7 Simple Magento Tweaks for Enhancing Your Magento Site’s Performance

7 Simple Magento Tweaks for Enhancing Your Magento Site’s Performance

As I mentioned in my last post, providing a solid user experience and top notch performance to customers and visitors is absolutely vital, if you want your Magento ecommerce site to succeed.

The good news is that you don’t need to invest in extensive Magento customization or custom coding in order to enhance your Magento store’s performance and user experience. Here are 7 basic but highly useful Magento tweaks which you can implement, to boost your Magento site’s performance by volumes.

  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Utilize Caching
  • Use Image Optimization
  • Concatenate (merge) CSS and JavaScript Files
  • Enable Magento Compilation
  • Disable Unwanted Magento Extensions/Modules
  • Reduce Web Server Logging


Magento Tweaks – Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

By using a content delivery network (CDN) such as MetaCDN, you can serve UI assets from a location that is geographically closest to your visitor(s), thereby reducing latency and page loading times, resulting in a super-fast browsing experience. Magento even lets you define where certain assets (CSS, JavaScript, Images, etc.) are being fetched/loaded from, such as a URL pointing to a CDN. Have a look at this Magento CDN integration guide for details on how to integrate the MetaCDN Site Accelerator into your Magento installation.


Magento Tweaks – Utilize Caching

Using data caching will also help you enhance the performance of your Magento web store. To enable this feature, just navigate to System > Cache Management on the Magento admin panel, select all the items and set “Enable” from the Action drop down, and then hit the “Submit” button.

Since Magento supports multiple forms of data caching, you can also combine them to improve the speed of your Magento store tremendously. For instance, you can merge the Apache2 + APC + Memcache + Varnish caches, to substantially reduce page load times on your Magento store(s). These four types of caching systems are explained below.


Alternative PHP Cache (APC)

The Alternative PHP Cache (APC) is a free and open source opcode cache for PHP that provides a robust framework for caching and optimizing PHP intermediate code.



Memcached meanwhile, is a general-purpose distributed memory caching system that is often used to speed up dynamic, database-driven websites by caching data and objects in the RAM, to reduce the number of times an external data source (such as a database or API) must be read.


Varnish Caching

Varnish is an HTTP accelerator designed for use on content-heavy, dynamic websites as well as heavily consumed APIs. In contrast to other web accelerators/caching systems like Squid (which began life as a client-side cache), or Apache and Nginx, (which are primarily origin servers), Varnish was designed as an HTTP accelerator.

“Turpentine – Varnish Cache” is a Magento plugin from Varnish that you can use to boost page load speeds on your Magento store. The Turpentine – Varnish Cache Magento plug-in was designed specifically to improve Magento’s compatibility with the Varnish cache.


Magento Tweaks – Image Optimization

Another trick you can use to boost your Magento site’s performance is to use image optimization. Since images are data intensive and every item on your Magento store probably has multiple images associated with it, your Magento site’s loading time takes a big hit if you don’t use compressed images. By using image optimization, you can speed up your Magento site considerably.

There’s nothing fancy involved. Just use an image editor like Photoshop to compress all images before uploading them on your Magento store and you’ll feel the difference in page loading times yourself. You can even use image compressing Magento extensions to auto-optimize all images on your Magento site, if you don’t like the Photoshop route.


Magento Tweaks – Merge CSS and Javascript Files

Another Magento tweak you can use to boost Magento store performance is to merge the CSS and JavaScript files of your Magento site. Doing so reduces the number of HTTP requests on your Magento store, resulting in faster page load times. To implement this feature just go to System > Configuration and then Advanced > Developer from the left hand panel on the screen.

Then expand the “JavaScript Settings” and “CSS Settings” in the Developer section and using the drop-down menu, select “Yes” in “Merge Javascript Files” and “Merge CSS Files” and then hit “Save Config”.


Magento Tweaks – Enable Magento Compilation

When setting up your Magento store for the very first time, once you’ve setup everything and are ready to make your Magento site live, navigate to System > Tools > Compilation and click Enable. Enabling this feature will consolidate all active and core Magento scripts on your site and bring them to the front, enhancing page load speeds and site performance.

Later on, if you need to make any updates, code modifications or module installations on your Magento store, be sure to first disable the Magento Compilation feature. Not doing so may result in unexpected errors.


Magento Tweaks – Disable Unwanted Magento Extensions & Modules

The more extensions you have running in the background, the more HTTP requests you end up receiving on your server, and the more CSS and Javascript files you have to load in order to serve those requests. All of this has an impact on site loading times and subsequently performance. It is therefore recommended to keep your Magento installation clean, using as few Magento extensions & modules as possible, and disabling any that you don’t use.

To disable Magento modules/extensions that you don’t use just following the steps below.

  • Navigate to System → Configuration → Advanced → Advanced → Log
  • For modules you don’t need, select “Disable” from the drop-down menu and click “Save Config


Magento Tweaks – Reduce Web Server Logging

By default, Magento stores web server logs of up to 180 days. This data takes up a lot of space on your server and has a negative impact on site loading times. To remedy the situation you can reduce the size of these web server logs, by limiting the storage of logs to 14 days or less, in order to free up space on your Magento server. To do so just follow the steps below.

  • Go to the System → Configuration → Advanced → System → Log
  • Under “Save Log, Days”, change the setting to 14 days or whatever number seems suitable to you
  • Click “Save Config


Bonus Tip: Use a High Quality Magento Hosting Solution

By implementing the Magento tweaks mentioned above, you can enhance your site’s performance substantially. However, all of these Magento tweaks combined won’t help much if you don’t have a good hosting solution for your Magento store. So be sure to choose a reliable and fast web hosting server for your Magento site. A general rule of thumb when picking hosting solutions is to steer clear of shared hosting providers, since these (although cheap) tend to have overcrowded servers, due to which you end up sharing resources with hundreds of other sites resulting in poor performance, both in terms of site availability as well as speed.

I would recommend using a hosting service like SiteGround, Inmotion, BlueHost, Rackspace, AWS or iPage for your Magento store. Here’s a great comparison you can reference, to help you decide on the best hosting solution for your Magento site.

If you have a Magento design, development or Magento customization requirement you would like to discuss (for Magento 1 or Magento 2) please get in touch with us. To learn more about our Magento development services please visit https://www.folio3.com/magento-development


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