WooCommerce is one of the popular options for WordPress site owners to create an online store. The popularity of WooCommerce is due to two simple facts. One is that most of the popular themes supply custom store solution with integrated WooCommerce and other is that the same developers of WordPress build WooCommerce also. Being this fact, WooCommerce store will still slow down your WordPress site. If you are struggling to improve the page loading speed then here are some options to speed up and fix the slow WooCommerce store with WordPress.
Why Should You Improve the Speed?
Slow store will directly affect your business. Think of customers waiting for few minutes to load your product pages. Undoubtedly, most of the customers will leave your store and will never return. If you are making money to live your life from WooCommerce store then there are no other options than optimizing the speed.
On other hand, many of us use the main site to have few product pages. If you are falling under this category then some of the solutions may not be fitting you. However, you should aware that WooCommerce will affect all pages on your site and not only the product pages. Hence, looking in to WooCommerce should be your first priority if you have to improve the speed of your site.
Basic WooCommerce Settings
Before we explain the fixes, you should aware the basic settings available in WooCommerce plugin. Launch your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “WooCommerce > Status” section. Here you can view the status and settings for the store.
- System Status – server and plugin status
- Tools – cleanup tools for your store
- Logs – recorded log files for errors
- Scheduled Actions – actions scheduled for your store in the back end
You have to navigate to these sections for some of the below solutions mentioned.
How to Fix Slow WooCommerce Store with WordPress?
- WooCommerce plugin requirements
- Slow hosting
- Use caching and CDN
- Disable admin calls and heartbeat API
- Cleanup WooCommerce data
- Optimize product images
- Update templates with bundled theme
- Disable advertisements on product pages
1. Requirements for WooCommerce Plugin
Before planning to use WooCommerce store, ensure you have the minimum requirements for using the plugin.
- WordPress version – 5.0 or higher
- PHP version – 7.0 or higher
- Use latest plugin version
You can check out the complete details of the plugin from the WooCommerce plugin page and WordPress versions from WordPress.org page. When you put together WordPress, WooCommerce and PHP versions, clearly more than 50% of sites are using outdated versions.
|WordPress <5.0||PHP <7.0||WooCommerce <4.0|
If your store is too slow, first check you are using the latest versions of the software. The latest PHP version 7.3 or 7.4 can handle database queries multiple times faster than the older version. This will help you to improve searching and product display function on your store.
2. Slow Hosting
Nowadays, you can easily get hosting plans as low as $1 per month. They are good to start your blog as a beginner. However, if you are planning to run a bigger WooCommerce store then you have to choose a good hosting. WooCommerce by nature is a resource intensive plugin and will create many database tables in the back end. In order to handle the queries you should have a decent hosting server.
There are hosting companies like SiteGround offer managed WooCommerce hosting plans. They are also cheap shared hosting plans will cost you less than $4 per month. We recommend you to move to your site to one of the managed WooCommerce hosting plans to improve the speed.
3. Use CDN and Caching
This is a general measure you have to consider to speedup your website. Using a content delivery network (CDN) will help to load the product pages faster by serving the content nearer from the customer’s location. Similarly, caching solution can help to reduce the load on hosting server thus allowing pages to load faster from the cache. WP Rocket is one of the best caching plugins for WooCommerce. It generates critical CSS for WooCommerce templates and preloads the pages. This will drastically improve the performance along with a good CDN.
4. Disable Admin Ajax Calls
Many users integrate WooCommerce on their bigger site to sell only few products. In such a case, the slowness of the few product pages will affect the entire site. The reason is that WooCommerce will load the scripts and styles on all the pages on the sites, which may not even have WooCommerce elements. Due to this fact, you will see the bigger stores are always hosted on a separate subdomain or sub-directory without affecting the main site. If you are not able to separate the store and main site then check out this article on how to disable admin Ajax calls due to WooCommerce shopping cart.
You can also disable the default heartbeat API on your WordPress installation to stop realtime store updates.
5. Cleanup WooCommerce Data
WooCommerce offers in-built tools to cleanup the backend data. For example, you have to delete the used download permissions for those digital orders already completed. Go to “WooCommerce > Status” section and check under the “Tools” tab. You can do the followings to speed up the store:
- Delete transients cache, expired transients and orphaned variations.
- Clean used download permissions.
- Delete customer sessions from database (if you don’t need).
If you have noticed, WooCommerce will prompt you to update the store database frequently. Ensure to backup the database and update the store database under “Tools” section. These will help you to cleanup the store backend and help you to run the queries faster.
6. Optimize Product Images
Product images important to showcase the product clearly to your customer. However, using larger image size can increase the loading speed and negatively impact the customer’s experience. Therefore, ensure to use the correct size for your product images. If you have changed theme then it is necessary to regenerate thumbnails of the product images.
- Go to “WooCommerce > Status” and go to “Tools” section.
- Scroll down and click on the “Regenerate” button against “Regenerate shop thumbnails”.
7. Update Theme Templates
As mentioned, many popular themes supply custom WooCommerce store solution. The bundled themes will have a separate WooCommerce folder in the theme structure having templates that will overwrite the plugin’s template. If you use bundled theme, navigate to “WooCommerce > Status” and “System Status” section to check all your templates are up to date.
Using outdated templates may cause trouble to the speed as well as brake the site’s product pages. Therefore, you need to contact the theme developer to update the template. WooCommerce also will indicate if there is a major update in the version. In this case, you have to check with the theme developer first before updating the plugin.
8. Disable Advertisements
Many site owners display advertisements by inserting ad code on the templates. Advertisements like Google AdSense will kill the page speed and annoy your customers. Unless, you are offering free downloads and showing advertisements, we strongly recommend to remove ads from the product pages.
Many of us tempted to sell digital products online and choose plugins like WooCommerce. Though it is simple to setup, you have consider the impact of the plugin to your overall website. Check out the above options and see if that helps to speed up your WooCommerce store. Otherwise, you may need to consider moving your store to subdomain or a different domain to safeguard the site’s performance as a whole.