This is article is the third in PrestaShop’s Guest Blogger series. Its content was created by Lesley Paone, a PrestaShop Community member (Dh42) and the owner of Nashville-based Designhaus 42.
Is your PrestaShop store slower than you’d like it to be? Have you noticed long page-load times? In the world of e-commerce, site speed is directly tied to business prosperity. A fast site enhances a customer’s experience, while a slow site is sure to take your bounce rate to new heights.
Think of it this way, if someone bounces from your e-store, you lose a sale. It’s that simple. But there are several things you can do to prevent customers from bouncing.
Here are the top-four tips for making your PrestaShop store lightning quick. Enjoy!
1. Web Hosting
Web Hosting is huge, and you should be prepared to pay for it. Sure, companies offer hosting for $1 to $3 a month, but many of those solutions are not suited for your e-commerce website.
Think of your hosting service like an engine, the better the engine, the faster the site.
What many hosting providers won’t tell you is that they have specific number — a quota if you will – of websites that must be shared on a single server.
Normally, a server shares its processors with few thousand websites, and with that in mind how much processing power do you think your site actually gets with a sub-tier hosting provider?
If you’re a high-volume, high-traffic store, or maybe you just care about performance, then I suggest a premium hosting package.
To be frank, having a fast site translates into more sales, so why not pay a few extra dollars a month for a world-class hosting solution?
The hosting companies I recommend are A2 Hosting and Bluehost. I have used both of them for years, and they have provided excellent performance and support. Not to mention, both offer a one-click, simple-script installation of PrestaShop for new users!
2. Disable and uninstall unused modules
When you first install PrestaShop, it comes fully-equipped with more 310 native features. Not every feature is for every merchant, so some of these modules will likely never be used by you and your store.
That’s why I recommend that you disable and uninstall modules that are not in use. Doing this means those unused modules will never have to be loaded, thus greatly accelerating your e-store’s processing time. Think of it like having a bunch of programs load during the start-up process of your computer. The more programs to load means the slower the process is. It’s the same principal.
3. Offload your Stats
PrestaShop has a slew of remarkable e-commerce analytic features built directly into its solution. That being said, you can easily save server resources by offloading your e-store’s statistical data.
Google Analytics is an amazing tool that every e-commerce merchant should use. Not only will it offload your stats, it also provides every piece of relevant information pertaining to your e-store.
Another great option for statistical offload is Jirafe, a free PrestaShop module that features and intuitive user-interface that is both beautifully designed and easy to use.
Jirafe comes as a free feature inside all versions of PrestaShop v1.5, and taking advantage of their amazing analytics service is as easy as it gets. All you need to do is locate the Jirafe module in your Back Office and then simply install and configure it.
Use both Google Analytics and Jirafe, in conjunction with server stats like AW or Webalizer, and your e-store will be unstoppable. At the same time, you will also notice a marked increase in websites performance.
4. Optimize your site
A good hosting provider goes a long way when looking to maximize your e-store’s performance. However, there are several tools one can use that are meant to compliment your host and further increase website performance.
There are two major tools that e-merchants should consider when looking to optimize their stores, Google Page Speed and Yslow. These tools will locate the “bottle-neck” areas of your site while also offering the information needed to correct them.
To read additional e-commerce articles written by Lesley Paone, we invite you to check out his dedicated blog page.