Magento is a good platform for those of you who want to sell products online. The content management system is built from the ground up to support online stores and ecommerce. Although Magento can perform very well under different situations, there are ways you can optimize your Magento store for maximum performance and speed. We are going to discuss some of the best optimization tips to apply in this article.
The Right Magento Hosting
It is easy to settle for an affordable shared hosting simply because Magento works well with any server that supports PHP and MySQL. That said, you can get a much better performance by opting for the right web hosting service for your Magento site.
For example, Magento will perform better with the help of Nginx or Varnish. In fact, a lot of avid Magento developers have proven that running Magento on a good server with Varnish or Nginx configured for caching can increase Magento’s performance by 200% or more. This is because Magento works really well with these caching setups.
You can either go for a Magento hosting service that has a good caching feature preconfigured, or simply opt for a VPS server and configure everything yourself. There are plenty of tutorials that can help you get the most performance with the right server setup. They are very easy to follow and doesn’t require advanced server knowledge in most cases.
If you do however want to use a regular cPanel host, there is a major advantage. Lots of the later releases of cPanel come with a quick and easy way to launch a magento store such methods are outlined here so if you’re not too experienced, perhaps this might be a better option. If you want to go down the manual setup route though then please do read on.
Prepare Your Magento Site for Deployment
There are also several simple steps you can take to prepare your Magento site for deployment. Among those steps are:
1. Compressing Images
Images can help sell products visually, but that doesn’t mean they have to be large and bulky. Tools such as Adobe Photoshop offers assistance in optimizing and compressing JPG and PNG files for web purposes. Be sure to use these tools to help you get the best image quality at the lowest file size.
2. Check for Errors
Be sure to debug the Magento site before deploying it on a live server. Errors, even the smallest HTML errors, can slow down a site greatly. Magento has a very intuitive logging capabilities, so checking for errors before deployment shouldn’t be difficult at all.
3. Disable Magento Logging
Now that you have reviewed the errors and deal with them, you can disable Magento logging for deployment. The basic logging feature is actually very efficient. However, modules, themes and other parts of your ecommerce site may ask Magento to write more logs than just the basic. This, obviously, can slow your site down. Unless you need the logs for debugging purposes, it is better to disable them entirely.
4. The FooMan Speedster
5. Magento Compiler
This is another module you can use to optimize your site. Magento Complier limits the number of directories searched during a PHP execution. The impact of Magento Complier may not seem significant at first, but it will actually help your site perform better – and reduce server load – under heavy traffic.
6. Disable Unused Modules
Last but certainly not least, disable Magento modules that are not in use. These modules can slow down your site even when they are not in use. You still have the option to activate modules that you need in the future, but it’s best to disable them completely for now.
Lazyload for Images
It is always best to have the main contents of your site load as quickly as possible to keep visitors from leaving. One of the easiest ways to do this is by incorporating Lazyload to handle image loading. This being Magento, you can find modules that allow you to automatically structure how images are loaded accordingly.
With Lazyload, images are loaded in the background once as the page is being loaded. Visitors can see contents appearing on their screen, even with images still loading in the background. Catalogues will load faster and the overall performance of your Magento store can be improved.
Use PHP Accelerator
This is more for advanced users, but it is not a secret that Magento works well with PHP accelerators. Opcode caching allows PHP files to be complied into bytecode, which makes the whole system runs faster. The server doesn’t need to compile PHP files on every request and can instead run at the bytecode directly.
APC and ZendOptimizer+ are great for those of you running Magento stores. Both PHP accelerators work really well with Magento and can help speed up your store by a further 50%. With visitors’ attention span being as limited as today, no performance boost is too small to pursue.