Page speed affects online sales and conversions – a fact no one should question. In fact, few online store owners are aware of how much impact it can have. According to Amazon research, every 100ms delay in loading the page cost them 1% in sales.
What is the page loading speed?
This indicator shows how quickly the content will load after entering the website. Page speed can be interpreted in two ways:
- Time to first byte – means the time that has to pass for the browser to receive the first byte of information from the website server.
- Full load time – means the time it takes for the page to load completely.
If you want to have a fast website, you must ensure that the time it takes to load in both cases above is as short as possible.
Website load time and conversions
The main reason why website speed directly affects online sales is to discourage users who have to wait too long for content to appear.
The way to monitor online sales is, among others, conversion rate – it is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of clicks/impressions (example: acquiring three customers from a campaign where the number of clicks was 100, the conversion rate is 3%).
It is worth looking at the results in practice.
The Amazon research mentioned at the beginning took place in 2009. Amazon has shown that every 100-millisecond delay in their website operation results in a 1% drop in sales. It means that every 1 second of delay costs Amazon “only” 10% of the revenue!
Google has shown similar research based on mobile websites:
- 1s-3s load time increases the probability of bounce about 32%
- 1s-5s load time increases the probability of bounce about 90%
- 1s-6s load time increases the probability of bounce about 106%
- 1s-10s load time increases the probability of bounce about 123%
Slow websites lose Google rankings
Impact of page speed on SEO
When it comes to profits from online sales, don’t forget that the page load time is taken into account by Google when determining its rankings. It is not new, because already in 2010, Google officially announced that the speed of the site would be included as a new element in the Google algorithm.
Search engines simply like fast-loading pages as they increase user convenience and reduce operating costs. Another advantage of such sites is the ability to index pages more effectively, which is especially beneficial for large websites.
Impact of page speed on SEM
Based on this information, it is obvious that having a fast page improves its position in organic search results. However, not everyone is aware that this rule also applies to Google Adwords!
The Google Ads advertising system takes into account the quality of the page you are advertising. If you are promoting a quality website (including one that loads quickly), you can count on a better Quality Score that translates into a lower cost for the campaign.
Not taking this fact into account can significantly affect your conversion rate and overall campaign result.
In 2017 Facebook reported that if your Facebook post links to your website, which is fast, the post will be more promoted by their algorithm.
Everyone is dreaming about having a super fast and perfectly optimized site. In some cases, you have to make some effort to speed up default performance. The most common issues about performance problems are those related to Magento 2.
The issue of Magento 2 performance
Magento is a popular and extensive platform for running an online store. It is chosen by people who want to create a large online store with many functionalities that facilitate the management of a large number of products. Unfortunately, this is done by quite high requirements of server parameters and not out-of-the-box performance.
When starting a business with this platform, you have to be aware that its modifications and optimizations can bring more expenses than you expect.
Magento 1 vs. Magento 2
The primary challenge for the creators of every major engine is its performance. Supporters of Magento 1 are convinced that the transition to Magento 2 will equal its huge decline. And … it’s true.
Magento 2 is filled with a lot more useful features compared to Magento 1, but on the other hand, it is a much more demanding engine.
People, who have decided to upgrade Magento platform, are complaining about their website performance. Is it really true? Well, some tests are showing, it is. Conclusion? To improve performance, you have to configure some things.
How to improve Magento 2 performance?
There are a large number of guidebooks on Magento performance optimization. Hosting seems to be the most important issue among them. The better the server, the faster the store works, and the better the reachability from the search engine. The server’s impact on Magento’s operation is often underestimated. A weak server will definitely slow down your page.
Hosting is not everything. Actually, it’s just the beginning.
Merge CSS and JS Files
Instead of sending 50 to 100 requests, the browser only needs to send just two. Minification benefits the process with a smaller size of individual files.
Content Delivery Network
Reduce Server Response Time
Magento 2 comes with a built-in Varnish solution.
Memcached or Redis
They reduce the load of database requests on servers and deliver cached data if an external data request allows it.
ElasticSearch for Search Results
It enhances searching speed because of the indexing service running on the server instead of searching the entire database for the match
Remember to update your Magento store to the latest version. New releases contain a platform’s security and optimization, so that can help make your platform faster.
The issues listed above may also apply to other platforms.
Sylius has great performance out-of-the-box
Sylius is based on Symfony – an excellent PHP framework. Modern solutions from the Open Source community promise up to three-times higher productivity of development teams. It is easy to integrate with ERP, CRM, PIM, or Marketing Automation. It all makes the platform fast and not as resource-intensive as Magento.
When it comes to performance, Sylius requires fewer actions to configure – in Magento, the page load without caching mechanisms in dev mode might take up to several seconds compared to less than a second in Sylius.
It all makes it better in terms of the performance and costs of maintenance.
The graphs below show the above-mentioned data. As you can see, Magento 1 has a similar performance as Sylius, however, it will become the end-of-life on the end of June 2020.
As it was mentioned before, Magento 2 seems to be slower than Magento 1. Sylius comes with high-performance out-of-the-box, but you may still want to speed it up, so we are giving you some steps to follow.
- Prioritize asset loading – Load only necessary assets at the beginning of the page and put the rest at the end. As a result, the user can see the content without waiting for all assets loading.
- Use ElasticSearch for product search
- Store commonly used data in the cache (e.g. Redis cache)
- Lazy load your services
- Compile your assets – Reduce the weight of your assets by using the built-in Webpack tool
- Use Varnish to cache static pages
As you can see, they are similar to those mentioned with Magento 2. The difference is that when setting up Magento 2, you have to follow them to reach great performance, and when setting up Sylius, you may follow them.
How much does Sylius hosting cost monthly?
As we have mentioned before, hosting matters in your site performance. The truth is that Sylius doesn’t need such advanced hosting solutions as Magento to perform very well. As a result – the hosting won’t cost an arm and a leg (as it may happen with Magento).
Shared hosting for 20€/month – can it work at all?
A great example of that is one of our clients, who has several thousand products in the e-store. That e-store is serving 80 concurrent users, and even if everyone uses it at the same time, it works without delay, achieving full page loading in less than 2s.
Can Sylius deal with huge projects as Magento does?
Not only it can, but it does it! This platform is highly customizable, and in many cases, Sylius’s time to market is a few times lower than Magento. Based on our experience, a similar B2C system could be done three times faster on top of Sylius compared to Magento 2.
Less time in development translates into lower costs. In both cases, you have to hire experienced developers or agencies (read this blog post, where we described differences between freelancers and eCommerce agencies), but the price will differ.
More than 130 000 products, more than 400 orders per day – no performance problem!
One of our projects was an online grocery store with delivery.
- Server architecture: Google Cloud Platform
- Use of Docker and Kubernetes
- Automatic scaling depending on the website traffic
- Server monthly costs: from 400€ to 800€
A huge number of products negatively affect performance, but not in this case. A full-text search engine with hints was created based on our ElasticsearchPlugin.
As you can see: the sky is the limit.
Want to test before a decision? Click through the BitBag Sylius demo built on top of the core framework.
General opinions of DevOps about large Sylius-based projects
What are the costs?
I can say that a standard setup (mainly: medium database, small size ElasticSearch, medium size k8s cluster aggressively scaled) usually can be estimated at around 400-800 € / month. It depends on how the particular application behaves. Thickly limiting: <1000 € / month.
How about 1500 orders per day?
Theoretically, we can scale indefinitely (pages auto-scale, only the database requires manual changes). We currently use the database up to 30%, so without changing it, we can safely pull 600-800 orders (assuming a linear increase in load relative to the number of orders).
Redis and ES, according to the metrics, are bored all the time, the charts are quite flat, so it’s hard to say something about them. I bet that increasing 5x at most will raise these charts simple 5x (although traffic during the day is not influencing them yet), which will increase CPU consumption e.g. from 3% to 15% and ES response time from 3ms to 15ms. So I think we can easily do it.
Acceleration of an e-commerce store can be a direct factor in the financial profits of running it. The tools available on the market will increase the performance of the Magento 2 platform in many different aspects. However, the most important tip will be to find the right server that will provide the fast operation of your store.
Remember that even if you have a small store with a small number of products and product descriptions, poor hosting services will be your site’s weakest point.
Sylius has a growing potential, and its performance is out-of-the-box. In many cases, it is much better and cheaper, especially for modern growing companies. Due to key differences in the architecture and development environment, Sylius is easier to work with, more stable and simpler to scale than Magento.