8 Tips to Make Your Magento Website Run Faster

A natural expectation that shoppers have from any e-commerce store is fast speed. There is no way they are going to wait for several minutes waiting for products to load for display. While Magento is a popular e-commerce platform in terms of flexibility, dependability, security, and scalability, it is known to run into issues when it comes to speed and performance. Large-scale e-commerce stores love working with Magento because this CMS gives them the power to take their extensive product collections online for sale. But the advantages of Magento are counteracted by its shortcomings in areas like page loading time and number of user requests processed per second.

However, there are workarounds to the problems of slow speed and performance issues of Magento CMS, little things that one can do to remedy these issues. Here are some tips on how a Magento website can be made to work faster:

  1. Choosing the Website Hosting Server

This step is particularly important for the new Magento store owners who are preparing to launch their website. At this stage, you’ll be selecting a web hosting server for your website and it’s essential that you select one that’s good and fast enough. You can’t really put the entire blame on your website for being slow if the fault lies within the hosting server. The best hosting option would be to go for a dedicated server that’s optimized for hosting Magento websites. The server should offer superior connection speed, minimal downtime and fast support in case that happens, and robust security.

  1. Run Only the Latest Magento Version

The number one thing to check for when optimizing the website is the Magento version that your website is currently running on. Make sure that it’s the latest one. Magento version upgrading would mean moving themes as well as custom-made extensions over to the latest version. The upgraded versions come with performance enhancements, security patches, and bug fixes that can significantly improve the operation of the website. Stay in sync with Magento notifications and messages regarding any latest updates so that you don’t miss installing anything important.

  1. Remove the Unnecessary Extensions

For every extension that you use in your Magento shopping store, the website has to fetch extra CSS sheets and JavaScript files, while also processing more HTTP requests. Needless to say, the more extensions you keep on your website, the more it will be pressed to perform the above tasks. Enabling too many extensions on the website can negatively impact its speed and performance. Try to keep only those extensions on that you think are crucial for your website to function properly. The rest can be disabled. It’s possible that you see improvement in the website speed once you disable all those extraneous extensions.

  1. Implement a Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) refers to a group of networks that are spread across the globe and that delivers the content to the browsing users from the geographical location that’s nearest to them. This means that the content need not necessarily be fetched from the main server. A CDN server that’s closer to the current user location can deliver the content to the user instead.

Implementing CDN into your Magento website can quickly and significantly reduce the page loading time of the web pages. This is because CDN offers a faster method for fetching the various elements of the page for display to the user, elements like product images, product descriptions, CSS, JavaScript, etc. Because the page content is delivered faster via CDN, page loading time also enhances, no matter where the user is located in the world.

  1. Use Flat Catalog for Data Storage

Magento relies on an Entity Attribute Value (EAV) model to store product and customer data. This means data, such as product categories and features, are stored across several data tables in normalized form. Every time data is to be fetched from the database, say features of a particular product, the operation would require an SQL Join query to be applied to multiple tables for gathering and displaying the requisite data. This high complexity in how data is fetched from the database puts stress on the page loading and content display time as well.

The solution to this problem would be to disable the EAV model and enable the Flat Catalog model instead. What Flat model does is integrate all the data into a single table. So, if you enable Flat Catalog model for your products and categories, all the product data will be combined together into single table, instead of being stored across 4 to 5 tables. Even though the Flat model would end up occupying more database space, it will certainly boost the database performance by processing the SQL queries and displaying the queried data faster, ultimately improving the page loading speed. E-commerce stores with thousands of products should certainly conform to the Flat model for their products’ data.

  1. Leverage the Benefits of Caching

Caching reduces the load on a system of having to perform same process over and over again in retrieving items that have been accessed earlier. It is a good way to improve website speed, and with Magento websites you can leverage its benefits in several ways. Magento itself has a built-in cache module that you can enable. You can also install and enable 3rd party cache extensions and modules if you want the website speed to boost up even further.

One form of caching that you’ll find especially  useful is page caching. This is a method via which, once a web page has been generated by the server, it stores a cached copy of the page and displays the cached copy the next time that the page is requested. This results in quicker server response time and page display. Setting up page caching for your entire website would speed up the loading time of its web pages.

  1. Optimize the Images of Your Website

Online shopping stores tend to be very visual in nature, and rightly so. After all, attractive product images play an important role in captivating the interest of the user. But these images shouldn’t come at the cost of compromising  the website speed. The high-quality images are also going to be heavy in size, the heavier they get, the slower they’ll cause the page to load. Compress your image files prior to uploading them on the website. The images on your website should remain within the desirable size limit so that they don’t interfere with the website’s speed.

  1. Merge the CSS and JavaScript Files

Bundle, or minify, your CSS and JavaScript files into one compressed file. What this will do is allow the content to be retrieved with just a single HTTP request, thus reducing the number of HTTP requests that you receive. The web pages of your Magento store will start loading faster and your website’s overall speed and performance will improve as a result. It’s easy to enable this feature via the Admin Panel of the Magento website.

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