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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.
Layout shifts are the shifting of page elements on a web page without any prior input from the user.
In simple terms, this means that visitors on your website may find page elements such as images, videos, fonts, or buttons shifting around unexpectedly as the page is still downloading.
Such layout shifts create a terrible user experience and can, in turn, hugely impact organic traffic, sales, and revenue.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what layout shifts are and what causes them to happen. We’ll also go over some ways to avoid large layout shifts on your website.
Learn How to Avoid Large Layout Shifts
Baymard have provided useful research when it comes to the best approach in displaying variable products.
They observed that, when presented as a drop-down menu, users during testing were prone to overlook the size selector entirely.
Additionally, when they did activate the menu, they were often surprised or disappointed by the sizes available.
Crucially, drop-down menus hide available size options and require interaction to browse.
Exposing the size options by using button-like selectors helps to ensure that these crucial product variations are easily seen by users.
We've researched the best variation swatches plugins for WooCommerce, which can convert the default dropdowns into always-visible buttons.
Read Baymard's research on size selectors
WP Hosting Benchmarks have updated their WooCommerce Hosting Performance data for 2021 and their analysis is worth studying if you're on the look out for a new host.
I'm a bit disappointed that they don't cover more WooCommerce-focused hosts in their round-up.
We've previously reviewed Cloudways, SiteGround, Nexcess and Kinsta and are putting the finishing touches on our WooCart review, which is another excellent choice.
Check out the WP Hosting Benchmarks for 2021
If you've built WordPress sites locally, you're probably already familiar with Local by Flywheel - a free application for Windows and Mac which makes it easy to create sites on the fly.
Another nice option is DevKinsta, and in this article by Leonardo Losoviz, he goes through the process of creating multiple testing sites quickly and easily.
If we can automate setting up the working environment, we can then invest the extra time and energy into our product.
Read about how to use DevKinsta to create test WordPress sites in minutes
Chris Lema has an excellent post about WooCommerce's checkout experience and how it compares to Shopify.
Personally I think WooCommerce has been spending far too much time over the past year on Gutenberg blocks and not enough on core eCommerce features, and of these, the checkout screen is the most important.
Chris points to some potential solutions including perfectcheckout.com, which I hadn't come across before.
It's an interesting discussion and well worth a read.
Read about WooCommerce's checkout and what can be done to improve it
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