April 5

How to find the best ecommerce WordPress development company in Singapore


I looked at the progress bar at the top of the screen, wondering how long it would take to load.

My fingers drummed.

This was taking far longer than I expected.


We are not here to name and shame. Nor do we think it’s helpful to name the best, because we think each company is trying their best to make a living. There are different ones for different uses.

But we hope to give you a useful framework to think through your decision.

What you should look for

Wasn’t this done by one of the biggest development companies in Singapore? How could it be taking this long just to load?

It was averaging about 4.5s just to get to the home page.

As we went along our journey, we slowly realised that this was not an anomaly.

It was the most common occurrence we saw.

Sick and tired of waiting for the webpage to load?

Slow sites

It didn’t make sense. These were companies that had millions in revenue, but seemed unable to be willing to spend on making site speeds faster.

You might wonder why we are talking about slow sites in e-commerce.

Because if you look at a site like Amazon, you might notice hardly a lag as you zoom from page to page.

That’s not because they didn’t have anything better to do.

But it’s because the industry average is nearly 70% for cart abandons. And research from Drip showed that 57% of shoppers abandoned because the page took longer than 3 seconds to load.

3 seconds sounds snappy, but in the eyes of consumers, it’s not nearly snappy enough.

That’s why Amazon spends millions just trying to optimise its code, so that sites can load faster.

There are two reasons why there are slow sites.

The primary reason is because of the host your development company will use. Most will use a company like Vodien, where they buy the domain name from.

But Vodien has horrific (I repeat, horrific) hosting.

Before you get onto WordPress, consider Shopify

We don’t get paid by Shopify to say this.

But having used Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, we’ve come to see that for e-commerce sites, Shopify might be one of the better site builders in the market.

For one, they are laser fast. When you do it on Shopify, you’re automatically hooked to their Content Delivery Network (CDN), which will parse your information so that it’s routed through the closest servers in your region.

This means that you get served lightning fast.

Slow sites, because of hosting

If you think about hosting like a building, often companies use the cheapest concrete in town to make your website.

You might wonder why companies do this, if they know that the loading speeds affect your checkouts.

Isn’t that a good question?

We thought so too.

If loading speed was stated over and over again as a critical factor in how Google ranked the site, and how the user experienced the site, why weren’t web developers prioritising speed?

Slowly, we realised it was because of one simple issue.


Come on in.

I’m going to tell you a secret.

Managed, shared hosts, slow down your site

In the world of hosting, the way to save on costs is to use managed, shared hosting.

Whilst this is cheaper, it also means that the bandwidth on the hosting server is shared with multiple sites.

You can already imagine what this means.

Imagine you were watching Netflix at home. And your mum is watching Netflix in her room. And your sister is watching a movie on Disney+. That’s why you see your internet slowing down dramatically.

Because everyone is sharing the bandwidth.

The common hosts people use, and the reason why most web development companies won’t pay well for your hosting. Because they want to save on costs.
The common hosts people use, and the reason why most web development companies won’t pay well for your hosting. Because they want to save on costs.

If you want faster hosting, be prepared to see your web developer charge you sky high prices.

And with the average cost of a website already at $1800, you might be tempted to save on the hosting speeds.

How should you choose?

After working with different companies as the new vendor, we’ve come to see that these are the factors you should look for before you hire your next vendor.

Those who have built personal sites

The first time I opened Luna Play, I was shocked at how long the backend of WordPress took to load.

Each click took me a minimum of 4 to 5 seconds just to load. You can imagine how difficult it was to make a few changes to the site.

Adding 3 new products, and editing the descriptions, took me 2 hours.

I was surprised that the initial developer didn’t just chuck in the towel and move on.

I’ve come to see that developers who work on sites like this often live with the initial pain because they know that it will be just for a few months.

But you, the business owner, will live with that site for the next few years.

That will be when you start experiencing the frustration, watching it kick in.

One of the most useful ways is to ask the web developer,

Can you show me the TTFB for one of the previous sites you did?

TTFB, or Time to First Byte, is the industry standard when it comes to measuring how long a site takes to load.

Any score lesser than a B isn’t good.

Find the development team that integrates marketing and web development

During another client meeting I had, I was curious about why the site didn’t seem to be optimised for conversions.

For example, the copywriting on the site was bland, boring, and didn’t lead many to feel excited about the service they were selling.

The Head of Communications there then drily told me,

Well, it seemed like the marketers and developers don’t really talk to each other.

For your Ecommerce site to get sales, it needs to be communicated well.

Communicating well is not that easy.

Unfortunately, not all developers are great at writing, branding, and communicating in a way that is exciting.

You thus need to ask,

How do your marketers and developers work together on this project?

Project managers are the ones that make the dream work

Any website development is a major undertaking that will take weeks, if not months, to complete.

And the project’s success will depend largely on how good the project manager is.

Project managers are known by many names in the industry. Most agencies will assign you a project manager they call an ‘account manager.’

Don’t confuse that for project managers.

Project managers are the ones who make the dream work. They are the ones who coordinate the developers, what the client wants, and ensuring that the timeline is met.

Working with clients ourselves, we also realise that our best project managers tend to also be those that are able to anticipate what the client needs.

The project manager who knows how to ‘shape’ the project

The best web development companies know what features to ship, and what to deprioritise
The best web development companies know what features to ship, and what to deprioritise

Here’s a question.

When should you invest time and effort to build a feature? Is it just because a client wants it?


Let’s say you, the client, want your site to have a function where the customer can return what he doesn’t want, be refunded, and then have that happen automatically.

Like Amazon.

Sure, you can.

But how long would that take to build into your site?

If your web development company had a good project manager, he wouldn’t just be saying yes to your every need.

Rather, they would be taking time to understand why you need it, and whether that would be doable.

Credit: Shape Up, by Basecamp
Credit: Shape Up, by Basecamp

The company that ‘ships’

If you look at companies, you would quickly realise that many (more than you’d expect), actually don’t have a website.

That’s because it’s really difficult to do.

Fast. And effectively.

Having worked with many clients, we’ve realised that one of the key fears is that the site is not good enough. And when that happens, we quickly realise that as a web development company, our key job is to assure the client that good enough, is enough.

For example, when we worked with Maitri School, a newly set up school for special needs students in Singapore, they had concerns that some parts wouldn’t be accurate. As a school, they couldn’t afford to be inaccurate about the information they put out.

There were multiple rounds of edits.

But over time, we were able to assure them that it would be okay.

Getting from an idea to a site on the web is never easy.

But the best, and most experienced companies, through a combination of shaping, and shipping, are able to do it, over and over again.

P.S. If you need web development help, we would love to help.



You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch

0 of 350