, as it gives a quality parameter to increase conversion through better UX.

Total Load Time (TLT)

It gives the amount of time that a browser takes to process and download all content on a web page so reducing TLT help ecommerce to enhance performance and increase conversion.

How to Improve Site Speed through Various Measures

The three tactics that can help ecommerce site owners to improve the Magento site speed considerably and those are:

  • Optimization for anticipated use through caching
  • Content optimization through compression techniques
  • Avoiding unwanted waiting through rapid execution

Caching:
Various caching methods/facilities offer an opportunity for a Magento ecommerce website to store some essential and repeatedly requested data for the future use in order to reduce burdens on the server, resources, and hosting.

Technically, caching stores HTML blocks of essential content of the website on the server and deliver copies immediately upon requests so server need not go through the processing cycle from the scratch for each same request.

For ecommerce websites, caching is working efficiently when the frequency of content/data change are low and with a long duration. CDN (Content Data Network) is an ideal example of content caching on powerful ways, but useless for ecommerce web.

Compression:
We know graphics and images are detrimental factors to cut page load speed for the all kinds of web pages and Magento ecommerce stores are mostly image rich by nature.

Technically, the server receives a request for each image load, and it has to go intensive processes to deliver images if the number and size/KBs of images are more.

Therefore, the majority of website optimization requires image compression technologies and implements various techniques to mitigate image related issues. However, uploading the lesser number of images is not a viable solution for the best UX on a Magento storefront, taking other routes is mandatory, and those are:

  • Progressive image load
  • Forming image sprites to cut server requests
  • Server compression
  • Minify and consolidate/concatenate JavaScript, CSS, and images

Execution: Execution of instruction to load the content of web pages play a vital role in page load and site speed besides, keeping UX intact. Some ways apply to achieve excellence in execution, such as

Deferred execution to load essential content first

Asynchronous execution to avoid approvals from third-party services for content loading
Separate execution or the hole punching techniques to apply different caching policies, for various regions of the web page, and loading cached content first to improve UX

Conclusion:

Magento ecommerce website loading speed or site speed is a crucial aspect of grabbing significant revenue and improving the business performance. Therefore, Magento storefront owners must have in-depth knowledge of site speed parameters and factors influencing.

With such fundamental knowledge, Magento ecommerce web developers and their clients or say the ecommerce owners can think of mitigating site speed and page load issues prior to occurring and improve Time to Interact (TTI) at the end.

Now, as an ecommerce owner, you probably had fathomed the intricacies in improvement drives for enhancement of site speed and page load, you should have an idea to take help of a seasoned and talented team of Magento ecommerce developers.

Fortunately, the Krish TechnoLabs has such talents available, and it offers Magento Performance Optimization services with enough flexibility and affordability, so it is advisable not to miss such great team and leverage it to improve your site speed before your competitors do.

Harshal Mazmudar

Harshal is working as a digital marketing manager at Krish Technolabs, uses the web to drive online visibility and generate leads that have resulted in huge ecommerce success. His incessant hunger to outperform is the real drive that keeps him competitive in the online hemisphere.

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