4 Simple but Effective Ways to Improve Magento’s Performance

4 Simple but Effective Ways to Improve Magento’s Performance

When Magento is not set up correctly, it will run slowly since it is a ‘heavy’ eCommerce CMS system. Even the most experienced web developers might miss the not so obvious settings to increase the speed and performance of Magento for faster page loads if unfamiliar with the platform.

Methods to increase Magento’s performance and other PHP based CMS systems can range from Magento’s admin to server or hosting settings. The latter is most commonly missed and greatly increases page-load speed.

Here are 4 simple but effective ways to improve Magento’s performance:

Related: Magento PHP Developer’s Guide

1. Enable Flat Categories and Products

In Magento admin, (top menu) System > Configuration, (left nav) Catalog > Catalog, (main page) Frontend.  Set “Use Flat Catalog Category” and “Use Flat Catalog Product” to “Yes“.

Attributes that apply to Categories and Products are stored in separate database tables depending on their dataypes. ‘Flattening’ will put all attributes in one table for Magento retrieve. This will have a positive impact on site speed especially if it has 1,000 or more products

2. Merge CSS and JS Files

In Magento admin, (top menu) System > Configuration, (left nav) Advanced > Developer, (main page) JavaScript Settings, CSS Settings. Set “Merge Javascript” Files and “Merge CSS” Files to “Yes”.

A Magento site can have many CSS and javascript files and there will be more that come with extensions and site customizations. Doing step #2, will combine all CSS and javascript into one file which will make each page load faster.

3. Enable Compilation

In Magento admin, (top menu) System > Tools > Compilation, click Enable. This will take all the active scripts in Magento’s core structure and bring them to the front for faster website speed.

If updates, code modifications, extension installations are needed, Compilation needs to be disabled first. If not, there will be errors.

4. Caching Magento

When all other settings are in place and the site is ready to go live, go to System > Cache Management. Select all items, set the Action dropdown to “Enable” then hit Submit

The above settings will help increase the performance of an average Magento website. Those who are accustomed to server administration can do more. There are caching extensions that can be incorporated within Magento’s configuration file and other server tricks to speed up Magento.


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