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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 talk regularly about website performance in this newsletter, especially the impending change this summer from Google when it comes to Core Web Vitals. Page speed will be a ranking factor.
So if you have a slow store it will directly impact your placing in Google's search results. This will affect your bottom line, and will be of considerable benefit to faster WooCommerce stores.
Colm's Youtube video goes through the topic in brilliant detail, showing you how to achieve 96/100 with our own Shoptimizer theme. Check out our theme demo page speed here.
Smashing Magazine's latest post is one of the best I've read on the topic and is well worth reading.
I especially liked the section on the Chrome User Experience Report. How your site is measured is based on the last 28-days of data, and within that, only the 75th percentile of that data is used.
So, it can take time for Page Speed to catch up with improvements you make. But the results can be suddenly dramatic.
Update: Google have delayed rollout until mid-June to give everyone a bit more time to get up to speed.
Read Smashing Magazine's Guide to Core Web Vitals
There are a couple of excellent plugins we utilize on our own CommerceGurus site, which we rely on every day, never cause any problems, and are completely free.
One of these is called WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips. It basically creates a PDF invoice which is automatically attached to each order.
This PDF can also be downloaded by the customer when they log into their account.
You can even automatically attach a PDF when subscriptions renew or when you need to process a refund.
It's also got a nearly perfect 5-star rating from over 1,100 reviews which is remarkable.
It works really well, and might be useful for WooCommerce store owners who aren't aware of it.
Check out WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
I've been following developments with the Elementor page builder closely, and there was some further good news last week.
Elementor has grown to become the most popular page builder plugin for WordPress but it does have its detractors.
Although (in my opinion) it's vastly easier to use than the native block editor, there have been criticisms that Elementor introduces too much wrapping markup, and that Gutenberg's HTML is much cleaner and faster to load.
Elementor have been finally addressing this in some performance-focused updates, and the latest 3.2 version removes even more DOM elements, notably the elementor-text-editor and elementor-image divs.
Hopefully they will continue to streamline the markup produced by the plugin which will mean faster sites for everyone.
Read about Elementor's improvements in version 3.2
There are some important changes coming in July for any eCommerce stores dealing with the EU market, and they're nicely explained in this post from Quaderno.
The three big changes are:
- A new VAT Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) for physical goods.
- Ending the VAT exemption for “low-value imports” (anything less than €150) with a new Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) return system.
- Online marketplaces must collect and pay VAT on behalf of their sellers.
If you're selling into the EU this is an important article to read and you'll need to start preparing before the July implementation date.
Read about EU VAT changes coming in July
Colm came across this old article from Closte during the week, but it's still very relevant today.
WooCommerce 'add to cart' links aren't cacheable. And this can cause huge spikes in CPU usage on a server. Some hosts even charge for CPU utilization so you could be paying because of this.
Closte's article explains the topic in more detail and shows you how to edit your robots.txt file to exclude add to cart links from being crawled, improving CPU performance.
See how to prevent robots from crawling add to cart links
Latest Shoptimizer updates
If you've been using our Shoptimizer WooCommerce theme, we pushed a couple of minor updates this week in version 2.3.9.
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