When it comes to the topic of ecommerce platforms, Magento is the best and it is globally used by developers and ecommerce users. A major drawback that ecommerce owners encounter when running a Magento store is the speed. With its default configuration, Magneto is not as fast as it should actually be. It is a heavy CMS; therefore, it might run slowly if the proper configurations and settings are not applied.
Google caresses speed because speed is an important factor in their search ranking algorithms. Site speed shows how fast websites respond to web requests from users. A fast site generates happy users which lead to sales and conversions. However, if your Magento store responds slowly, you lose customers fast and most likely they run off to buy products from your competitor.
There are numerous methods that can be applied to enhance Magento performance and speed up Magento. Such methods may begin from the settings of Magento (your shop software) and may go as far as server settings. Below are some of the best practices to apply when challenging Magento’s performance issues. If you follow these easy methods, you will succeed in increasing Magento’s page-load speed significantly.
Where to Begin?
Make sure you are running the latest version of Magento, at all times:
Improvements in performance are more than likely to be included in new releases of Magento. Other factors which may be affecting Magento’s performance may already be dealt with in the newer versions.
Here, it gets tricky.
Speeding up Performance via Magento Admin Panel:
First things first, you should change some settings in the Admin Panel. Here is a list of relatively easy things for you to do.
- Uninstall extensions not in use.
- Delete out-of-stock products.
- Re-index your products. Also limit the number of products on the product overview page.
- Enable all Magento Caches to reduce the number of database operations needed for each page request.
- Go ahead and clean up the cache.
- Disable Magento log: Magento’s default settings keeps the logs enabled. As time goes on, the number of records may be too much and may reduce speed as the table piles up.
- Enable Magento log cleaning to 1 week or lesser…
Speeding up Magento’s Frontend performance:
Reduce the size of file transfer between the web browser and server.
Compress image files: try as much as possible to optimize images by resizing them. Use an image compressor or an image editor to reduce the file size.
Lessen the number of HTTP requests:
Combine Images: using CSS Sprites, numbers of images can be reduced by combining them into very few files. It will reduce the number of bytes downloaded by the webpage and in turn reduce server requests.
Use Expires Headers: static components, like images should have a far-future expires headers. For maximum performance, all page components should have expires headers.
Enable Flat Catalog Category and Flat Catalog Product: the need for this is to decrease database queries. Enabling the flat catalog for categories and products merges data into one table, in the process improving performance.
Enable all Caching Mechanism:
Find every accessible cache from the Magento admin panel and enable all.
Use Memcached: Memcache is a high-performance, distributed memory object caching system. Which is intended for use in speeding up web apps… this caching system assists Magento to get better heavy hits on your database by caching data away from it. Magento supports Memcache but not by default settings. You have to enable it through the configuration file.
Use a light-weight template.
Specify image dimensions.
Improving performance through Server Environment
This is the basis for a high performance. A bad server most times is responsible for slow speed. Therefore, you need to:
- Get a good dedicated server: use a server which makes you flexible in terms of new versions for database, web server, php, etc…
- Use a separate Backend Server: You can handle all admin users there.
- Optimize mySQL configuration: this can provide up to 75% performance improvement. Enable Query cache and tweak my.cmf parameters. You may want to sign with a host that has optimized MySQL for Magento.
- Use newest MySQL version.
- Install a PHP opcode cache (byte code cache) like APC on your server.
- Use the newest PHP version.
- Enable Apache KeepAlives: Using shared hosting web servers and browsers may close connection. KeepAlive provide long-lived HTTP sessions which allow multiple requests to be sent over the same TCP connection.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDN should be used for delivering static files like JS, CSS and images to offload your server. It helps to trim server load significantly and can enhance user experience on your website.
After this, try speed testing and see how fast your Magento store works now. Remember, the results after using these methods may vary with each Magento installation. You do not necessarily have to apply all these methods but doing most will definitely improve your website’s performance. Using tools and settings can really improve Magento’s store performance, so make sure you use them. Good luck with your speeding.