Performance Optimization in Magento

Magento eCommerce Store

Speed has an important role to play in the success of every eCommerce website. Extended customer base is the dream of every online business owner, however too many of them on an under optimized and slow site can turn things into a nightmare. It is better to optimize your Magento store for better growth.

Implementations in unsuitable environments

It has become very easy to get Magento Enterprise edition (or Community Edition depending upon your need and budget) and use it on a crowded hosting environment. But this will not work that great without having it optimized for performance and accurate measurements. Magento surely is a perfect solution for small, medium and large online marketers and retailers. What you really need to know is what you are doing. Using Magento in a shared, UN-optimized hosting environment is the same as using a jet engine in a bus or train. You know this will not work.

The Areas where Magento needs to be Optimized

There are a lot of factors that impact the speed of your Magento eCommerce store. There are also areas were you have no influence. This includes the internet connection speed of the visitor.

Best way is to keep the things am about to mention here while talking to your clients. Also don’t forget to suggest them about the choice for hosting, templates or Magento configuration.

Hosting environment

If you feel that your client is serious about online business, suggest them not to use shared hosting and ask them to get a proper dedicated server. If possible it is better to find out a Magento specialized hosting company, who are worth of giving that extra buck.

In case your client focuses on international sales, better you analyze from where most of the traffic is coming and host the server(s) in those countries. It is better that you use a global CDN to serve your static files in addition.

Magento Template and Image Optimization

It is better to use a lightweight template as a base for your template. Also don’t forget to optimize all images, which most of the design teams forget to do. The use of Site Image Optimizer will reduce the size of bloated images, decrease the number of server requests. Apart from this it is better to crop the white space, use PNG or GIF format, image scaling, image compressing and use of CSS Sprites. It is also better to minimize the use of JavaScript.

Gzip Compression

 One of the easiest ways to improve the speed of your Magento website is to turn on GZip compression through .htaccess. This will compresses the textual content while transferring from the web server to a user’s browser. This will help in reducing the page size and transferring of data in a faster way to the site visitors. The files that can be compressed include text files like XHTML, JavaScript or CSS. As the image, video and multimedia files are already compressed. The overall effect is that your web server is handling very less data, reducing the total CPU load on the server. This will also help you cut the bandwidth usage by more than half.

JavaScript and CSS merging

Store owners are now enabling JavaScript / CSS merging in Magento for improving performance. But much less of the owners know that the built-in merging of Javascript / CSS in Magento will only reduce the overall site performance. It is because it breaks the browser cache and causes the re-downloading of all the CSS or JavaScript files. It is better to disable the in-built merging and use a site optimizer which will merge more accurately. Remember, an individual page will be faster when merging is enabled, but your entire site will be slow.

Redis Implementation

Redis is an open source advanced key-value store that can be used in Magento for back end and session storage. One can replace memcached with Redis. The main benefit of using Redis is that it supports on-disk save and master/slave replication, which is a powerful feature not supported by memcached. Replication will enable high availability and eliminate failure. Not only this, Redis can be used for PHP session storage and provide better eviction control. It also supports multiple databases that use same server instance so one can use different databases for full page cache. It also supports compression libraries gzip, lzf, and snappy.

I hope this will help you in dealing with daily problems in Magento and speed rocket your Magento eComemerce portal.

[We are Connecting Dots, a business & technology consulting and software services company. At Connecting Dots, we help companies build great online businesses, we are also Magento implementation partners and build great eCommerce portals]