If you’ve been paying attention to our SEO newsletter (subscribe for free at bottom of this page), we recently released an intriguing free plugin for WooCommerce sites called Disable Cart Fragments. This plugin, inspired by several “speed” discussions that took place across the WordPress-sphere in the past few years, simply and effectively disables the AJAX calls that the WooCommerce shopping cart adds to every page load (it calculates the total cart items in real time).
One recent client of ours, Playrs Club, an online magazine about Ultimate produced by FFWCT, had originally sought input regarding loading speed due to ongoing challenges with their complex (albeit quite stunning) template built for WooCommerce, especially as they required the use of a large number of plugins.
Moving their site from WP Engine to a dedicated VPS on LittleBizzy helped quite a bit, initially.
And, while complex sites are always a challenge — their setup requires advertising scripts, various analytics, and third party resources — we noticed that their shopping cart fragments were taking an especially long time to load.
Immediately after installing the Disable Cart Fragments plugin, enabling “Redirect to the cart page after successful addition” and disabling “Enable AJAX add to cart buttons on archives” within the WooCommerce settings, their website loading speed improved a whopping 37 seconds overall from the time it previously took to load…
The previous loading time of 46+ seconds was reduced to just 8 seconds, immediately. Now, to be sure, that is still not a totally ideal loading time, but it does show the immense performance impact of the cart fragments.
With a few more tweaks, they are now loading in around 2 seconds flat.
This huge improvement is possible because dynamic AJAX calls (or any dynamic calls) to a large database are often very expensive, especially when it requires complex querying of items, such as pagination… (a future post).
If you have a large or otherwise busy WooCommerce website, consider our free plugin.
Your visitors (and sales figures) will thank you.