Best Magento Performance Optimization Tips for Your Store

by Fayyaz Khattak  April 5, 2017

Magento is one of the most popular platforms for ecommerce stores. It has become popular for being an open-source platform which attracts a huge and faithful community of merchants and developers. Magento is mainly used by small and medium-sized online businesses.

optimize magento performance

Magento was formed in 2008. In 2015 the new generation of the platform — Magento 2 — was released. Nevertheless, Magento 1 is still much more popular. According to Builtwith, there are currently about 235K websites which are based on Magento 1, while only 9K of stores are based on Magento 2.

Magento: Pros and Cons

Magento 1 platform has many advantages. The Community Edition of the platform is absolutely free. The code of the platform is open which make the platform very flexible and scalable. Currently, there are thousands of extensions for Magento available in the market.

As for disadvantages, many merchants are complaining about Magento being slow and freelance developers’ hour-rate being too high.

Performance Optimization of Magento Stores

How to Check Whether Your Website Is Well-Optimized or Not?

You can use free services like GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed to test the speed of your website. If your website is not optimized, then it will load in 5+ seconds and GTMetrix service will return grade D or even E. Did you know that slow site may not reach the top of the Google search results?

How to Speed up Magento?

To reach B or even A grade at GTMetrix (or Google PageSpeed insights) service, it is required to optimize a lot of areas such as, JavaScript and CSS files optimization, image optimization, enabling gzip compression, mod_deflate, improving the time to first byte via using Cloudways Magento hosting platform that is powered by advanced caching technologies such as Cloudways Full Page Cache module. Surely, your hardware should also be appropriate.

If you look thoroughly at GTMetrix report of your website, then you will see that first of all you need to fix the following issues:

  • Improve Time to First Byte (TTFB)
  • Optimize Images
  • Optimize JS and CSS files (compress/minify files, decrease the number of requests, merge files, defer parsing of JS, eliminate render-blocking scripts, etc.)

How to Decrease TTFB?

Full Page Cache extension for Magento is designed to return cached page content so that Magento would not have to generate page content block by block. Of course, the less is time to the first byte, the faster your website will become. We believe that every Magento store can have TTFB less that 1.5 second. In practice, FPC extension often allows reaching TTFB of 100-500 milliseconds.

How to Decrease Number of Requests and File Sizes?

JS and CSS files can be merged into a single file. Magento has such feature out-of-the-box, however, it does not work as it should.

Compressor by PotatoCommerce is a must-have extension for any Magento website. The list of the extension features is very long. The main features are as follows:

  • Compress JS and CSS files
  • Merge JS and CSS files
  • Defer parsing of JavaScript
  • Image optimization
  • HTML minify

What Else Can Be Done to Improve Magento Performance?

  • Move all small resources into page body
  • Eliminate all unused and unnecessary resources. Many stores include 2 and more jquery libraries (however, one is enough), and load unused scripts from external resources
  • Combine small images (icons) into sprites
  • Use “Expires” header
  • Using Redis for Magento

Varnish vs. Cloudways Full Page Cache: Which One Is the Best?

Using Cloudways FPC module gives you a very important advantage in comparison with using Varnish. You can configure dynamic blocks and split cache for different customer groups and mobile devices. Both Varnish and FPC are designed to reduce TTFB. In tests conducted by Cloudways, it was concluded that Full Page Caching provides a significant improvement over Varnish, therefore it is strongly recommended to go down the Cloudways Full Page Cache module route.

Note: The Cloudways Full Page Cache is free for all Cloudways customers.

How to Improve Magento Performance With a Limited Budget?

Hiring a developer for Magento performance optimization can be very expensive. Especially, if you would like to hire an experienced developer who has deep knowledge of Magento performance optimization. Magento cannot be optimized without dedicated extensions, such as Full Page Cache and Compressor, because you would need to optimize files manually each time you update your websites, while extensions work automatically.

It would be a smarter choice to entrust Magento performance optimization over professionals.

Moreover, hiring a developer is always a risk. It is very difficult to find a developer with huge experience in Magento performance optimization, good portfolio and at reasonable price. The main risk is that there is no any guarantees — you can not ask for a refund from a freelancer.

PotatoCommerce (our partners) company was founded in 2013 by best developers who gained experience by previously working for Aheadworks (industry leader) and decided to focus their own company on Magento performance optimization. Products of PotatoCommerce are installed on hundreds of live websites.

In 2016, developers from PotatoCommerce introduced a turnkey service of performance optimization for just $499. Surely, they provide a money-back guarantee if the service does not meet your expectations.

Final Thoughts

Magento platform is slow and requires additional optimization to meet ecommerce industry standards. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of speed optimization, since this factor very important for ranking in Google’s SERP. Magento performance optimization is a difficult task, especially for stores with a lot of custom code and 3rd-party modules.

Hundreds of merchants trust professionals and our partners from PotatoCommerce company who offer best-in-class Full Page Cache and Compressor Magento extensions, as well as a turnkey Magento performance optimization service.

Some Reviews on the Services

Disclaimer: This is a guest post by PotatoCommerce. The opinions and ideas expressed herein are author’s own, and in no way reflect Cloudways position.

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About Fayyaz Khattak

Fayyaz is a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. His objective is to learn & share about PHP & Magento Development in Community. Fayyaz is a food lover and enjoys driving. You can email him at m.fayyaz@cloudways.com

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