Speed test your store

One of the things you will want to keep an eye on with your Printfection store is how quickly it loads. Nothing turns off a potential shopper more than waiting around for a store to load. If like me, you live on the other side of the world and don't exactly have the fasted highspeed link, you will be used to things taking a little bit of time, but even so, more than about 8 seconds, and I'm away. So just how fast or slow is your store loading. You could just refresh your browser and start counting or you could use a fantastic web site tool to gain a really great insight into the true performance of your store.

One of the best sites that I have found for just this purpose is Pingdom Tools, a free set of web-based tools for webmasters and other web-curious people that can perform graphical website load time, ping and traceroute tests.

Pingdom Tools

The most relevant set for what we want to do is graphical website load time. Simply by entering the URL of your store and clicking  the "Test Now". Within a few seconds you will be presented with afull graphical display showing the length of time taken to load each file that goes together to make up your store.

For example, you can see the results of a simple store load report here. Each file is shown, as well as some overall statistics for the entire page.

Once you have the information, you can go through and see which files are taking the longest to load and if necessary, work on reducing their size. There are of course some files that you can't do anything about, including the google anlytics urchin.js (probably the slowest file in your store). If you have any really slow section images, consider reducing their display size in the store admin tools.

Incidently, when Pingdom Tools was launched about six months ago, Ukulele Shirt World was reporting as taking around 6 seconds to load. Today it loads in 5 which is pretty impresive improvement given that I have added a number of new section images as well as a graphically rich slide show that adds 150K on its own.

03.02.2008. 01:42

This article hasn't been commented yet.