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Experience Varnish Compatible WooCommerce On Cloudways — Up to 100% Faster Web Performance!

January 15, 2018

4 Min Read
Varnish Compatible WooCommerce On Cloudways
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Launching an ecommerce store is really easy these days, thanks to many content management systems (CMSes) out there. There is the ever-popular Magento that is undoubtedly the best app for creating web stores. However, it is not easy to develop. This is why in 2014 we have seen the rise of simpler shopping platforms, like PrestaShop and WooCommerce. These apps have made it easy for novice web store owners to host ecommerce websites containing hundreds of products.

According to a 2012 study titled Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. This means almost half of your web traffic comes from search. So, how will you do good on a search engine? By having a speedy website that is optimized for good performance. Speed matters when it comes to online commerce ventures. It is one of the biggest factors in user experience. Amazon calculated that it lost $1.6 billion if page load time increased by a second. That’s not chump change.

Like many ecommerce platforms, WooCommerce also requires huge hosting resources, especially when your web store has a large inventory of products. Therefore, it has an entire community dedicatedly working to improve it by fine-tuning plugins, themes, and even servers to optimize the performance.

Apart from this, WooCommerce themes and setups are generally complex with dynamic and static elements all jumbled up on a single page, making the advanced caching systems tough to set up. This is why having a caching mechanism, like Varnish, is vital for speedy performance.

But, it is not as easy as I put it there.

There are some limitations as many are still unable to utilize advanced caching systems like Varnish. If you google “WooCommerce Varnish” you will come up with many threads and discussions about making WooCommerce and Varnish compatible. Some may have the answer, but the setup is so confusing that it frustrates WooCommerce store owners who are not tech-savvy.

At Cloudways, we are always looking for ways to improve the performance of our managed WooCommerce hosting and work on the suggestions provided to us by our clients, developers, agencies, and the community. Keeping up with our long-standing practice, we have worked out a fitting solution that harnesses and augments WooCommerce + Varnish compatibility.

As a simple solution to address the needs of WooCommerce users, Cloudways has integrated 1-click installation of WooCommerce. Now you can launch WooCommerce on SSD-powered cloud servers that are optimized with Nginx, Varnish, Apache, PHP-FPM, and Memcached through Cloudways Platform that simply outperforms other hosting solutions available. To experience WooCommerce with Varnish simple select WooCommerce as shown in the below gif.



Here are the load test results comparing the performance of WooCommerce without Varnish and WooCommerce with Varnish.

Without Varnish, the average response time is a whopping 1779 ms.

woocommerce without varnish

With Varnish, the response time is a steady 6 ms.

woocommerce with varnish

If seen in a graph format, the response rates suffer as more and more users access the WooCommerce store running without Varnish.

WooCommerce Without Varnish load test


And in the case of Varnish configured properly on the WooCommerce store, load testing results show that response rates become steady as more users access the website. Only on the first few visitors, the response is high, but when the HTTP requests are cached, the new users experience a smooth response time.

WooCommerce with varnish Load Test GraphThe tests clearly show that the server’s average response becomes stable even when 500 users are accessing your website, while the server without Varnish struggles to respond to every new visitor coming in that causes the site to slow down. It harms your business.

One of our early adopters—WooCommerce was available as a beta app since the start of this year—Dan is impressed with our service:

“Fast servers with speedy WooCommerce makes me wonder why I was with ‘Slow Daddy’ for so long. Best load times! It feels like I am working on a website locally.”

What Is Varnish?

I think it is fitting to explain this caching technology in a few words. Varnish is a caching system deployed on the front-end of the server that handles HTTP requests. It speeds up the web application’s performance by a significant margin ( official statement claims that it speeds up the performance by 300 to 1000 times.)

Why Use Cloudways To Host Your WooCommerce Store?

For the very first time, Cloudways has introduced a platform through which you can launch Varnish Compatible WooCommerce stores on top of reliable cloud infrastructures like DigitalOcean, Linode, Amazon Web Services EC2 and Google Compute Engine. Cloudways Cloud Hosting Platform is truly remarkable, on which you can launch an otherwise complex application in under 5 minutes on cloud infrastructures in just a few clicks; making it possible for the non-techs to take advantage of performance and reliability using VMAN optimization technology.

An optimized and fast performing ecommerce store delivers the best user experience for your customers. They won’t get frustrated with the sluggish speed of your website. Even search engines like Google give high priority to websites in SERPs that have impressive loading speeds. Plus, slower websites get terrible word-of-mouth. I leave you with this thought: 79% of visitors do not return website that has poor performance and according to a 2012 study by American Express, a disgruntled customer will talk about a poor experience with 24 people. And, that’s the average!

So, if you want to focus on your business and growth and don’t want to invest time in server optimization, then Cloudways is definitely the best choice for you. Start your WooCommerce Hosting free trial from the banner below.

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Ahsan Parwez

Ahsan is the Community Team Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Cloud Hosting Platform. He loves to solve problems and help Cloudways' clients in any aspect he can. In his free time, you can find him playing RTS PC games.

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