6 Tips To Speed Up Magento Frontend Performance

by Maaz Shah  April 20, 2017

Previously, I gave the tips to optimize Magento’s backend performance. Quite incidentally, Elena Leonova, the Product Manager of Magento, asked me to write about the frontend performance.

Keeping the front-end in a good shape is essential for Magento stores. After all, it is the frontend that the visitors see. However, it is unfortunate that over the period of time, Magento’s front-end performance declines. This is why website administrators need to keep an eye on its performance.

Optimizing Magento

In this blog post, I will share with you six tips that can make your Magento frontend faster. Before doing anything, I would advise you to create a backup of your site or test it on a dummy server.

  1. Enable output compression
  2. Enable Expires Headers
  3. Combine CSS and JS files
  4. Use Cloudways Full Page Cache
  5. Use Memcached
  6. Parallelize downloads
  7. Bonus Tip: Use Optimized Hosting for Magento

Enable output compression

You will need the Apache mod_deflate module, which compresses text, CSS, and Javascript before it is sent to the browser which means the content size got smaller and delivered faster.

Enable Expires Headers

Expires Headers are used by the web browser in order to specify the period for a page component to staying in the cache. We can control expires for static contents which should have longer expires headers. You can activate this by adding the following lines below.

Combine CSS and JS files

This feature reduces the number of HTTP requests. Therefore, the lower number of requests, the faster website gets.

  1. In the Magento Admin, go to System > Configuration > Developer.
  2. Under “Javascript Settings” change “Merge Javascript Files” to YES.
  3. Under “CSS Settings” change “Merge CSS Files” to YES.
  4. Clear the cache.

Use Cloudways Full Page Cache

When it comes to the matter of caching your Magento 1 store, I strongly recommend you to use Cloudways Full Page Cache Module. Doing so ensures that you always get excellent speeds on your Magento 1 store.

Note: Make sure to uninstall any previous cache modules on your store before you install Cloudways FPC Module. Also, make sure to disable Varnish on the application level. To read more about configuring Cloudways FPC Module on your Magento 1 store, click here.

Note: The Cloudways FPC module is free for all Cloudways customers.

Use Memcached

Although RAM is extremely fast, it lacks when it comes to providing storage capacity when compared with file system and database. Therefore, Magento supports a two-level backend and it is possible to combine two different cache backends – a fast but small one and a slower but bigger one. We recommend using Memcached for this purpose.

You can add the following code in your app/etc/local.xml file.

Parallelize downloads

This works very efficiently as most of the content waits for the previous request to complete. You can simply enable parallel requests that will allow to create multiple connections and get the full content quickly. To activate, you should follow this procedure:

    1. You need to create subdomains in your DNS. This can be a single “static.mymagento.com”, or separate “js.mymagento.com “, “media.mymagento.com “, and “skin.mymagento.com ” domains.
    2. Once they are resolved, change the media, js, and skin URLs in Magento as follows:
    3. Edit the Vhost file. This is done in order to make Apache recognizes the names of these subdomains and take them to correct web root.parallel downloading
    4. Clear the cache and reload the page to ensure that the static content is coming from the new URLs.

By cleaning up your cache and tuning your database for performance, you further optimize the performance of the frontend. I have already given tips on these procedures in my previous blog post.

Bonus Tip: Use Optimized Hosting for Magento

You can escape a lot of this hassle by choosing Cloudways optimized Hosting for Magento. Thanks to our ThunderStack, you get the advantage of Cloudways FPC, Memcached, Apache, and Nginx together. This way, your Magento store runs around 40% faster when compared to other mediums.

Too good to be true? START FREE to check it out.

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About Maaz Shah

Maaz Shah works as System Engineer for Cloudways. His days are spent in tackling technical troubles.

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  • Josh

    Hi, thanks for the great tips! We have been trying to optimize the
    frontend & backend experience for a long time now. You could consider adding REDIS caching to you artice, helped us a lot (especially
    for backend). Further your tips are great, learned a few new tips.
    Thanks. For the backend you could look into tigermin catalog manager http://www.emvee-solutions.com, we
    use that every now and then, works very fast.