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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.
When a user visits your store, the last thing you want them to think is: Is this site broken?
Maria has written an excellent guide to First Contentful Paint - a key metric of Core Web Vitals which Google uses to figure out how fast your store loads.
FCP issues occur when the web page is being downloaded and users can’t see any content being rendered onto their screen after a few seconds.
Maria takes a look at various ways you can fix First Contentful Paint issues and help WordPress sites load faster.
Learn how to improve your FCP scores
If you've ever removed a product from your store, you'll know that WooCommerce doesn't provide any good options for products that are no longer available.
You can mark an end-of-life product as out of stock. However, this implies that stock will be available again in future, and messes up your stock reports.
Some people delete end-of-life products, but this loses their SEO value and creates broken links.
Barn2 have released an interesting new plugin called WooCommerce Discontinued Products which aims to solve this problem.
If you run a big catalog store with an ever-changing stock of items, this plugin could be worth checking out.
Take a look at the new WooCommerce Discontinued Products plugin from Barn2
I thought this article and video from Chris Coyler on improving their site's loading speed was fascinating and one of the best case studies I've read in ages.
Along with Tim Kadlec from WebPageTest he uses that tool to indentify performance pain points to work on. The approach is two-fold.
- Measure Things & Explore Problems
- Fix them!
If you haven't used WebPageTest before this is a brilliant introduction to just how powerful and useful it is.
In fixing one of the issues identified, they make the site load 2 seconds faster on a 4G connection. That makes a huge difference to visitors.
See how to use WebPageTest to improve site loading times
WordPress 5.8 landed 2 weeks ago now and there are still reports of bugs with the new 'block-based' widgets area.
I've seen it happen on a few sites, the issues tended to be environment related or due to using certain conditional widget plugins which don't work well with blocks.
Classic Widgets is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous (“classic”) WordPress widgets settings screens.
Once activated, this plugin restores the previous widgets settings screens and disables the block editor from managing widgets.
Download the Classic Widgets plugin
I like the style of these funky, abstract illustrations from designer Milica Vezmar Basara.
You can download all of them for free in PNG format. Pro membership gives you access to SVG versions and all future illustrations.
These look great for landing pages or concepts where you can't quite find the "perfect" shot - these illustrations are indeed versatile enough for many different applications.
Check out the free illustration collection from abstrakt.design
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