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Participate in The Ecommerce Speed Up Challenge and Win Big Prizes

Updated on December 7, 2021

5 Min Read
ecommerce speedup challenge


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.Arthur C. Clarke

And in our experience, the faster your ecommerce store, the more magical your customer’s experience and the faster you sell!

So with the ecommerce holiday season around the corner, it’s time to bring speed to the forefront!

In celebration of the year’s busiest and craziest sales period, Cloudways is hosting a grand Ecommerce Speedup Challenge!

What’s the Cloudways Ecommerce Speedup Challenge?

It’s a challenge where you’ll go up against our highly skilled developers and store owners who’ll design the slowest, heaviest ecommerce website with hundreds of images and product pages. From there, it’s on you and your optimization skills to show the world how well you can optimize that store for speed & performance.

Participants with the best optimization results will be declared winners (as if we had another choice) and awarded with Amazon gift cards, Cloudways swags, and tonnes of free hosting credit!

Excited? So are we!

Rules for The Challenge

While you can go crazy with your optimization skills, we do have some ground rules for participating in this challenge, and here they are:

  • No entry will be entertained except the ones that come through the official sign up form.
  • Only the shortlisted participants will be contacted on the 17th of November, 2021 via email.
  • While the participants can seek external help, they need to precisely explain what and how they did to achieve their final score.
  • Participants cannot change or alter the theme’s files or remove existing plugins. However, plugins can be deactivated, and new plugins can be added as a replacement to keep the features intact.
  • Participants cannot remove the number of products and the product images.

Store Specifications

Our developers will try to make the store as slow and sluggish as possible (so don’t take it lightly). Here are the specifications:

WooCommerce Store Specifications

  • PHP version 7
  • WordPress version 5.8
  • MariaDB version 10.1
  • HTTP/2 Enabled
  • PHP FPM Running
  • 1000+ products
  • 15 plugins

Magento Store Specification

  • Magento 2.4.1 (With ElasticSearch)
  • PHP 7.4
  • Maria DB 10.4
  • Elasticsearch 7.6
  • Varnish 6.0.x
  • HTTP/2 Enabled
  • 40+ Products

Server Specifications for WooCommerce

Name Specification
Cloudways Server Vultr – High Frequency
Datacenter location Seattle
SSD Disk 64 GB
Bandwidth Transfer 2 TB
Processor 1 Core
Operating System Debian 9
NGINX 1.19.8
Varnish 6.0.7
Apache 2.4.25
PHP 7.0

Server Specifications for Magento

Name Specification
Cloudways Server Digital Ocean
Datacenter location NewYork
SSD Disk 80 GB
Bandwidth Transfer 4 TB
Processor 2 Core
Operating System Debian 9
NGINX 1.19.8
Varnish 6.0.7
Apache 2.4.25
PHP 7.4

Eligibility Criteria

If you’re wondering who can participate in this challenge, the answer is everyone!
However, there are a few things that you should have some knowledge about so that you have a fair chance of winning:

  • Web hosting.
  • WordPress/Magento plugins, themes, and extensions.
  • Updating core files.
  • Troubleshooting common WordPress errors.
  • Image optimization.
  • Use of caching and a basic understanding of site performance.
  • Basic understanding of using website speed test tools.

Speed Challenge – Partners

We would like to show our gratitude to our partners, who helped us in the preparation of this mega Ecommerce Speed Up Challenge. The six names that helped make this hectic process a breeze are as follows:

1. ShortPixelShortPixel

An instant image optimization solution to save your pages from high load times. ShortPixel improves your site speed by compressing and resizing your image while maintaining the original quality.

2. RankMathShoptimizer

An all-in-one SEO plugin to hack your way up to the higher rankings. This SEO savior helps you optimize your site’s content and conducts a deep site audit to help you tweak your site in accordance with the SEO best practices.

3. Commerce Gurus – ShoptimizerShoptimizer

A WooCommerce theme that combines fast speeds with aesthetic elements to help you accelerate your site and gain more conversions. Shoptimizer helps novice and techy users to build their own feature-enriched optimized store.

4. CED CommerceCEDCommerce

A performance-based marketing extension loved by Magento 2 affiliate users that enriches their databases with added sales. It helps drive more sales from alternative channels and rewards the affiliates with an extra commission.

5. LitextensionLitExtension

Making Magento store migration easier than ever before, this solution eliminates the tedious steps in migrating any ecommerce store to Magento with its simple automated steps.

6. LitcommerceLitCommerce

Now Magento users can reach all their potential customers, thanks to this trailblazing solution. LitCommerce allows Magento users to integrate their stores and get their stores listed on the biggest marketplaces.

Cheat Sheets

Just to kickstart your preparation for the challenge, here are some resources that you might find helpful.

Cheat Sheet for WooCommerce Store

Cheat Sheet for Magento Store


Here is what you can win if you achieve the best performance results. So what are you waiting for, enter now and win big!

Ecommerce challenge prizes

Head over to the Speed up Challenge page for more details and to register yourself.

Winners Announcement – Ecommerce Speed Up Challenge

We challenged the contestants in myriad ways, from setting up an online store via GitHub to optimizing the store performance. While every user surprised us with their unique optimization hacks, some stood out, making it to the final round.

Our test started when we had to pick a winner from the front runners. It was quite challenging to pick out the top three contestants, as the shortlisted results were quite similar.

However, the unique factors embedded by some players outperformed the other entries making them winners of our challenge.

These contestants blew our minds with their skills in this daunting process, and we’re thrilled to announce their names. (Ranked in the order of their scores)

  1. Shay Toder
  2. Fred van der Meijde
  3. Faizan Sheikh

speed up contest winners

We analyzed each of our contestants’ websites on GTmetrix and noted their core web vitals scores along with the fully loaded time. Additionally, we also checked their stores’ UI and their summarized documents.

Also, some contestants amazed us with their distinctive optimization results, and it would be unfair not to acknowledge them. Presenting the shining runner ups of the Ecommerce Speed Up Contest:

  1. Jowhar Dudayeb Nabil
  2. Rahul Singh
  3. Igor Aleksic
  4. Chossiere Loic
  5. Peter Molnar
  6. Joseph Stanley-Hunt
  7. Rob Harris
  8. Ken Charity
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Mohammed Moeez

Moeez is a WordPress community manager at Cloudways. He loves to work closely with customers to understand their problems and come up with solutions that are not only beneficial but are long lasting as well. He also actively participates in the community to share his knowledge regarding Cloudways and hosting in general. In his free time he likes to watch football, workout and spend time on his PlayStation. Get in touch with him at [email protected]


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