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How to Reduce Time to First Byte (TTFB) and Server Response Times on WordPress

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How to Reduce Time to First Byte (TTFB) and Server Response Times on WordPress

Table of Contents

  • What is Time to First Byte (TTFB)?
  • Why is TTFB Important?
  • What is a Good Time to First Byte (TTFB)?
  • What Causes a Slow TTFB?
  • How to Measure Time To First Byte: 4 Options
  • 9 Ways to Reduce Time to First Byte on WordPress
  • Improve your Time to First Byte Right Away

If you have ever run a PageSpeed Insights test, you likely came across the following recommendation: “Reduce initial server response time”. The initial server response time affects the overall loading time and performance metrics such as the Largest Contentful Paint, one of the Core Web Vitals metrics. Therefore, it will also affect your PageSpeed score.

Reducing the initial server response time means that you should lower your site’s time to first byte (TTFB). TTFB refers to the amount of time it takes a browser to create a connection to the server and start downloading a web page’s contents. So, the more you can improve your TTFB, the better your performance will get.

Let’s understand what TTFB is and what causes a slow TTFB. You’ll find out how to reduce it and address the PSI recommendation. You’ll optimize your WordPress site speed and improve your LCP grade.

What is Time to First Byte (TTFB)?

Google defines Time to First Byte as a period of “waiting”:

“Time spent waiting for the initial response, also known as the Time To First Byte. This time captures the latency of a round trip to the server in addition to the time spent waiting for the server to deliver the response.”

To put it simply, TTFB is the amount of time from the moment you navigate to a web page to the moment it starts rendering – that is, the moment you’ll start seeing some content displayed on your screen.

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TTFB is made up of three separate components:

1. The time it takes to send the HTTP request

TTFB starts with the HTTP request. The time it takes for a server to receive the request depends on the time it takes to perform a DNS lookup, the speed of the user’s network, the distance to the server, and any interruptions in the connection.

2. The time it takes to process the request

Once the server receives the request, it has to process it and generate a response. This involves starting processes, making database calls, running scripts, and communicating with other network systems.

3. The time it takes for the server to send back the first byte of the response to the browser

Finally, the server needs to send the response to the user. This step is dependent on both the network speed of the server and the user. If the user has a slow wifi connection, it’s going to affect the TTFB. 

Basically, the longer it takes to send a request to the server, process it, and send it back to the user’s browser, the longer it takes to display your page to the user.

Why is TTFB Important?

TTFB is a factor that contributes to your overall page speed, so it’s an important metric to keep an eye on and optimize – also to improve your Core Web Vitals grades.

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It’s also worth pointing out that you shouldn’t confuse TTFB with page speed. It’s simply a metric that gives you an idea of your site’s responsiveness.

TTFB is a metric that’s (mostly) within your control that you can tweak to speed up your site. So why not reduce it to make your site faster and get a better PageSpeed score?

What’s more, when you reduce TTFB:

  • Users spend less time waiting for your site to start loading, improving the user experience – don’t forget that LCP is related to the Page Experience Update, the latest SEO ranking factor.
  • Users are less likely to bounce while waiting for content to appear on the page, meaning higher engagement and retention.

What is a Good Time to First Byte (TTFB)?

Google recommends a TTFB under200 ms. Lighthouse audit fails when the browser waits more than 600ms for the server to respond to the main document request.

If your TTFB is more than a few hundred milliseconds, there might be some bottlenecks on your server that you need to investigate.

Google recommends that sites should process user actions/inputs within 50ms to ensure a visible response within 100ms. For actions that take longer than 50ms to complete, always provide feedback, i.e., display a loading indicator or change the color for the active state.

🚀 Want to know more about the Lighthouse audit? Read our article on how to improve your Lighthouse performance score!

What Causes a Slow TTFB?

When it comes to WordPress sites, several different factors can affect Time to First Byte:

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There isn’t much you can do to solve high web traffic or network issues. But there are ways you can address server configuration, dynamic content, and DNS response times, which we’ll explore below.

How to Measure Time To First Byte: 4 Options

The first step to uncovering why your TTFB is time is high is to measure it. There are several ways you can measure TTFB, but keep in mind that each of the tools below will output different TTFB, so I recommend using the tool you’re more familiar and comfortable with.

1. Measuring TTFB with GTmetrix

You can easily measure TTFB with GTMetrix, which refers to this metric as “waiting” time.

To see your results, scan your site and open the waterfall. When you hover over the first result in the list, you’ll see your loading metrics, including wait time (aka TTFB).

GTmettrix - TTFB
GTmettrix – TTFB

2. Measuring TTFB with WebPageTest

You can also measure your TTFB with WebPageTest. When you scan your site, you’ll get your TTFB in seconds.

WebPageTest example 1
WebPage Test – TTFB

3. Measuring TTFB with Pingdom

Pingdom also measures TTFB, referring to it as “wait” time. To use this tool, simply scan your site and scroll down the results to the “File Requests” section, where you’ll see wait times for your site and individual requests.

pingdom TTFB 1
Pingdom – TTFB

4. Measuring TTFB with KeyCDN’s Web Performance Tool

Another fantastic tool for measuring TTFB is KeyCDN’s online Web Performance Test. It lets you quickly measure your TTFB from 14 different test locations. As you can see in the results below, the TTFB for the WordPress.org site is lower in the United States and higher in Europe, Asia, and Australia—proof that distance and latency play a big role in TTFB.

KeyCDN TTFB
KeyCDN – TTFB

9 Ways to Reduce Time to First Byte on WordPress

Let’s look at how you can reduce the TTFB and the server response times for your WordPress site. Hint: choosing the best WordPress caching plugin will come in handy!

1. Use a Fast Web Host

Using a fast web host that has a carefully thought-out architecture will go a long way to reducing your TTFB. Managed WordPress hosts configure their servers specifically for WordPress sites, so you can be confident your dynamic content is in good hands.

You must consider where your host’s servers are located. Choose a host that is located physically closer to where your users are. For example, if most of your users are located in Europe, it would make sense to host your site in Europe, not in the United States. (Although you can get around this with a CDN, which we’ll look at below.)

While you can’t control your site’s amount of traffic, you can manage your site’s scalability. So if you’re expecting high traffic to your site, ensure your host can scale your site quickly to improve its TTFB.

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2. Use Caching

One of the easiest ways to decrease TTFB is to set up caching on your WordPress site. Caching helps decrease TTFB by helping reduce the server processing time.

Check with your web host to see what they offer as far as object caching does. Often, all you need to do is ask your host to enable it.

You can also enable WP Rocket to cache pages on your site, so your pages are delivered faster to returning site visitors. You’ll get the job done with no effort from your side. Once you enable WP Rocket, the plugin will do the job for you.

Get WP Rocket now, and test the improvement right away!

3. Use GZIP Compression

By applying GZIP compression, you’ll reduce the size of HTML, CSS, and JS files – all resources will download faster, and you’ll reduce the TTFB. 

Check out your hosting provider: some hosts enable GZIP compression by default.

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WP Rocket also applies GZIP compression on sites running on Apache – you only have the enable it!

As a free alternative, you can use a plugin such as Enable Gzip Compression.

4. Optimize Your Database

A database containing too much unnecessary data – such as posts revisions, trashed and spam comments, and temporary files created by plugins – will affect your server response time. You should optimize your database’s size and run regular cleanups.

WP Rocket gives you an easy way to optimize your database, reduce bloat, and schedule automatic cleanups. 

You’ll find a dedicated tab including all the features, such as Post, Comments, and Automatic cleanup (daily, weekly, or monthly frequency):

WP Rocket Database Tab
The database tab – WP Rocket

As an alternative, you can choose a straightforward database plugin such as WP-DBManager, or an all-in-one plugin like WP-Optimize, that cleans the database, compresses images and caches the site.

5. Use a CDN

Using a good quality CDN like RocketCDN can help deliver your static content, like images and scripts, faster to users via a network of servers worldwide. This means that if your server is geographically located in Europe, for example, and your users are mostly in the United States, they will receive your site’s content from a server location that’s closer to them.

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This reduces the network latency between your site’s server and your visitors.

For more on CDNs and choose the find one, check out How to Choose a CDN: Discover the Best CDNs for WordPress.

6. Keep WordPress, Plugins, and Themes Updated

The WordPress core team and plugin and theme authors often add performance optimizations to their updates. Sometimes, this means they have optimized the queries that their code runs to the database or made updates that affect the PHP code’s efficiency.

It’s a best practice only to keep the plugins and themes you need and delete the rest. So regularly review your plugins and themes, and remove any that you’re no longer using.

The quality of your plugins can also impact your TTFB, so look out for plugins that are affecting your site’s performance. Broken Link Checker, for example, is designed to run in the background, checking for broken links every so often. The result is a slow WordPress admin and increased TTFB.

7. Reduce Queries

Often, the number of queries your site runs to get information from the database can affect TTFB. To help identify any query bottlenecks, try installing a diagnostic plugin like Query Monitor or consider a more heavy-duty tool like New Relic. The latter will help you dig into database queries that are the most time-consuming or have the slowest query time so you can find which plugins, themes, or settings are affecting your site’s page speed.

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8. Use a Premium DNS Service

Typical hosting packages don’t offer premium DNS (although some managed WordPress hosts do). Investing in a premium DNS provider will ensure DNS queries are answered with low latency by using a global network of DNS servers, in turn helping to reduce your TTFB.

If you want to take this a step further, consider enabling DNS prefetching on your site. This technique lets you tell the browser to perform DNS lookups on a page in the background while the user is browsing. For more on this, check out Preload, Prefetch, Preconnect: How to Speed Up Your Site With Browser Resource Hints.

9. Don’t Forget the Latest Version of PHP

Using a 7+ PHP version will also improve your time to first byte. To give you a straightforward reason, PHP 7+ can handle almost 50% more requests per second. So, if you are still on PHP 5.6, it’s time for an upgrade!

Improve your Time to First Byte Right Away

You could implement loads of other advanced techniques on your site to improve your TTFB, such as Disk IO, TLS overhead, reducing autoloaded data, and more. But the methods we’ve covered in this article are relatively simple to implement and will give you the biggest boost for your site’s performance. In short, you need the best caching plugin for WordPress.

WP Rocket is the easiest way to improve your TTFB and achieve outstanding speed improvements while stopping to use different plugins to boost performance. And you don’t even have to touch the code!

Author:
Raelene Morey is the Co-Founder of Words By Birds, a digital writing agency that helps busy WordPress with writing articles, content strategies, lead magnets and other word-related things. A former journalist and editor, Raelene has been developing WordPress sites for over 10 years.

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How We Built a New Home for WordPress.com Developers Using the Twenty Twenty-Four Theme – WordPress.com News

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How We Built a New Home for WordPress.com Developers Using the Twenty Twenty-Four Theme – WordPress.com News

In the last few weeks, our team here at WordPress.com has rebuilt developer.wordpress.com from the ground up. If you build or design websites for other people, in any capacity, bookmark this site. It’s your new home for docs, resources, the latest news about developer features, and more. 

Rather than creating a unique, custom theme, we went all-in on using Twenty Twenty-Four, which is the default theme for all WordPress sites. 

That’s right, with a combination of built-in Site Editor functionalities and traditional PHP templates, we were able to create a site from scratch to house all of our developer resources. 

Below, I outline exactly how our team did it.

A Twenty Twenty-Four Child Theme

The developer.wordpress.com site has existed for years, but we realized that it needed an overhaul in order to modernize the look and feel of the site with our current branding, as well as accommodate our new developer documentation

You’ll probably agree that the site needed a refresh; here’s what developer.wordpress.com looked like two weeks ago:

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Once we decided to redesign and rebuild the site, we had two options: 1) build it entirely from scratch or 2) use an existing theme. 

We knew we wanted to use Full Site Editing (FSE) because it would allow us to easily use existing patterns and give our content team the best writing and editing experience without them having to commit code.

We considered starting from scratch and using the official “Create Block Theme” plugin. Building a new theme from scratch is a great option if you need something tailored to your specific needs, but Twenty Twenty-Four was already close to what we wanted, and it would give us a headstart because we can inherit most styles, templates, and code from the parent theme.

We quickly decided on a hybrid theme approach: we would use FSE as much as possible but still fall back to CSS and classic PHP templates where needed (like for our Docs custom post type).

With this in mind, we created a minimal child theme based on Twenty Twenty-Four.

Spin up a scaffold with @wordpress/create-block

We initialized our new theme by running npx @wordpress/create-block@latest wpcom-developer

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This gave us a folder with example code, build scripts, and a plugin that would load a custom block.

If you only need a custom block (not a theme), you’re all set.

But we’re building a theme here! Let’s work on that next.

Modify the setup into a child theme

First, we deleted wpcom-developer.php, the file responsible for loading our block via a plugin. We also added a functions.php file and a style.css file with the expected syntax required to identify this as a child theme. 

Despite being a CSS file, we’re not adding any styles to the style.css file. Instead, you can think of it like a documentation file where Template: twentytwentyfour specifies that the new theme we’re creating is a child theme of Twenty Twenty-Four.

/*
Theme Name: wpcom-developer
Theme URI: https://developer.wordpress.com
Description: Twenty Twenty-Four Child theme for Developer.WordPress.com
Author: Automattic
Author URI: https://automattic.com
Template: twentytwentyfour
Version: 1.0.0
*/

We removed all of the demo files in the “src” folder and added two folders inside: one for CSS and one for JS, each containing an empty file that will be the entry point for building our code.

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The theme folder structure now looked like this:

A WordPress child theme folder structure

The build scripts in @wordpress/create-block can build SCSS/CSS and TS/JS out of the box. It uses Webpack behind the scenes and provides a standard configuration. We can extend the default configuration further with custom entry points and plugins by adding our own webpack.config.js file. 

By doing this, we can:

  1. Build specific output files for certain sections of the site. In our case, we have both PHP templates and FSE templates from both custom code and our parent Twenty Twenty-Four theme. The FSE templates need minimal (if any) custom styling (thanks to theme.json), but our developer documentation area of the site uses a custom post type and page templates that require CSS.
  2. Remove empty JS files after building the *.asset.php files. Without this, an empty JS file will be generated for each CSS file.

Since the build process in WordPress Scripts relies on Webpack, we have complete control over how we want to modify or extend the build process. 

Next, we installed the required packages:

​​npm install path webpack-remove-empty-scripts --save-dev

Our webpack.config.js ended up looking similar to the code below. Notice that we’re simply extending the defaultConfig with a few extra properties.

Any additional entry points, in our case src/docs, can be added as a separate entry in the entry object.

// WordPress webpack config.
const defaultConfig = require( '@wordpress/scripts/config/webpack.config' );

// Plugins.
const RemoveEmptyScriptsPlugin = require( 'webpack-remove-empty-scripts' );

// Utilities.
const path = require( 'path' );

// Add any new entry points by extending the webpack config.
module.exports = {
	...defaultConfig,
	...{
		entry: {
			'css/global':  path.resolve( process.cwd(), 'src/css',   'global.scss' ),
			'js/index': path.resolve( process.cwd(), 'src/js', 'index.js' ),
		},
		plugins: [
			// Include WP's plugin config.
			...defaultConfig.plugins,
			// Removes the empty `.js` files generated by webpack but
			// sets it after WP has generated its `*.asset.php` file.
			new RemoveEmptyScriptsPlugin( {
				stage: RemoveEmptyScriptsPlugin.STAGE_AFTER_PROCESS_PLUGINS
			} )
		]
	}
};

In functions.php, we enqueue our built assets and files depending on specific conditions. For example, we built separate CSS files for the docs area of the site, and we only enqueued those CSS files for our docs. 

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<?php

function wpcom_developer_enqueue_styles() : void {
    wp_enqueue_style( 'wpcom-developer-style',
        get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/build/css/global.css'
    );
}

add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'wpcom_developer_enqueue_styles' );

We didn’t need to register the style files from Twenty Twenty-Four, as WordPress handles these inline.

We did need to enqueue the styles for our classic, non-FSE templates (in the case of our developer docs) or any additional styles we wanted to add on top of the FSE styles.

To build the production JS and CSS locally, we run npm run build

For local development, you can run npm run start in one terminal window and npx wp-env start (using the wp-env package) in another to start a local WordPress development server running your theme.

An active wpcom-developer child theme on a local WordPress installation

While building this site, our team of designers, developers, and content writers used a WordPress.com staging site so that changes did not affect the existing developer.wordpress.com site until we were ready to launch this new theme.

theme.json

Twenty Twenty-Four has a comprehensive theme.json file that defines its styles. By default, our hybrid theme inherits all of the style definitions from the parent (Twenty Twenty-Four) theme.json file. 

We selectively overwrote the parts we wanted to change (the color palette, fonts, and other brand elements), leaving the rest to be loaded from the parent theme. 

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WordPress handles this merging, as well as any changes you make in the editor. 

Many of the default styles worked well for us, and we ended up with a compact theme.json file that defines colors, fonts, and gradients. Having a copy of the parent theme’s theme.json file makes it easier to see how colors are referenced.

You can change theme.json in your favorite code editor, or you can change it directly in the WordPress editor and then download the theme files from Gutenberg.

WordPress settings with a red arrow pointing to the Export tool

Why might you want to export your editor changes? Styles can then be transferred back to code to ensure they match and make it easier to distribute your theme or move it from a local development site to a live site. This ensures the FSE page templates are kept in code with version control. 

When we launched this new theme on production, the template files loaded from our theme directory; we didn’t need to import database records containing the template syntax or global styles.

Global styles in SCSS/CSS

Global styles are added as CSS variables, and they can be referenced in CSS. Changing the value in theme.json will also ensure that the other colors are updated.

For example, here’s how we reference our “contrast” color as a border color:

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border-color: var(--wp--preset--color--contrast);

Some plugins require these files in a theme, e.g. by calling get_header(), which does not automatically load the FSE header template. 

We did not want to recreate our header and footer to cover those cases; having just one source of truth is a lot better.

By using do_blocks(), we were able to render our needed header block. Here’s an example from a header template file:

<head>
<?php
wp_head();
$fse_header_block = do_blocks( '<!-- wp:template-part {"slug":"header","theme":"a8c/wpcom-developer","tagName":"header","area":"header", "className":"header-legacy"} /-->' );
?>
</head>
<body <?php body_class(); ?>>
<?php
echo $fse_header_block;

The new developer.wordpress.com site is now live!

The new developer.wordpress.com homepage with a black background, a pixelated W logo, and the headline 'Powerful WordPress Hosting for Developers'

Check out our new-and-improved developer.wordpress.com site today, and leave a comment below telling us what you think. We’d love your feedback. 

Using custom code and staging sites are just two of the many developer features available to WordPress.com sites that we used to build our new and improved developer.wordpress.com.

If you’re a developer and interested in getting early access to other development-related features, click here to enable our “I am a developer” setting on your WordPress.com account.

the Developer Features page on WordPress.com with an "I am a developer" toggle and cards displaying developer features like SFTP, SSH, WP-CLI, Staging sites, and Custom code

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14 Best WooCommerce Dropshipping Plugins in 2024

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14 Best WooCommerce Dropshipping Plugins in 2024

Did you switch from Shopify to WooCommerce for more control over your store?

If so, you’re probably wondering which apps you need for your dropshipping store.

In this article, we compiled the 14 best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins, each designed to improve your store’s functionality and boost sales.

Let’s start!

The 14 Best WooCommerce Dropshipping Plugins: An Overview

Here’s a quick overview of the best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins, just in case you don’t have time for the full article.

3 Best WooCommerce plugins for sourcing dropshipping products

Having trouble finding the right products for your dropshipping store or running into issues with your current supplier?

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Check out these WooCommerce plugins. They’ll link your store to reliable dropshipping suppliers and streamline the process!

1. DSers Review

Best for: AliExpress dropshipping

DSers is created explicitly for dropshipping stores that use AliExpress as their supplier.

The best part about DSers is that it’s the official ecommerce solution of AliExpress and offers seamless integration with the platform!

Its one-click automated fulfillment feature speeds up order processing, slashing ordering time by up to 96.7%, according to DSers.

Plus, the DSers plugin offers a PayPal order tracking service and a handy supplier optimizer feature.

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Key features

  • Product bundling. Mix and match different products from AliExpress suppliers into bundles, and DSers will manage the orders for you. Imagine combining various electronic accessories from different AliExpress suppliers and letting DSers handle the ordering process.
  • Chrome extension. The DSers Chrome extension allows you to import products from AliExpress into your store with just a few clicks.
  • Multi-store management. With this feature, you can connect multiple stores to DSers and manage them all from one place.

Pricing

DSers offers four plans: Free, Advanced, Pro, and Enterprise.

The free plan, while missing some features, allows up to 3,000 products, which is quite generous! The paid plans offer similar features but with different limits.

You can check out the full details of DSers’ pricing plans here!

Pricing of DSers

2. Spocket Review

Best for: Sourcing goods from Europe and the US.

Spocket plugin

With dropshipping being such a competitive business model, faster shipping is becoming more and more important.

And if you’re aiming for speed, Spocket could be your go-to sourcing plugin for your WooCommerce store!

Unlike DSers, which sources products from AliExpress, Spocket focuses on local suppliers, primarily in the US and Europe.

These suppliers offer high-quality products you won’t often come across on other platforms, allowing you to achieve much quicker shipping times.

Key features

  • US/EU suppliers. Around 80% of Spocket’s suppliers are located in the US/EU.
  • Order automation. Spocket automates the process of placing and tracking orders, increasing efficiency and reducing errors.
  • Sample orders. You can place sample orders before trying to dropship the product, which can increase your confidence in your product’s quality.

Pricing

Spocket pricing plans new

To start dropshipping with Spocket, you will need to pay anywhere from $40 per month to $299 per month, according to Spocket’s pricing plans.

If you’re interested in Spocket, you can read our in-depth review of Spocket here!

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Exclusive Spocket offer: Enter the coupon code: SpocketTrial during checkout, and you’ll instantly unlock a FREE 30-day trial. Click here to redeem your free trial now!

3. Printful Review

Best for: Print on demand

Printful plugin

Unlike the previous apps, Printful is a plugin specifically for print on demand stores.

Print on demand is a business model where you can add your own designs to products like t-shirts, sweaters, and mugs.

The print on demand model explained in simple steps

If you want to be creative and sell your self-designed products, then Printful is the perfect print on demand WooCommerce plugin.

And, if one of them is selling very well, you can use Printful’s Warehousing & Fulfillment service to store it in one of their warehouses beforehand and save two to seven days in your product delivery time (since the product doesn’t have to be manufactured upon order).

Key features

  • In-house production. Printful manages everything from sourcing to shipping. No outsourcing means fewer errors and better coordination.
  • Quick turnaround. With fulfillment centers in Mexico, Europe, and the US, Printful cuts down shipping times significantly, meeting today’s fast-paced delivery expectations.
  • Great print quality. Printful stands out with its consistently high-quality printing. Their tools, like the mockup generator, help you ensure your designs look just right.

Pricing

Printful is free to start and doesn’t have any monthly fees.

However, there are two paid memberships available that offer large discounts.

Printful Memberships pricing

Plus, some additional customization features, such as embroidery digitization and premium images, are paid for.

We only covered Printful here, but another popular print on demand company is Printify. You can check out the difference here to find the right supplier for you!

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5 Best WooCommerce plugins for boosting sales

Now that you’ve got product sourcing covered for your dropshipping store, it’s time to focus on increasing your conversion rate and boosting sales.

If you’re getting visitors to your store, your next move is to turn them into customers. Here are some standout WooCommerce plugins designed to do just that:

1. WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery Review

Best for: Sending abandoned cart emails for free

Cartflows plugin

Did you know the global average cart abandonment rate is a whopping 70.19%?

So, how do you reduce abandoned carts, especially if you’re on a budget?

Meet WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery. This plugin captures users’ email addresses at the checkout.

If they don’t complete the purchase within 15 minutes, a series of automated, customizable emails will be sent to encourage them to finish their purchase.

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You can send reminders, ask for feedback, or offer discounts to lure potential buyers back.

And guess what? You can send as many emails as you need since this plugin is completely free!

The only catch? You can’t create highly personalized emails. If you want more control and additional automation tools, Klaviyo is a better option (more on that below).

Key features

  • Ready templates. Don’t stress about writing emails. The plugin offers ready, tested templates for effective follow-ups.
  • Coupon code. Generate time-sensitive unique discount coupons and send them automatically via email.
  • Unique checkout links. Send a unique link to each shopper that leads them exactly where they left off. This reduces friction for the shopper!

Pricing

WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery is 100% free!

2. Discount Rules for WooCommerce Review

Best for: Creating discount rules

Discount Rules plugin by Flycart

Just having discounts isn’t enough to boost sales. The key is to create promotions that grab attention.

That’s where Discount Rules for WooCommerce comes in.

This plugin beautifully displays discounts on product pages, at the cart, checkout, and email notifications.

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It’s the ideal tool for crafting all kinds of customer-enticing discounts. Even the free version is packed with options for creating store-wide discounts.

The plugin allows for various discount types:

  • Bulk discounts
  • Dynamic pricing
  • Advanced discounts
  • Percentage discounts
  • Product based discounts
  • Tiered discounts
  • Shipping address-based discounts

Key features

  • BOGO deals. Use the Buy One Get One Free offer for upselling. For example, buy a desk organizer and get a notebook free, or buy three notebooks and get 50% off on pens.
  • Scheduling. Set discounts to start and stop automatically.
  • Category-based. Offer discounts on entire categories, like $10 off any item in the ‘Stickers’ category.

Pricing

Discount rules for WooCommerce has two tiers:

  • Free. The free version offers a ton of discount rule features based on percentage, cart, quantity, order total, number of line items, and date.
  • Pro. The pro version costs $69 a year for a single online store.

3. Tidio Review

Best for: Live chat

Tidio plugin

When it comes to customer service, Tidio emerges as the ultimate dropshipping plugin.

It’s packed with features like live chat, help desk solutions, analytics, email marketing, and messaging channels.

But where Tidio really shines is in its live chat and AI chatbot services.

Tidio live chat
Source

The paid plans come loaded with extras like custom branding, a live visitor list, page views, and visitor notes.

But if you’re running your dropshipping business solo, the free version is plenty. It supports one agent and one open chat with no other restrictions.

Looking to automate your chats? Tidio’s latest AI chatbots, which use AI and natural language processing (NLP), are revolutionary.

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Their newest addition, Tidio AI, includes tools like the FAQ wizard, which uses machine learning to handle customer questions quickly.

Key features

  • Pre-chat survey. Gather client details before starting the chat.
  • Live typing. See what users type in real-time before they hit the ‘send’ button. This way, you get to speed up responses.
  • Lyro AI. This free automated solution manages 70% of customer queries through natural, human-like interactions.

Pricing

Tidio pricing new

Tidio has four plans, including a free option perfect for small to medium-sized stores, offering 50 monthly conversations, unlimited seats, live chat, messenger integration, widget customization, and apps.

With each paid plan, you get more features. Their most premium plan, including AI chatbots and all features, starts at $398 per month.

4. TrustPulse Review

Best for: FOMO notifications

TrustPulse plugin

People naturally fear missing out, especially when it comes to trending items or activities.

Knowing what others are buying or engaging with can instantly boost your visitors’ confidence, tapping into the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO).

TrustPulse leverages this by displaying real-time notifications of other users’ actions on your site.

You can choose from two FOMO campaigns with TrustPulse:

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  • Recent Activity. Displays live activities like purchases, email sign-ups, and more.
  • On-Fire. Shows how many people took action on your pages within a specific timeframe, like ’22 people bought shoes in the last 24 hours.’

And why should you trust this plugin? It’s from the creators of OptinMonster, the leading lead generation software. So you know you’re in safe hands!

Key features

  • Smart targeting. Display notifications at the right time to the right audience to increase conversions by using time controls and advanced targeting.
  • Design options. Tailor notifications to fit your site’s style with customizable messages, colors, and images.
  • Analytics. Easily track and identify which pages get the highest conversions

Pricing

TrustPulse pricing

TrustPulse has a free plan and four affordable paid plans, starting at $5 per month.

And there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.

5. Points and Rewards for WooCommerce Review

Best for: Loyalty programs

Points and Rewards for WooCommerce plugin

Points and Rewards for WooCommerce is all about turning your existing customers into dedicated fans.

It’s essentially a loyalty program in a plugin designed to encourage repeat purchases!

You can motivate your customers with points, badges, levels, rewards for your best customers, and commissions when they refer others.

Plus, it offers flexibility to adjust points in cases of refunds and cancellations.

Key features

  • Win-wheel. Add fun to your loyalty program! Let customers spin a customizable win-wheel to earn points and rewards.
  • Various actions. Customers can gain points through activities like signing up, spending certain amounts, purchasing specific products, total order numbers and making referrals.
  • Assign points on previous orders. Award points for past orders, ensuring long-term customers don’t miss out.

Pricing

There’s a free version and a paid version at $99 a year for one store.

3 Best WooCommerce plugins for marketing

Marketing your dropshipping store can be a breeze with the right WooCommerce plugins.

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Below, you’ll find a list of them:

1. Klaviyo Review

Best for: Email marketing

Klaviyo plugin

Klaviyo stands out as a top email marketing tool for dropshipping and ecommerce, especially for new merchants looking for an easy-to-use plugin.

Its main strength lies in its straightforward automation system.

You can customize emails for anything from customer lifetime value to brand loyalty, and emails can trigger messages based on what consumers do.

For example, if people make a purchase or click on an email, they can be placed in a special group that allows more specific ad targeting.

Designing emails is also effortless with Klaviyo’s visual drag-and-drop builder! You have a range of fonts, brand colors, and the option to upload your own templates.

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It is not a perfect platform, though.

Klaviyo does not have lead scoring, which is an important feature for triggering automations based on how engaged your customers are with your website and digital ads.

All is not lost, though; you can get a third-party application integration for it, but that’ll be another bill to add to your expenses.

Key features

  • Generous free tier. You get the full Klaviyo experience for free for up to 250 contacts or up to 500 email sends a month.
  • Strong automation system. Easily schedule emails and create triggers based on customer actions.
  • Integrations. It integrates with Facebook, Google Ads, Unbounce, AfterShip, Stripe and more!

Pricing

Klaviyo provides a feature-rich, robust free tier, ideal for those with small email lists.

Klaviyo pricing

As your list grows, pricing increases, but the feature set remains consistent. The main addition to paid plans is access to customer support.

2. Rank Math Review

Best for: SEO

Rank Math SEO plugin

Rank Math is an SEO plugin designed to improve your site’s on-page SEO.

It’s user-friendly, and its free version has many features!

With Rank Math, you can customize meta titles and descriptions, research keywords, find broken links, and track rankings.

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It also provides SEO tips for product pages based on your focus keywords.

But Rank Math’s real strength for dropshipping lies in its WooCommerce SEO module.

This feature offers extra settings to fine-tune your WooCommerce site for SEO, like schema settings that align with Google’s guidelines, options to remove product and category base URL slugs, and the WooCommerce generator meta tag.

It also has a custom breadcrumb optimized for WooCommerce SEO, which helps both users and search engines navigate your product categories.

Key features

  • Setup wizard. Rank Math nearly sets itself up with a wizard that perfectly configures SEO for WooCommerce.
  • Rank tracker. Keep tabs on your website’s performance against specific keywords.
Rank Math Rank Tracker feature
Source
  • Product schema. Add product name, description, SKU, inventory, and other details to the product, which can then be then shown in the SERPs.

Pricing

Rank Math SEO pricing

Rank Math has four pricing plans: Free, Pros, Business, and Agency.

The free version is usually sufficient for small-sized dropshipping stores.

3. WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration Review

Best for: Store analysis

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WooCommerce Google Analytics plugin

Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned dropshipper, Google Analytics (GA) is the must-have tool to forecast, track site stats, and gain insights into your product performance.

You can discover which sales channels are your top performers and identify the most profitable areas of your website while pinpointing what needs improvement.

You might get overwhelmed initially, but don’t worry!

Our comprehensive guide will walk you through the ins and outs of using Google Analytics for your dropshipping store.

Key features

  • Marketing campaigns. Easily monitor user interactions with landing pages and campaign sources that lead to purchases. For example, if your campaign includes a video or YouTube channel, use GA to measure how many viewers watched your video and completed a purchase as a result.
  • Traffic analysis. GA provides detailed reports on various traffic sources, including organic, referral, social, direct, and email traffic. You can then compare these sources over specific periods to monitor your website’s traffic trends.
  • Segmentation. Create customer segments based on factors like age, location, buying behavior, or device type. Use this data to tailor your marketing efforts to specific demographics.

Pricing

WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration is 100% free!

3 Amazing under-the-radar WooCommerce dropshipping plugins

In this section, we’ll explore three fantastic WooCommerce plugins that you wouldn’t think about using in the first place but are still just as amazing as the others!

1. Booster for Woocommerce Review

Best for: All-in-one dropshipping tool

Booster for WooCommerce plugin

Booster for WooCommerce offers an impressive set of features that can address the gaps you might have noticed while using WooCommerce.

Some of these features include:

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  • Bulk price converting
  • Multi-currency
  • Global discounts
  • Wishlist
  • Frequently bought together
  • PDF invoicing

Bottom line: Give it a try before considering a premium plugin that only solves one specific problem.

Key features

  • Payment gateways. Customize WooCommerce payment methods based on currency, shipping options, or location. You can also set up a multi-currency converter and establish minimum and maximum amounts for payment methods to appear.
  • Cart and checkout. Tailor the checkout experience using WooCommerce custom fields, like VAT for EU countries, coupon codes, and checkout fees.
  • Button and price labels. Adjust price labels and create custom buttons of your choice.

Pricing

The main plugin is free and includes many features.

Booster for WooCommerce pricing

Booster for WooCommerce also has three paid plans, based on how many sites you need.

2. AfterShip Review

Best for: Shipment tracking

AfterShip plugin

AfterShip is a shipment tracking tool that ensures a smooth customer experience. It lets your customers easily monitor their orders right on your website.

As a dropshipper, you probably know why having a dedicated tracking page is crucial.

This is especially important when you’re using PayPal as your payment gateway because PayPal tends to withhold funds until you provide a valid tracking number.

Gymshark's AfterShip branding page
Source: Gymshark’s AfterShip branding page

What sets AfterShip apart is its connectivity — it links up with a whopping 1,000+ global shipping carriers.

Plus, it uses AI to make educated guesses about when your customers can expect their orders.

Key features

  • Customer confidence. AfterShip lets your customers track their orders directly on your website, giving them peace of mind that their orders are on their way.
  • Global carrier integration. AfterShip connects with most postal carriers, allowing you to track orders more efficiently.
  • SMS. You can schedule delivery SMS notifications based on the buyer’s timezone for added convenience.

Pricing

AfterShip offers a free basic plan that should cover your tracking needs.

Pricing of AfterShip

If you find yourself tracking more than 100 shipments a month or needing extra features, you can explore their upgraded plans.

3. Microsoft Clarity Review

Best for: Understanding user behavior with heatmaps

Microsoft Clarity plugin

Let’s finish up with Microsoft Clarity!

If you want to know more about what shoppers do on your website, Microsoft Clarity can help.

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With Microsoft Clarity, you can see how visitors click, scroll, and move around on your site. This helps you understand what they like and what works best on your site.

For example, heatmaps can show whether users are clicking on a ‘Buy Now’ button or not. If clicks are lacking, you can redesign or reposition the button for better engagement.

Microsoft Clarity heatmap

But you might be thinking, “Why not just use Google Analytics?”

Well, Google Analytics is a useful tool, but it gives you more general information, like how many people visit your pages and how long they stay.

On the other hand, heatmaps are like a close-up view of what people do on your site.

Key features

  • No limitations. You can use it for as many sites as you want, and there are no restrictions on how many heatmaps you can create each month.
  • Session recordings. You can watch how people use your site in clear videos to see where they go and where they might leave.
  • Real-time. You can instantly make click, scroll, and area heatmaps. Click heatmaps show what gets clicked the most, scroll heatmaps show how far people scroll, and area heatmaps highlight where people click in specific spots on your site.

Pricing

Microsoft Clarity is 100% free forever!

Summary

Before we go, we’ve created a quick summary of this article for you, so you can easily remember it:

Final verdict

So, that’s our list for today, but remember, you don’t need to go on a plugin installation spree for your dropshipping store.

Take a moment to think about what your store really needs and what features it’s missing, and then make your choices wisely.

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The good news is that most plugins have free versions available, which means you can try them out without breaking the bank.

Just one word of advice, though: Always opt for plugins developed by reputable companies to avoid any unwanted code left behind when you uninstall them.

With that in mind, here are our top three recommendations!

Final verdict: The three best WooCommerce dropshipping apps are Klaviyo, Rank Math, and Tidio.

These will lay a solid foundation for a successful dropshipping store!

And if you want to check the overview of the list again, here it is:

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We hope you agree with our final verdict. But if not, let us know which plugins we missed in the comments below!

Want to learn more about WooCommerce?

Ready to move your WooCommerce dropshipping store to the next level? Check out the articles below:

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My Condolences, You’re Now Running a Billion-Dollar Business – WordPress.com News

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My Condolences, You’re Now Running a Billion-Dollar Business – WordPress.com News

A few things I’ve learned during my interim role of running WordPress.com

Halfway through a relaxing winter break with my family, I opened Slack for a quick dopamine hit. The message I saw waiting from Matt, Automattic’s CEO, was quite the surprise:

“Would you be interested in running WordPress.com while I’m on sabbatical?”

In honesty, my initial reaction was “No, not really.” It seemed like a lot of work, stressful, etc. But, I named my last team YOLO for a reason: the answer is always “Yes,” because you only live once.

Many teams at Automattic use the “red / yellow / green check-in” as a communication tool. At nearly the one-month mark of running WordPress.com, I can safely say I’ve experienced the entire rainbow of emotional states. Today, I’d like to share a few of my learnings with the hope that they help you during your leadership journey.

Also, one pro tip: don’t open Slack on vacation.

Problem #1: I’m receiving 50x more pings

My former team is largely based in Europe, so their day started much earlier than mine. When I signed on for the morning, I’d usually have a few things to respond to before I dived into work.

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These days, I drink from the firehose. I wake up to dozens of P2 mentions, Slack DMs, and other communication threads. I clear them out, and then they just pile up again.

Solution: Delegate, delegate, delegate

1709137575 520 My Condolences Youre Now Running a Billion Dollar Business – WordPresscom

Ideally, I’d like to run the business while skiing fresh powder. In order to do so, I need a great team whom I can trust to get the job done.

For our recent efforts, the WordPress.com leadership team traveled a collective 160 hours to meet in NYC. While there, we focused on identifying goals that answered the question: “If we did this in the next 90 days, would it be transformative to the business?” Everyone went home with a specific set of goals they own. Knowing what we’re trying to do and who is responsible for what are two key elements of delegation.

Additionally, I also encourage the team on a daily basis to:

  • Actively work together before they come to me. On a soccer field, the team would get nowhere if they had to ask the coach before every pass.
  • Come to me with “I intend to,” not “What should I do?” Actively acting on their own and reporting progress represents the highest level of initiative.

Ultimately, I should be the critical point of failure on very few things. When something comes up, there should be an obvious place for it within the organization.

Problem: Something is always on fire

1709137575 123 My Condolences Youre Now Running a Billion Dollar Business – WordPresscom

I am a very “Inbox Zero” type of person. Running WordPress.com breaks my brain in some ways because there’s always something broken. Whether it’s bugs in our code, overloaded customer support, or a marketing email misfire, entropy is a very real thing in a business this large.

Even more astounding is the game of “whac-a-mole”: when making a tiny change to X, it can be difficult to detect a change in Y or take Y down entirely. There’s always something!

Solution: Focus on the next most important thing

1709137575 570 My Condolences Youre Now Running a Billion Dollar Business – WordPresscom

When dealing with the constant fires and the constant firehose, I’ve found a great deal of comfort in asking myself: “What’s the most important thing for me to work on next?”

Leadership is about results, not the hours you put in. More often than not, achieving these results comes from finding points of leverage that create outsized returns.

At the end of the day, the most I can do is put my best effort forth.

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Problem: We’re moving too slowly

1709137575 449 My Condolences Youre Now Running a Billion Dollar Business – WordPresscom

By default, nothing will ever get done in a large organization. There are always reasons something shouldn’t be done, additional feedback that needs to be gathered, or uncertainties someone doesn’t feel comfortable with.

If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re a large organization—congratulations! You must’ve done something well along the way. But, remember: stasis equals death. Going too slowly can be even more risky than making the wrong decision.

Solution #3: “70% confident”

1709137575 356 My Condolences Youre Now Running a Billion Dollar Business – WordPresscom

I think “70% confident” has been kicking around for a while, but Jeff Bezos articulated it well in his 2016 letter to shareholders (emphasis mine):

Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions. If you’re good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure.

In leadership, I find “70% confident” to be a particularly effective communication tool. It explicitly calls out risk appetite, encourages a level of uncertainty, and identifies a sweet spot between not enough planning and analysis paralysis. Progress only happens with a certain degree of risk.


I’m excited to start sharing what we’ve been working on. Stay tuned for new developer tools, powerful updates to WordPress.com, and tips for making the perfect pizza dough. If you’d like some additional reading material, here is a list of my favorite leadership books.

Original illustrations by David Neal.


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