Magento Store Slow? Here’s How it can Hurt and How You Can Fix it

A slow online shopping experience for your customers is not a good thing. These days, it not only angers your customers, it also gets the attention of Google in a not-so-good way.

Luckily it can be fixed with a proper set up and a host that knows Magento well.

Before we dig into the perils of a slow Magento store, let’s look at a few myths about page speed…

Myths of Speed

1. If my site is fast, it will make people buy my products

Unfortunately, speed alone is a not a cure-all. What makes people purchase your products or services is just that – Your products and services. Combine products and services people want, with good marketing, and the right price, and that will seal the deal when it comes to sales.

A speedy site helps them more easily complete their purchase.

2. Speed metrics are all that matter

Tools such as Webpagetest.org, Google Page Speed Insights, and metrics such as Time To First Byte (TTFB) are helpful in pointing out areas where you can improve. However, they are not the holy grail of a fast site. What actually matters is how easy it is for your ideal customer to quickly click, navigate, and purchase their desired product or service. Real world speed trumps theoretical speed every day.

Which leads into the third myth:

3. A faster site will boost my rankings in Google

Unfortunately, this is not really the case. The speed of your site (as measured by Google) is one of 200 factors Google looks at when ranking your content. The signal is not a very strong signal either, so it’s not given a lot of weight by Google.

Sure, if you and another site are tied when it comes to ranking, and your site is *considerably* faster than the other site, Google may give you the nod. But being slightly faster or going from fast to very fast will not likely boost you up the rankings.

How lack of speed kills

Here’s a great infographic that talks about ecommerce site speed this holiday shopping season. It gives you a number of things to look at and compare.

Slow speed turns away potential buyers

Unless you’re Amazon or Apple, people who find your products online in a search or ad are *NOT* willing to wait a long time for each page to load when browsing your site.

Think of a physical shopping mall and there being three similar department stores right next to one another.If one has long lines and a crowded floor, customers will just go to the other stores that are not as crowded and have a faster checkout line.

This holds true online as well. With so much competition, and the many comparison shopping services, if a potential customer finds you, you can’t afford any friction (i.e. a slow browsing experience) that may turn them away at the click of a mouse.

Google will drop your ranking if your site is consistently slow

If your site is always slow, Google will drop your ranking, especially for people searching from a mobile device. Google knows people don’t want to wait forever for a page to load, especially on a phone, so they tend to deliver results that are relevant *and* have a fast page load for a good experience.

I’m not talking about a blip where your site is slow for a short period of time, or if your page load times go from 2 seconds to 2.5 seconds, but a painfully slow experience day in and day out.

What’s painful?

To me, if a user cannot comfortably click from page to product to add to cart without having to wait multiple seconds for each page to appear, this is painfully slow. You can ignore all the other metrics and focus on how easy it is for a customer to click from your homepage, to a category, to a product, to add an item to the cart. This should be seamless.

What does seamless look like in Magento?

Take a look at our LexiConn Magento Demo Store. It’s hosted on a server with other live clients, so it’s in a typical hosting environment along with other live Magento stores.

Yes, go ahead and click around – I’ll wait…

See how fast the transition from page to page is? That is how a fast site should behave. Each page should start loading as soon as you click a link. That is seamless web browsing on an ecommerce website.

Want to see actual live stores? Check out our Magento Case Studies to see this in action in real-life.

How to fix a slow Magento site?

The first thing to realize when it comes to running a fast Magento store is that the environment and infrastructure needed requires more know-how than generic hosting can provide. It’s NOT true that you have to throw a ton of hardware at Magento, or that it requires a small fortune to run properly.

It IS true that it requires some expertise and experience with Magento in order to get it running quickly. It is more of an art form than just set it up and forget it. A fast Magento store needs the proper hosting environment set up, and then continual monitoring and adjustments to run at tip-top shape.

If your web host is not familiar with Magento, or is not hands-on when it comes to your store’s performance, your site may likely be slower than it should be, which can cost you sales.

Choose a web host that KNOWS Magento

Luckily, there are a few hosts out there, like us, that understand Magento, and know what it takes to have Magento run fast for a small business owner. Add to that personal attention to make sure your settings are correct, and we can help you get the most out of Magento.

A lot of hosts throw around terms such as APC, MySQL query cache, php-fpm, Full Page Cache, CDN, etc… when it comes to Magento hosting information on their website. None of this means anything if the host isn’t able or willing to properly set these resources up for each individual store to help them get up and running optimally.

What LexiConn can do for you

We help our Magento clients succeed and thrive with their online stores. It starts with our seamless migration process that involves no downtime, and no re-work.

As part of each Magento migration, we review settings such as database size, log rotation, .htaccess adjustments, robots.txt set up properly, and various other config items. We adjust these to perform optimally for each store.

For each store, we help integrate proper caching (at all levels, Magento, Full Page Cache, web browser), implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for fast file delivery, and we look at features such as persistent shopping carts being set up properly to help achieve more sales.

Once a Magento client is live with us, we continue to monitor and adjust settings and features to keep things running fast. This is the step most web hosts fail to perform, and it can be one of the most crucial, as things tend to change and deteriorate over time if not properly monitored and updated.

Magento, in the hands of a lesser host, can be, and usually is, slow. A slow online store translates into a poor experience for customers, which results in fewer sales and lower rankings in Google.

If your Magento store is slow, all hope is not lost. Find a web host that understands Magento, and can help you make your site fast. It will be the best investment you can make in your business.

Looking for a web host that understands ecommerce and business hosting?
Check us out today!

Connect with me on Google+

Leave a Reply