How to improve website performance with Magento extensions

Improving website performance is one of the essential things that every store owner wants to achieve. Magento is one of the most popular platforms for e-commerce stores. However, Magento default itself has some limitations which may not help you have good website performance. Luckily, various extensions can support store owners to improve these limitations.

On June 24th, 2020, Magento announced that support for Magento 1 ends June 30th, 2020. So, in this blog, we only provide solutions to improve Magento 2 website performance. If you are one of the thousands of online merchants using Magento 1 and have not planned a transaction yet, the blog about the solution that you can opt will help you a lot.

For now, let’s discover the must-have Magento 2 extensions for your e-commerce store below.

Table of contents

1. Improve Magento 2 checkout

Limitation of Magento 2 default checkout

Magento 2 default checkout has improved a lot compared to the Magento 1 one. It decreases from six steps fo the Magento 1 checkout to two steps.

Magento 1 includes 6 steps checkout below.

6 Checkout Steps in Magento 1
6 Checkout Steps in Magento 1

Magento 2 has two steps to checkout.

2 Checkout Steps in Magento 2
2 Checkout Steps in Magento 2

However, the improvement is not enough. Magento 2 default checkout still has limitations that do not make customers feel satisfied entirely.

  • Take more time to complete the checkout process

Magento 2 default checkout is divided into two steps: Shipping and Review & Payment. The first step contains customer information and shipping method, while the second step displays the payment method and coupon code.

Display two checkout steps in Magento 2
Display two checkout steps in Magento 2

After filling all the required information, if customers make mistakes and refill, they need to go back to the previous step. It may take time and cause customers frustration when consumers want to recheck entirely information they filled as they need to move between two steps.

  • Unfriendly checkout appearance

Customers often tend to drop their carts when they navigate the checkout page and find many steps. In the report of Baymard Institute in 2017, 28% of consumers abandon their cart because the checkout process is too long or complicated.

Report of Baymard Institute in 2017
Report of Baymard Institute in 2017

Simplifying the checkout process and making it displayed on one page is necessary to enhance customers’ experience.

Solution

What is the solution to improve the checkout process? This is the question rising on every store owner’s mind.

Finding an extension which can enhance your Magento 2 store checkout is a suitable solution. Among various Magento 2 extensions, the Mageplaza One Step Checkout module is recommended. What does the plug-in bring to your store? Let me explain it below.

Related post: Why Every E-commerce Store Need Magento 2 One Step Checkout

  • Create an optimized checkout page

Mageplaza One Step Checkout overcomes the limitations of the default checkout. This plug-in makes the checkout page a much more eye-catching interface that shows all the required fields and information on one page. Like billing, shipping, payment, and order summary, all the processes are presented together on one page. Shopping doers are not restricted to complete any field before doing the other.

Interface of Magento 2 One Step Checkout
Interface of Magento 2 One Step Checkout

The checkout page now is looking more user friendly than the default one. By displaying all the necessary information as one page, buyers know what they have to fill and how far they can complete the checkout process.

  • Make the checkout page less complicated

In the statistics collected by Statista, 22% of customers decide to drop their shopping carts because they have to create a new user account. Not allow clients to checkout as a guest or sign up at checkout is one of the significant mistakes of any e-commerce store.

Statistics from Statista of the reason for digital buyers to drop their carts
Statistics from Statista of the reason for digital buyers to drop their carts

One of the most highlighted features of Mageplaza One Step Checkout is that buyers can register right at the checkout page with simple steps. This functionality assists not-login users to log in during their checkout process or continues as a guest.

Moreover, auto-detecting customer emails is a tool to help your checkout recognize if an email address belongs to a consumer and subsequently process further information faster.

Auto-detecting customer emails
Auto-detecting customer emails

Keeping customers to stay on only one page, even if they want to sign in or sign up, helps online stores reduce the abandonment cart rate because clients tend to love quicker and less complicated checkouts.

  • Allow customers to fill required information faster

Shopping doers may not be satisfied if they have to fill various information like shipping and billing address, including email, street address, city, country, etc. One Step checkout is able to simplify this step to save up a lot of checkout time for customers.

Google address suggestion is integrated into One Step Checkout to help buyers can find their exact address faster by typing some characters.

Auto-detecting customer emails
Auto-detecting customer emails

Besides, all other necessary information like register for newsletters, order summary, gift message, and wrapping gifts is displayed on one page. Just by clicking on these fields, purchases can complete their checkout with no redirecting to other pages.

2. Enhance Layered Navigation

If users navigate to your online store, but it is hard for them to find out their desired products, they will leave your site after a few clicks. Therefore, do not challenge your customer with a website with unprofessional navigation. It will affect not only your website performance but also the user experience.

The layered navigation feature is available on the Magento 2 default. It makes it easy to find products based on category, price range, or other functional attributes. Layered navigation often appears in the left column of the search result and category pages. However, it still has some limitations, which may affect your store performance.

Limitation

  • Reload the whole page after each filter

Navigating to a website with slow loading speed will create a bad user experience for customers. When customers choose the product’s specific attributes during their shopping journey to find out their suitable items, they do not want the whole page to reload. It will take more time for the products corresponding with selected attributes to show up.

  • Limit filter options

With the right filter and straightforward filtering interface, web users can narrow down product lists to relevant items that meet their needs. It will be difficult for shoppers if product attributes are not enough.

The Layered Navigation of Magento 2 default allows sorting by specific options, but there are some limitations. For example, the price navigation is in steps that split each range into intervals. It may not bring good customer user experience as they cannot select the price range that they wish compared to the price slider.

Solution

  • Speed up site loading with Ajax technology

Magento 2 Ajax technology is a method to keep server data only loading for specific elements without loading the whole page. You can imagine that when clients have multiple selections simultaneously, only chosen attributes load will bring the final result of products they want faster.

The whole page is no longer loading, which helps fasten the page speed. Mageplaza Layered Navigation for Magento 2 supports the Ajax Loading page will help improve your site’s performance since only relevant areas are reloading will save more time with the loading speed and enhance customer user experience.

  • Allow multi-filter and multi-select

The multi-filter supporting multi-select attributes Is an essential feature which every Magento store needs to have. Shoppers often have the demand for choosing or viewing multiple categories and product attributes at once to find the most suitable product. Mageplaza Layered Navigation with Multi-filter allows optimizing search and navigation to keep your visitors interested in your site.

Multi-filter and multi-select
Multi-filter and multi-select

Web surfers only need to click to expand the attributes list in the left menu of your site. They can easily change their selection by clicking on the checkbox again to remove the current filter.

The multi-filter feature boosts the speed of your store site and brings pleasure to your shoppers. Specific items will be narrowed more and more until visitors can choose what they need. This will help both store owners and shoppers save time.

  • Select the price range easily with the price slider

Price is one of the most vital factors that affect customer purchase decisions. Showing the price range that is easy to sort needs to consider each shop owner’s mind. While Magento 2 default has the limitation of offering the list price, Mageplaza Layered Navigation allows displaying price with 4 styles: Slider, Range, Slider, and Range and list.

Shop owners can choose which type is suitable for their store to display in the frontend.

Price Slider in Layered Navigation
Price Slider in Layered Navigation

3. Improve SEO on your website

SEO is an important technique used to improve all online businesses’ traffic, not only for Magento 2 stores. It is true to say that SEO is the critical success of any e-commerce business. This tool helps the target audience to find your website more easily. If your online store shows up on the search results for keywords related to your products or services, you will have more chances to approach your target audience.

Magento 2 default SEO does not have enough features to help your online store optimize SEO. Using an extension with more functionality can help you have better SEO for your store.

Mageplaza SEO extension with a bundle of outstanding features that support store owners to manage their SEO.

  • Prevent duplicate content

Duplicate content means that your website’s content appears in more than one place in the search result. This can negatively affect the ranking of your site. The search engine cannot recognize which content is the most authentic and has more valuable content. Thus, it will evaluate those sites with lower-ranking, which means that they will not appear in high positions when web surfers search.

Mageplaza SEO Suite All in one allows admins to recognize and avoid duplicate content. The functionality is automatically active on your site when you enable the plugin. Just with a few clicks in the backend, you can make it work properly.

Prevent duplicate content configuration
Prevent duplicate content configuration
  • Make your site optimize with structured data & HTML/XML sitemaps

Structured data can be known as Schema, which helps the search engine understand your site’s content. This will help highlight the critical information clearly and logically to improve your website displaying in the search engine results.

Besides, the plugin allows you to create both HTML/XML sitemaps. These two sitemaps make the search engine understand your site more easily.

HTML sitemap enhances user experience because it focuses more on web surfers. The sitemap outlines every single page of your website. Visitors can go to the HTML sitemap page and find specific pages in the shortest time.

HTML sitemap enable configuration
HTML sitemap enable configuration

This is a smart solution to speed up the shopping process and bring pleasure during their shopping journey by navigating a website quickly without missing any site page.

The XML sitemap helps increase the site ranking by listing specific additional information about each URL because the crawlers can understand your site better. XML sitemap feature can boost SEO performance significantly.

By a few clicks in the backend configuration, you can enable the HTML and XML sitemap in Mageplaza SEO. The HTML sitemap configuration includes Categories Sitemap, Pages Sitemap, and Products Sitemap.

Under the configuration of the HTML sitemap is the setting of the XML sitemap.

XML Sitemap setting
XML Sitemap setting
  • Optimize SEO by setting Metadata template rules

Metadata is a vital element that directly affects your website SEO performance and helps drive customers from your store’s search engines. However, setting the Metadata is not easy and may take time and effort to complete.

To set up SEO rules, with the Mageplaza SEO module, admins can visit Mageplaza -> SEO Rules -> Rules, then click the Add New Rule button to create a new rule. There are many field boxes for a new rule in the configuration. By following these steps and filling in all the fields, a new rule will be created and applied as you wish.

Set up SEO rules
Set up SEO rules

To know more about the configuration, our article Magento SEO settings: step by step SEO tutorial will help you discover it.

4. Image Optimizer

When the images have a too large size, it will considerably affect your site’s loading speed. It is not acceptable to challenge customers’ patience. Waiting for page loading is one of the main reasons for increasing your bounce rate and lower conversion rate.

Every online store wants to compress images on your site to ensure that they have an excellent site performance. Optimizing images can help boost conversion rates and enhance customer satisfaction. Faster loading speed motivates clients to surf and view more products and services in your store.

  • Allow compressing multiple image types

Using a tool with outstanding features to support you compress and optimize your store’s images is an effective way to simplify your control. Mageplaza Image Optimizer extension supporting the most popular formats of pictures such as PNG, JPG, GIF, TIF, and BMP, can help online shops compress images easily with some simple clicks to upload for products or services.

Support multiple image types
Support multiple image types
  • Keep the image quality while reducing the file size

There are two compression options that admins can choose while compressing images using the Mageplaza Image Optimizer plugin. Lossless allows you to retain the image quality while reducing the file size. This option can do it because they remove unnecessary metadata from image files.

In the meantime, if you’re using the Lossy option, you will reduce both file size and image quality. However, admins can set the quality percent that they want to retain after the compression process with slight visible loss in image quality.

Two compression options
Two compression options

You can control the compression level and the quality of images with ease.

  • Keep original images safely

Automatic backup functionality by the Image Optimizer module allows admins to roll back any images if necessary. Thus, if there are any problems in the optimization process, store owners can manage to back up images. They will feel more comfortable to try on modifying images with no worry about losing the original version.

By selecting Yes in the configuration, you already enable this feature in your store.

Backup original image
Backup original image

5. Lazy Loading

All online stores know that their site’s loading speed is the most critical factor in making their online store succeed in the market. When web surfers navigate to specific websites, their first impression is the website loading speed. It may create a good or bad sense of shopping experience for the first time.

Lazy loading is a technique appearing to help optimize the online content to enhance your site’s loading speed.

The main functionality of Lazy loading is to postpone the loading of unnecessary resources at page loading time. This allows loading required sections and keeps the remaining ones loading when users need it.

Product images only load when visitors scroll down the page instead of loading them upfront, meaning that all page’s elements only load when needed.

  • Speed up your page

All websites usually have various product images, videos to attract customers’ attention. For sites with plenty of content, it will take a considerable amount of time for all of them to fully load. Online shoppers do not have enough patience and time to wait for this loading process.

However, the Lazy loading module does not make your site waste time to load unrequired images. It will load the images while your visitors scroll down the page.

Backup original image
Backup original image
  • Customize the loading time

Mageplaza Lazy loading allows admins to set the loading point time for images, making it an outstanding option instead of the Magento default one.

Despite loading images right when visitors scroll the screen, store admins can set up images to load anything they want within a fixed threshold range. The images and videos meeting the threshold’s condition will still load even the user is not scrolling to its position. It is easy to configure it in the backend.

Backup original image

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