7 Effective Performance Optimization Tips for Magento eCommerce Sites

Magento is a robust content management system that allows people to build fully-functional eCommerce sites with ease. It renders a high level of customization options and functionalities that allows merchants to set up eCommerce sites according to their business requirements. It offers some of the exciting features such as multi-store management, mobile commerce, Search engine optimization, generating reports and a lot more to help you represent your online business in the best possible way.

Magento also supports a plenty of themes, extensions, and add-on tools that let you enhance the design and functionality of your e-store effectively.

Despite all these benefits, the speed of a Magento store is always been a major concern for a web store owner. Most of the Magento users are suffering from this situation and looking for a reliable solution. A slow loading site can increase the bounce rate and decrease the conversion rate – which is not a good sign for any business.

According to stats, a two-second delay in loading a web page could downturn the percentage of your potential web visitors, while reducing 100 milliseconds will boost the customer conversion by 1 percent. To achieve the higher conversions, you need to follow some concrete performance optimization tactics.

Here, I will share some effective tips that will optimize the speed of your Magento online store and kept your speed under control.

1. Always use the latest version

Running an online store on the latest version of Magento is always a good decision, especially if you want a fast loading site. Magento releases its latest version to fix speed /performance related issues for their clients and customers.  And the best part is that you don't need to check your site all the time to see the latest version, as it will send you a notification about the latest updates. Isn't it amazing?

Note: Magento recently rolled out its 2.1.1 Community Edition to improve the storefront performance while using multiple configurable product variations, and encounters upgrade and installation issues.

2. Use caching and Indexers

Magento can perform multiple forms of caching that can improve the speed of your online store on the fly. You can merge the NGINX +APC+Mmcache+Varnish caching for the better results.  Magento also offers an inbuilt caching module that can solve the problem of sluggish site in a least time span. It also cuts off the load from the web server by serving the web pages that has been already visited before – this also makes your site run faster.

PHP accelerator is also an incredible form of caching. It caches the PHP scripts in their compiled state to boost your site's performance. There is variety of PHP accelerator such as XcacheAPC, eAccelerator, etc. In fact, Magento comes with the Indexer feature to improve the speed of your Database queries.

Overall, caching and indexers are great for your online store's speed.

3. Compress CSS and JavaScript files

Magento comes with an inbuilt feature to compress all  your CSS and JavaScript files into one file. With this compression, you can reduce your total number of HTTP requests, which in turn improve the loading speed of your web pages.

You can easily merge your CSS and JS files using the advanced configuration in your Magento admin. But being a Magento expert, make sure you properly execute this step because a penny mistake could leave you in a troubling situation.

4. Enable Flat Catalog

Magento is an ideal eCommerce solution that utilizes the EAV model (entity attribute value) to store     customer and product data for you.

You can enable the flat catalog for categories and products to combine the product data in one single table. This can improve the performance of your e-store by responding to My SQL queries faster to the server. This feature is perfect if you have more than 1000 products. Below are the steps that can help you enable Flat Catalog:

  1. Login to your Magento admin panel.
  2. Navigate to “System” → Configuration →Catalog.
  3. Go to the Frontend option, and change “Use Flat Catalog Category” and “Use Flat Catalog Product” to yes.
  4. Hit the save configuration.
  5. Clear the cache. The best way to do is to remove everything from the /var/cache directory. Even, you can do it by navigating to System →Cache Management and click on Flush Cache Storage, which is as effective as deleting all the cache.

5. Use Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (CDN) is basically a system of distributed networks that collects and delivers the content of your site to a user depending on their geographic location. This means using CDN service means you can serve content from a location geographically closest to your visitors, which automatically minimizes latency and boost the speed of your e-store.

Note: You can integrate MetaCDN Site Accelerator into your Magento store for better results.

6. Optimize Magento Database and Logs

Unfortunately, Magento by default keeps logs up to 180 days. This can take a lot of space in your server, and increase the loading speed of your site. To overcome this situation, you can change it to smaller like 2 weeks  (14 days)  to free up some space.

Below the key steps that will help you optimize the database of your Magento Store:

  1. Go to the System → Configuration → Advanced → System → Log.
  2. Under “Save Log, Days”, you can change it to 14 days or whatever suits you.
  3. Click on “Save Config.”.

7. Optimize your images

Images play a vital role, especially when you have an eCommerce site. You can use hundreds and thousands of images to define your products in the best possible way. But using too many images, especially large file sizes can increase the downloading time of your site.

Therefore, it becomes necessary for you to optimize all your product images as it can speed up your online store and also give your customers a rich user experience. You can compress the images using PhotoShop before uploading them to your online store. You can also use some powerful Magento extensions to auto-optimize your images.

Conclusion

You can improve the performance of your Magento store by following these basic tips. These tactics not only optimize your performance but also gives rich user experience to your potential customers. A fast loading site also gets higher ranking on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. So, follow these performance optimization tips and generate more revenues for your online business.


Written by Linda Wester

Linda Wester's picture

Lind Wester is a Magento customization expert and an avid blogger who is interested in writing about everything worth reading in the magneto development sphere. She loves to explore what’s possible and share her innovative ideas with readers on the web.

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