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How to Optimize osCommerce

Optimization is one of many methods to help your site make the most money. Whether products are appearing because of keywords or the site benefits from being fast, keeping it optimized is pivotal for success. Keeping osCommerce operating at peak performance is no different than any other website.

Selling goods is your primary function. However, the performance of a website dictates how often those goods are actually sold. Keep in mind that most shoppers will abandon a cart if the site takes too long to load. Using a content delivery network is a good place to start for making a site fast, but there are other ways you can optimize your osCommerce site.

Today, I’m going to show you how to optimize osCommerce and improve your chances of earning income. Site speed and efficiency are important, and you have several ways available to improve your chances of making a sale.

Limit Products on the Main Page

Limit Products

Product placement is important to make a sale. However, too many of them on the main page can be distracting to visitors while reducing the site’s performance. Each of those images and descriptions are pulled from their respected pages. These calls for data reduce the site’s efficiency while making it appear haphazard for guests.

Optimize Your Image Use

Optimize Image Use

Use the correct sizes for images. While in some cases a large and more detailed image may be acceptable, realize that rendering them can easily slow down a website. In most cases, you’re not going to need a 3000 wide pixel image for a product. Keep the sizes and resolution as low as possible without losing quality.

Keep Add-Ons and Modules to a Minimum

Minimum Modules

Installing various add-ons can easily enhance the experience for visitors. Just bear in mind that too many of them will slow down the website. Having a lot of add-ons can also take away from the experience of a visitor if there is too much going on within the pages. Only use add-ons that are of utmost importance to the operation of the site.

Disable Features You’re Not Using

Disable Features

The osCommerce platform comes with a variety of built-in features you probably aren’t going to use. Disable any of these elements that do not directly impact the operation of your site. For instance, you wouldn’t want the 2Checkout payment gateway active if you don’t use it.

Don’t Use a Lot of External Links

External Links

External links can be useful in some situations, but you want to keep these to a minimum. This is especially true if you monetize the site further with things like Google Adsense. Calls for external data slow the website and hurt its performance. Keep external links to a minimum.

Install an SSL Certificate

SSL Certificate

Installing an SSL certificate not only protects your visitors, but it also promotes your website in Google search. This is because various search engines are prioritizing secure sites over non-secure ones. Simply adding the SSL has potential to put your website ahead of the competition in search results. You will need to edit the config.php file in the site’s “includes” folder.

Maximize Product Descriptions

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are vital for visitors as well as search engines. Make sure you’re maximizing the use of these sections and creating good content. The osCommerce platform comes with the ability to edit many sections when adding products. Make use of every possible element.

Keep the Database Optimized

Optimize Database

Over time, databases can become bogged down and slow. Use the phpMySQL tool to optimize the database on a routine basis. This will help the site remain fast, which contributes to sales and search engine ranking. Besides, you want the database to be as efficient as possible as it reduces errors and problems later on.

Use Search Engine Friendly URLs

Search URLs

You want to enable search engine friendly URLs in your online store. This helps performance in sites like Google while maximizing your exposure to potential customers. This can be enabled in the “My Store” section of Configuration.

Optimize for Success

Keeping the site performing at top efficiency is vital if you want to build a successful online store. Don’t assume you can simply set it and forget it. Just like in the real world, it pays to keep it clean and fresh to engage the customer.

Author: Josh Dargie

My name is Josh Dargie and I’m the Operations Manager at GreenGeeks. I’ve been with the company since 2009. I have over 16 years of experience working with and for various web hosting providers specifically in development, day-to-day operations and customer service.

Updated on October 17, 2017

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