If you own an ecommerce business, you know all too well that today’s online users are an impatient bunch. The typical consumer will only wait up to three seconds for a site to load — and sites that take even that long to load are often deemed “slow.”

A slow site isn’t just annoying, though. It can have a significant impact on your site’s sales. Multiple studies have correlated an increase in page load time to a decrease in sales, in some cases as much as a 20 percent decrease. Simply put, if your site takes too long to load, customers will move on and spend their money somewhere that they don’t have to wait. And chances are, they won’t be back, either. Research shows that slow site speed lead to dissatisfied customers — and unhappy customers are likely to have a negative perception of your company, and likely to share that dissatisfaction.

In addition, Google isn’t a fan of slow websites either. A significant portion of your age rank is tied to the quality of your site, and site speed is one factor that contributes to the quality score. A low-quality score means that your ads will rank lower in paid search results, and your organic search results will suffer as well. Lower quality scores also mean you’ll have to pay more for CPC campaigns — and your additional SEO efforts may not get the best results.

If you’re noticing a decline in sales from your site, or your analytics are indicating problems with SEO and customers staying on your site, or you are receiving feedback about slow load times, you might need to make some changes to increase the speed. Usually, slowdowns are caused by one (or more) of these common factors that can be easily fixed.

Large Photos

Images are vital to many online businesses. Customers want to see what they are buying, and usually want to see multiple images. Yet too many images, or images that are too large (or both) will slow down your site. There’s nothing wrong with adding high quality images to your site, but you need to make sure they are the smallest file size possible before you add them to your free ecommerce website builder to ensure fast site speed.

If you have the skills, you can compress your images in Photoshop before adding them to the site. However, if you aren’t sure which parameters you need to change in order to reduce the photo file size while maintaining quality, there are several tools and apps that can do it for you.

Social Sharing

Giving customers the option to share content from your site is an important part of any marketing strategy. However, adding all of those social sharing buttons can add a lot of data to your site — and slow it down.

To fix the problem, start by reducing the number of buttons overall. Adding the option to share on every social site dilutes your social media efforts, and slows down your site. For the important social sites, use the lightest versions of the buttons you can find; in fact, consider using URL-based buttons to reduce the weight of your site.


Every time a page on your site redirects to another page, it creates an HTTP request-response cycle, which slows down your site. Just imagine that you are the user trying to access a page, and you have to go through several redirects first — frustrating, no?

Redirects not only slow down your site speed, but they aren’t a favorite of Google’s either, and can hurt your page rank. The search giant suggests limiting the number of redirects you use, and only using them when absolutely necessary and unavoidable.

Overcrowded Servers

If your site is hosted on a shared server, there’s a chance that slow site speed isn’t entirely your fault. If another business using that server is experiencing high traffic volume, it can affect the speed of all of the other sites on that server. Even traffic spikes to your own site can causes slowdowns if your hosting server isn’t up to the job.

The best solution to this problem is to choose an ecommerce hosting provider that’s capable of handling your site’s traffic and has high reliability and uptime rates. Often, this means investing in a dedicated server that will provide the necessary bandwidth to handle traffic to your site while also avoiding the other issues that can come from shared hosting.

One way to avoid site slowdowns becoming a serious problem is to run regular site sped tests to gauge your site’s performance. There are several free speed testers available online that can provide these insights — and identify potential issues before they affect the bottom line.

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