In this show I bring back eCommerce expert Chris Lema, VP of Product at Liquid Web, to chat about some of the best practices when it comes to optimizing your site speed on your WooCommerce online store. He shares with us:
- What is a cache and, from a store owners perspective, its pros and cons
- The silver bullet that is critical to speeding up your store.
- Chris’s suggestions of the top plugins for speed optimization.
- Other aspects of increasing the site speed of your online store
- What analytics a store owner should pay attention to and good tools to use
We start the show out reminiscing about our first experience with an eCommerce site. Then I ask Chris to define what a cache is and its role in site speed. We dive into it a bit more with the use of cache plugins and users’ common questions when they ask for help with their load speed. Chris shares his thoughts on that, as well as his reflections on some of the pros and cons.
Next I ask Chris to narrow down the most important solution for optimization of your online store. He talks about all the moving pieces that can be a huge part of it—themes, plugins, hosting, etc.— and shares with us what he feels is the single most critical piece to have in place.
I couldn’t let him get away without asking him to name his top, recommended plugins to use. He shared a few that he regularly suggests, which included the free plugin WPDisable, and the premium plugin perfmatters which does what the WPDisable covers but also has some other good options. He also recommends the free plugin Autoptimize, that essentially will work alongside your other optimization plugins. And lastly, he is a fan of Jetpack and the specific tools it can bring to the table.
He explained what they can do and also that if you use a plugin for a specific need, you should understand those needs and not just add a plugin hoping it will do the job for you.
I also asked Chris to share some suggestions beyond the performance side of things. He recommended Elastic Search and a few other products to consider. He also stressed how critical it is to make that checkout experience easy and seamless. One of the plugins he mentioned was Handsome Checkout. and why this plugin does such a good job when it comes to checkout. We have a post here that will walk you through this plugin.
My last question for Chris was this: what should we look for in our analytics and what tools should we use? He shared a great idea for the loading of testing and the tool they use at Liquid Web, Load Impact.
Chris rounded off the podcast with some excellent final thoughts and shared what they are doing over at Liquid Web when it comes to WooCommerce Managed Hosting. You can find him there of course, but you can also find him over on his two sites, Leadership Notes and his blog.