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Hi there, hope you're having a great Friday!
This is Colm and Simon from CommerceGurus, with a handpicked weekly roundup of eCommerce articles.
We've just published our first blog post of 2021, and have plenty more lined up in the coming weeks and months.
Our first is on the topic of product gallery plugins.
If you sell products that need multiple images to best showcase them such as t-shirts (you want to show the front and back), and shoes (different angles), you need to display the shots in a user-friendly way.
We're actually planning a new product gallery as part of CommerceKit this year. Once which is minimal, and fast to load. Until then, here are some great options.
Take a look at some great gallery plugin options
This short, 10-minute video from the Google developer team is a whirlwind tour of different things you can do to make your web pages faster.
It includes a description of the interesting new content-visibility property in CSS as well as portals - which were a completely new concept for me.
The presenter, Jake Archibald, is an engaging host and you're bound to learn some new techniques to improve the performance of your own sites and stores.
Learn loads of techniques in 10 minutes
I enjoyed this post about automating your checkout tests over on Business Bloomer this week.
You should be regularly testing your checkout.
You could be losing sales by not realizing that a bug is preventing orders from a particular payment gateway or country for example.
Every time you install a new plugin or update WordPress you might run into issues - and the cart and payment pages could stop working until you fix the problem.
An automated process which runs test order transactions daily is a great way to pick up any issues early and is one less thing for a store owner to worry about.
Learn about automating your WooCommerce checkout tests
Adam Doppelt has written an entertaining "teardown" of WordPress which should provoke some debate. But I can't say I agree with everything he says.
For example, Cloudflare can provide noticeable speed improvements which will become a Google Ranking factor in May 2021. And although WP Rocket is a very well regarded plugin, there are alternatives which provide much the same speed boost.
One point which is true is the unfortunate state of once-excellent hosting companies taken over by EIG. I'd agree with everything he says about how they are run into the ground until they become a shell of their former selves.
Read the WordPress teardown
If you've been building websites for a while you may have come across CodePen. It's a way web developers can share snippets of code and you can see the result on the same page.
CodePen have revealed their most popular snippets of the year and it highlights just how creative people can get with CSS and how far it's come in a few years.
There are variations on the traditional toggle (#7) - I loved the basketball version, as well as a newspaper example using CSS Grids (#3).
The most popular CodePen is likely one that can be used on most websites, it's a really stylish hover card example.
Check our the top CodePens of 2020
Shoptimizer 2.3.0 released
If you've been using our Shoptimizer WooCommerce theme, we pushed a major update this week in version 2.3.0. The improvements and features include:
- Can now add text to the bottom of the cart sidebar!
- Lots of minor style and performance tweaks.
- CommerceKit 1.1.8 with 14 improvements.
See everything on the theme's changelog page.
That's it for this edition. Simply reply to this email if you have any questions or suggestions, we read every message. Have a great week and best of luck with your projects!
Colm and Simon from CommerceGurus