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7 Ways To Speed Up Your Magento Site

Posted 21st November, 2013 by Aliysa

Running a successful Magento site often involves striking a healthy balance between cost and performance. With an ongoing list of features Magento is a resource intensive application that is designed to best perform in a dedicated hosting environment.

For larger ecommerce stores that process hundreds of transactions on a daily basis and store sensitive data, we do and will continue to recommend a VDS or Dedicated server. These managed solutions allows our engineers to configure the hosting environment specifically for a Magento site, ensuring a fast uninterrupted shopping experience for visitors.

However, for those smaller cost sensitive ecommerce stores starting out, one of our ecommerce shared hosting packages is often the best starting point. We understand that everyone has to start somewhere and we’ve optimised our shared hosting to the best of our ability to help you successfully launch and grow your store with fast speeds and reliability.

For ecommerce sites starting out having fast page load speeds can make all the difference when it comes to closing a sale. There are a number of simple tweaks that are ready built into Magento that will help you improve the speed on your Magento site. By carrying out these simple steps you should see a noticeable improvement in the speed of your Magento site:

  • Cache Settings

Enabling the cache settings within your Magento site improves performance by reducing the load on the database. To enable this setting navigate to System > Cache Management and enable all cache types.

  • Sessions Storage

This setting is ideal for those on a shared hosting package. In app/etc/local.xml make sure that sessions are set to be stored in the database rather than the file system for speed improvements.

  • PHP Version

By upgrading to a newer PHP version (5.3 or 5.4) you’ll see noticeable performance gains simply through the features released in that version. You can update your PHP version in your Tsohost Cloud control panel. Simply navigate to the PHP tab and select the latest version from the drop down menu.

  • Flat Catalog

Magento stores data of single products, such as product ID and price in multiple tables, which causes queries to take a while. Flat Cataloging puts all this data into a single table, which will give significant performance improvements for catalogs of 1000 products upwards. Navigate to System > Configuration and then Catalog > Front End and select ‘Yes’ for both Category and Product Flat Catalog. For more info see the Magento site.

  • Javascript and CSS Files Config

Merging Javascript files and doing the same for CSS files will reduce the number of HTTP requests the server receives from your site. Go to System > Configuration > Developer and select ‘Yes’ for both Merge Javascript Files and Merge CSS Files. You can also use the Fooman Speedster extension for this, although it has be known to cause problems for some users.

  • Magento Log

By default Magento logs lots and lots of things which, over time, can result in a huge database size. Many users do not require such logging, therefore it’s a pointless drain on resources. You can disable it through System > Configuration > Developer > Log Settings. The DisableLog extension also does this, and it disables other statistical data.

  • Extension Management

Uninstall extensions that you don’t use and be careful when adding any to your site - they can cause issues which could potentially negatively affect your sites speed.

Have you found these techniques useful, and do you have any of your own methods for speeding up Magento?

Categories: eCommerce, Tips

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