How to improve the speed of a Magento website

How to improve the speed of a Magento website

Andy Holland

If you are looking to improve the speed of your Magento website, you’ve come to the right place.

Magento has quickly grown in popularity over the last few years, becoming an attractive proposition for people who are looking to create an e-commerce store that has both form and functionality. With myriad functions and extensions, it has become a great platform for an e-store, giving the site owner peace of mind.

Popularity aside, site owners who use Magento in their back-end may have heard some alarming rumours that Magento is soon going to be facing a whole heap of speed issues. The default configuration will soon be running slower than other configurations of the platform.

However, there is no need for website owners to fear. There are a number of speed-boosting techniques which will means that your e-commerce store runs quickly and efficiently.

  1. Squash the Output

Loading times can be increased if there are a lot of images and text on your website. If you turn on the apache mod_deflate module, it will compress down the CSS, JavaScript and text files, and will also reduce the size of the webpage being delivered to the end-user, speeding up the loading time of the site. This is a useful tool for when your site is experiencing high visitor numbers, such as when there is a sale on.

  1. Use Flat Categories and Products

You can enable flat categories in the Magento admin dialogue by going to system > configuration > catalogue (left nav) > catalogue (main page fronted). This lets you set the flat catalogue category – simply enable by ticking the box.

This flattens all the attributes usually kept in separate tables to one single table. This is particularly beneficial for websites with more than 1000 items.

  1. Use Expires Headers

Browsers use expires headers to compute how long a page component can be cached for. Speed up the site by allowing the image headers to have far-future expires headers, as well as setting every page component with expires headers. This is guaranteed to speed up the site.

  1. Resize images to optimise them

To speed up the site you have to reduce the bandwidth that the site is taking up. When selecting images for your Magento site, you must ensure that the image is optimised for the web. There are a number of image size compressors available, or if you are getting the images yourself, there is also a ‘save for web and devices’ function in Photoshop.

These are some of the most effective ways in which you can quickly increase the speed of your website making sure that it is optimised for users to be able to navigate quickly, allowing them to find exactly what it is that they are looking for when shopping.