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4 simple ways to speed up your Magento site

Magento site speed part 2!

Slow websites are a massive turn off for so many site users. The thought of having to wait mere seconds for a website to load is so painful, users tend to just go elsewhere if you’re not catering for their needs. With this in mind, it reiterates the importance of a fast website. If you’d like to look at part 1 of my site speed article, you can check it out here, if not then let’s get into things! Here are 4 simple ways to speed up your Magento site:


Merge CSS and Javascript files:

It is not uncommon for Magento sites to have numerous CSS and Javascript files . Especially websites with many 3rd part extensions and site customisations. Magento allows you to combine the two to make each page on your website load quicker. To be able to do this you have to log in to the Magento back-end. Then, from the Magento admin go to System > Configuration > Developer Javascript settings, CSS settings. Set “Merge javascript” files and “merge CSS files” to yes. Voila, you’ve now completed the first step.


Enable flat categories and products:

Having large amounts of categories in the back end can be annoying to deal with. If you look at Magento’s tables, you’d see a lot of “catalog_product_…” or “catalog_category_…”. Having a lot of these means your website is asking for a lot of actions to be completed for each product and category. This affects your page load time for each page you pull up. To lighten the load and ensure it takes less actions to load products/categories go to the Magento admin system > Configuration > Catalog Frontend. Change “Use flat catalog category” and “Use flat catalog product” to “yes”.


Enable compilation:

Every time you make a request on your website, Magento looks for the relevant file in one of four directories:

  1. app/code/local/
  2. app/code/community/
  3. app/code/core/
  4. lib/ (bet you were expecting “app” something, right?)

Magento compilation resolves the issue of having to go through four different directories. Instead it copies all of the class definitions and code which mention “app/code” into one single directory. This means that Magento then needs to only search one directory instead of four for each request that is made.


Avoid unnecessary redirects:

This one is pretty obvious for some, but you’d be surprised at how this wouldn’t cross the mind of some people. Redirects are a good way of making sure visitors are not landing on obsolete versions of your site. Well designed redirects are also great when you release a new version of your website as they help your position on search engines. However, this is considering you don’t have too many redirects. Whilst a redirect or two may help with SEO, too many redirects will slow your page down and, ultimately, will dissuade people to stay on your site. With this in mind, you may lose Google ranking (as Google ranks on site speed now too). So the lesson here is use redirects as less as possible.


Well that concludes this Magento Monday article, if anyone would like to tell us a few methods they personally like to use when combating site speed, comment below. Before you go, there is a useful tool which you can use from Google which checks your site speed. If you want to give it a try, here is the link to it. Otherwise, have a great Monday!



Qasim Majid About the author
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[…] The whole of my latest article was about page speed, I just thought I’d go over it AGAIN just to emphasise my point about how important it is. With e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay around, it can be very easy to lose sales to them over small things like site speed. If your site is taking too long to load, expect this. For more an in-depth look at page speed and what to avoid, read my latest article here. […]

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