Being among the most renowned CMS platforms for the creation of eCommerce solutions, Magento currently lies in the foundation of about 1.5% of all existing CMS-based websites. Quite a solid share, considering the abundance of multipurpose tools on the market and differences in individual preferences of software engineers. Being so widely used, Magento 2, however, cannot be technically called a simple-to-use piece of software with a steep learning curve.
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That’s why many programmers without the significant experience of working with the framework face performance optimization issues. Magento speed optimization is what we’d like to discuss in more detail in this article.
Web Performance Optimization for Magento: Do You Need That?
Numerous recent studies focused on the UX of web software solutions claim the most optimal loading time to vary between 1,5-3 seconds. If a web page takes longer to load, more than half of the users tend to leave the resource at once.
Why performance matters
Even nowadays, when the speed of Internet connection most global providers can offer goes over 100 Mbit/s and mobile operators are actively preparing for 5G speeds, the performance of a web app or site is as crucial as ever. This is what significantly impacts conversion rates, bounce rates, traffic, and other important business KPIs. All in all, keep in mind that users tend to pick those web solutions and resources that load in a blink of an eye.
Web performance optimization techniques & tools
In fact, numerous techniques and fully-featured software tools (in terms of CMS and, in particular, Magento, there are various extensions available in the official store) are dedicated to processes of website and web app optimization. Let’s take a look at the most commonplace ones.
Top-10 Tips to Improve Application Performance
These are the major methods to help you ultimately accelerate the website loading speed and improve application performance.
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An insufficient level of quality in your current hosting provider’s services can negatively affect the overall performance of your website or web app a lot. Never go for cheap, unexplored by many satisfied previous clients options. Inexperienced or low-status providers can simply overload your servers.
We’d recommend considering VPS/VDS solutions, such as DigitalOcean, HostGator, iPage, Liquid Web, etc.
Quite an accessible way to boost the performance is to employ CDN (Content Delivery Network). It is accessible in that you don’t need to rewrite the database and edit content manually, which would be a real mood killer and time-waster when it comes to large-scale projects.
CDN, in turn, extracts all the static files from your resource’s server and caches them on another dedicated server. CDN then takes responsibility for loading the static content, boosting the speed of your website considerably. The thing is, CDN servers are located throughout the whole globe. CDN software works similarly to a proxy, finding the closest to the user server and accelerating content delivery.
Delete unnecessary extensions
It doesn’t matter which framework you use, an excessive number of extensions and modules affects the performance of all web solutions equally negatively. The more HTTP requests there are, the slower things get. So if you see any considerable lags, see what plugins are installed on your platform.
If you see something outdated or unnecessary, click “Disable” next to the obsolete title and save settings.
However, this may not be enough in every other case. In order to fully disable the module, you should delete the module files completely. You should also check whether this module works with the database. If it does you will have to remove the DB data as well, which may not be that simple.
Work on your images
As practice shows, images and visuals make more than half of all content on the web page. Thus, it is a most reasonable, optimization-focused decision to speed up image loading.
For such purposes, experts recommend compressing pictures before uploading them to the resource. That can be done via any available photo editor or by using one of Magento automation extensions.
Most Magento devs prefer a freeware Compress JPEG & PNG images module or paid and far more insightful JS & CSS Compressor + Image Optimization.
The default due date of storing logs in Magento 2 is 180 days. But the more log data you collect, the more these bulks of data will affect the resource’s performance. Try selecting other parameters, 2 weeks’ storage, for instance.
For that, go to the “Journal” section and customize the log storage settings.
Use PHP accelerator
A PHP accelerator’s main purpose is to enhance the performance of the code interpreter by caching the byte code in scripts. Along with built-in Magento 2 capacities, developers usually also use an accelerator OPcache.
Cache web pages
Page caching is among the most efficient ways to speed up your resource’s performance. Surely, you can use the default Magento 2 page caching tool, however, Varnish is a more recommended option. You can also use specialized extensions, such as Full Page Cache.
Customize the .htaccess file to optimize caching processes
.htaccess is the Apache webserver’s configuration file that allows you to locally change settings in separate directories and all subsequent sub-directories, replacing parameters in the standard server config file with the .htaccess parameters. In terms of performance optimization, this file will help you employ additional caching settings, such as the use of expire header and/or connection of Gzip compression.
By the way, some developers prefer using Nginx over Apache, which also may bring work boosts for Magento-based solutions by delivering static content to the client much more efficiently.
Implement a single catalog
Magento employs quite a specific approach to data storing - EAV, which guarantees that entities, their attributes, and values of their attributes are located in different tables. If your web store contains thousands of items, then it is most reasonable for you to create a single Flat Catalog for all categories and products.
- You can do it the following way:
- Go to "Catalog"->"Attributes"->"Manage attributes";
- Add required attributes to the Flat table, specifying "Yes" in "Used in Product Listing" or in "Used for Sorting in Product Listing";
- Add entities to the Flat flat tables in the options "Use Flat Catalog Category" & "Use Flat Catalog Product".
After that is done, you’ll need to clean the cache by going to “System”->“Cache Management” and selecting “Flush Cache Storage”.
Combine JS with CSS
Magento 2 has a built-in feature that combines JS and CSS files together. Such an approach, however, makes combined files take up to 10 Mb of space and all the JS code from the whole app directory is loaded on each page (no matter whether scripts are really used or not).
If you’re experiencing such an issue, try enabling an optimizing module like Google Page Speed Optimizer.
Magento 2 Speed Optimization Extension
With all that said and done, the simplest way to go around employing the above-mentioned techniques that make web pages load faster is to download an extension intended to optimize the speed of Magento solutions. This is a definite route to take for large-scale projects that will save in-house developers lots of time.
On the other hand, not all small- and medium-size projects can handle purchasing required extensions.
Magento Web Application Speed Optimization Companies
You may forget about any excessive effort at all and simply hire specialists in building and optimizing Magento-based software. Make sure that work with Magento is the main professional focus of the agency you’re about to work with - it is quite a specific CMS that may not be mastered that easily by wider-profile development companies.
Magento Speed Optimization - Summary
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As you can see, you can accelerate the performance of your Magento solution in various ways. Which ones to settle with is decided by your individual preferences, budget, and project specifics.
If you wish to cut your web application's load time in half immediately, contact us. We’ll put some insightful, expertise-driven effort into making your web solution utterly fast and user satisfying.