One common concern among online retailers is whether using WooCommerce can potentially slow down their websites. Here, we’ll explore the impact of WooCommerce on WordPress’s performance and address whether the concerns are valid.
It’s important to understand that any additional functionality (i.e. plugins or extensive modifications) added to a WordPress website will affect its performance. Plugins add code and scripts that need to be processed by the server, which can result in increased load times.
It’s also worth noting that website performance varies depending on factors such as the hosting setup (e.g. dedicated versus shared, or cloud versus traditional), server configuration and website optimisation.
Shared hosting plans might suit small businesses as they’re cheap, but the economy comes because you’re sharing server CPU, RAM and bandwidth with other website owners. Upgrading to a more robust hosting plan might be a good move before you go with WooCommerce, or if you’re experiencing speed issues.
Website optimisation also plays a role in maintaining optimal performance. Caching, image optimisation, code minification and using a content delivery network (CDN) can all help with page load times. Regularly monitoring and optimising website performance is essential, regardless of whether WooCommerce is being used.
The number of plugins you use to improve your WooCommerce site can also impact performance.
Multiple resource-intensive plugins can strain server resources and result in slower performance. It is crucial to regularly assess and optimise the plugins used on a website, ensuring they are necessary and do not negatively impact performance.
When professional WordPress developers take a look under the bonnet of the average site, they usually find at least one plugin that’s serving no purpose, but it’s not unusual to find dozens. People often install them to try them out but neglect to disable them when they conclude they don’t need them. Even ones that are being used on purpose often deliver no meaningful advantage.
While there are potential performance considerations when using WooCommerce, it’s worth noting that many successful eCommerce websites effectively use the plugin without significant slowdowns.
It’s a robust solution that is constantly being improved and optimised by the team and the community at large.
Don’t forget that WooCommerce itself provides tools and features that can help improve performance, such as built-in caching options and support for CDNs. Using these features and consulting WooCommerce documentation or community blogs and forums can help you to further optimise website performance.
Whenever you add any functionality to a WordPress website, it’s going to have an effect on performance. Sometimes that effect is positive, for example plugins to optimise images or to perform caching. But most of the time, plugins will have a negative effect on speed. The trick is to weigh up the benefits of the extra functions against the potential downsides of the speed loss.
WooCommerce is itself a plugin, and quite a hard-working one at that. So with all else being equal, a site with WooCommerce is going to be a bit slower than the same site without it. But since it would no longer be an eCommerce site, removing it would defeat the object!
In conclusion, WooCommerce has an effect on site speed, so it should be deployed alongside all the regular measures for keeping your site lean and fast. Once you start selling your products by the vanload, you’ll probably be satisfied that it was worth it.