Skip to main content

PWF WooCommerce Product Filters – Faster Alternatives (2022)

Danielle Di-Tommaso
April 6, 2022

Product filters are terrific for empowering customers to find the products they’re looking for on your online store quickly. They also enable customers to view a broader range of merchandise relevant to their interests. So it’s no wonder that site searchers are two to three times more likely to convert, and 43% of users head straight to the search bar on retail sites.

However, not all site search plugins are made equal. For instance, one such popular option: PWF WooCommerce Product Filters, has a significant drawback. It takes ages to load and may even slow down the rest of your site. Needless to say, this adversely impacts the user experience and may even turn customers away for good. Even a 100ms delay in site load time can decrease conversions by 7%.

In light of these setbacks, we’ll explore how product filters can hinder your site’s performance and introduce a faster alternative to the PWF WooCommerce Product Filters plugin.

How is Your WordPress Site Performance Affected by Product Filters?

We’ve claimed that the PWF WooCommerce Product Filters plugin can negatively impact your site’s performance. With the average product filter plugin, the page needs refreshing each time the customer applies a filter. Only then will newly filtered results show.

The problem with this is that:

  • It creates a poorer customer experience. The longer it takes for shoppers to find what they’re looking for (ironically, the opposite of what product filters are supposed to do!), the more likely users will get frustrated and click off your site. 
  • Shoppers might not see your products. Clunky product filters may result in products not making it onto the user’s browser. Especially if the product filters aren’t granular enough to enable customers to narrow their search to exactly what they’re looking for. In that case, relevant products might escape their notice entirely. After all, only 25% of users click on the second search results page.
  • The speed of your entire WordPress website slows down. If you have lots of different filters enabled on your site, your server has to work harder each time one of them’s used. This, in turn, will slow your entire website down – especially if you’re driving high volumes of traffic. 

Despite these drawbacks, there’s no denying that product search is vital to any good eCommerce site. This is especially true if you have an extensive product offering, however, astonishingly, a staggering 72% of sites fail to meet their users’ site search expectations. This is due to several factors, such as slow searches, missing results, poor user interfaces, or lacking site search functionality altogether.

So, what can be done? Don’t just use the first plugin that seems to fit the bill. Instead, the solution is to use an alternative product filter plugin explicitly built for speed.

Introducing Ajax Filtering

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It’s an advanced caching system, which means to developers, it presents an attractive way of updating web pages without users having to reload the page. It achieves this by reading data from a web server after a page has loaded by communicating with the web server in the background. This is precisely what’s needed to ensure your search filters function in real-time. 

Thanks to AJAX filtering, your website visitors can quickly access product search results. As a result, the entire site search experience is more streamlined, making for a better customer experience. This is a massive bonus for sites selling hundreds or even thousands of items as, theoretically, customers can find and purchase what they’re looking for in just a few clicks.

A word on PWF Woocommerce Product Filters Plugin…

Although the PWF WooCommerce Product Filters plugin comes with many features, like analytics, support for product variations, and AJAX filtering, the plugin is known to be buggy. For example, some users reported images not loading upon refreshing the page and, despite access to AJAX filtering, having to still refresh pages to apply filters. 

As said, these inconsistencies make for a clunky customer experience and adversely impact your site’s performance, negatively impacting your SEO efforts. 

Fortunately, as we’ve already hinted at, there’s an alternative.

The Best Alternative to PWF WooCommerce Product Filters – Acsell

The Acsell plugin

Boasting excellent code performance, Acsell Product Filters presents an alternative WooCommerce product filters plugin. The best thing about it is that it offers accurate and instant filtering with an optimized overlay feature. This reduces server calls, ensuring filters load quickly in-browser. It’s also optimised for mobile (including Android and iOS devices).

Moreover, Acsell is easy to use – you don’t need any coding knowledge. Instead, you create advanced product filters using Acsell’s intuitive drag and drop form builder from the convenience of your WooCommerce admin panel.

You can enable customers to filter searches using the following taxonomies:

  • Items
  • Featured products
  • Stock status
  • Attributes
  • Tags
  • Price sliders/range sliders
  • Sales

…and more

You can add unlimited filters across all products or individual categories. So, for example, you could apply specific filters like size, color list, price, material, etc., only to your ‘apparel’ product category.

Filter by category with Acsell Product Filters

In the above screenshot size, color, and brand filters are applied to an apparel category.

Acsell comes with advanced features like dropdown menus (text lists) and custom icons to help you style and organize your WordPress website’s product search exactly how you want. For example, if you’re running an online clothing store, you might include icons for brand logos (see screenshot below).

Filter by brand or logo with Acseell Product Filters

You can also order filters according to your priorities and benefit from advanced conditional logic. The latter ensures users can’t apply conflicting filters that produce nulled results. You can hide or display filters depending on the filters already selected. For example, let’s say that ‘basic bedding’ is selected in a furniture store. In this case, users may no longer be able to filter by ‘material,’ as the same material might be used for all basic bedding options. 

At the time of writing, the Acsell Product Filters plugin is optimized for the following WordPress themes: WoodMart, Storefront, Flatsome, Astra Pro, and Avada. However, Acsell plans to expand this offering in the near future (including Divi) – so keep an eye out as new WordPress themes are added to this list. 

In summary, here are the problems Acsell solves at once:

  • Reduction in navigation time: Acsell’s filters help customers quickly find and view products they’re genuinely interested in. Traditional filters can take 3-4 seconds to complete, whereas Acsell applies filters within a fraction of a second. Acsell’s advanced filter options, AJAX filtering, predictive search, and conditional logic work together to reduce the time shoppers spend hunting for products and their specs. This goes a long way to ensure your store is the most convenient solution to their needs. 
  • Reduced bounce rates: Following on from the above point, it’s worth noting that the longer it takes for customers to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they’ll leave your site. In eCommerce, time = money. 
  • A better customer experience: With effective AJAX filtering, the entire site search happens in one browser window without the users having to refresh the shop page. As a result, customers get immediate results to their queries.
  • Boost online sales: A faster, smoother customer journey coupled with easy product navigation is a recipe for success. In fact, studies show that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. 

Does My Choice of WordPress Product Filter Really Matter?

Some of the stats above prove that a good product filter can help increase your website conversions, namely, making it faster and easier for customers to find and purchase the product they want. In contrast, when your site search backfires due to poor performance or a clunky interface, it can slow down your site overall, which isn’t just annoying for shoppers. It can also be costly for your business. You might suffer higher bounce rates, abandoned carts, lost revenue, and a generally tarnished reputation.

The stats speak for themselves:

The bottom line? You shouldn’t miss out on all the perks product filters offer because they might slow down your site. Fortunately, with Acsell, one of the fastest product filter WordPress plugins, you can provide a highly intuitive user experience without compromising speed.

Are You Ready to Start Using a Faster Alternative to the PWF WooCommerce Product Filters Plugin?

Product filters are vital for large eCommerce stores with hundreds or thousands of products. However, using plugins like PWF Woocommerce Product Filters can harm your website’s performance. 

As mentioned throughout this article, most product filter plugins require users to refresh the page whenever they apply new filters. This, in turn, sends new requests to the server, consequently slowing down your site.

Fortunately, Acsell presents a faster and more powerful alternative that relies on Advanced AJAX filtering. With this plugin, products load immediately in your customers’ browsers when they apply new filters without refreshing a page. Not to mention, its comprehensive suite of features easily integrates with your WooCommerce site and requires no coding (CSS, PHP) or API know-how. Does that sound good to you?

If so, why not start your free seven-day trial of the Acsell Product Filter Plugin today

Acsell Product Filters

Start your Free Trial Today

This is a 7 day free trial, so you can try Acsell Product Filters for yourself.

  • 7 day Free Trial Acsell Product Filters Plugin

  • No credit card details required

Join our free newsletter

Interested in learning more about how you can make your WooCommerce site even faster?