How to Optimize Magento Site

2014-06-30 08:10 Posted by: David, Max in Web Development, Tutorials Go to Comment

It is common sense (and confirmed by surveys) that success of a website crucially depends on the load time and the efficiency of processing requests. For e-commerce website this gets amplified.  It is true that the site performance ultimately depends on the Magento hosting capabilities; however there are some tips and tricks which will optimize your Magento site’s performance.

  • Enabling Magento Caching. Reducing the number of I/O operations speeds up the request delivery rate. This can be achieved by enabling all types of caching options (which will use the dynamic memory of the host) from Cache Management in the System tab in the administrative backend of the site.
  • Using data Compression. Compressing images and output on your website saves bandwidth which in turn decreases the loading time of the website. Images (in .PNG and .JPG formats) can be optimized easily with image compression software. Compressing the output from PHP scripts can be achieved by setting zlib.output_compression or by using Apache’s mod_deflate, which compresses CSS and JavaScript along with PHP.
  • Disabling unused modules. Loading unnecessary or unused modules slows down the site. Keep track of the module usage and disable those which aren’t used very often. An example of this is the logging module– Mag_log. Most of the site owners use external web analytics tools, so keeping logs of the traffic and requests is unnecessary. As far as keeping logs in general is concerned, one should consider disabling these features altogether (can be done from Developers tab). Logs are used for debugging during the development stage, and are rendered almost useless in the production/sales phase.
  • Combining CSS and JavaScript. Instead of keeping the JavaScript and CSS codes in different files, put them in a single file. In one fetch the browser can load the required codes, thus decreasing the number of HTTP requests. One can go to System>Configuration>Advanced>Developer and then to ‘JavaScript settings’ and ‘CSS Settings’ to enable the merging.
  • Optimization for Search Engines. No site optimization process is complete without SEO. Working on Page titles and Meta Tags for your webpages is essential to apply SEO techniques. For content pages (which, as far as SEO is concerned, are probably the most important pages), you can go to CMS tab then Manage Pages> Choosing a particular page. For giving a title to the page, choose the General Information tab and for Meta description choose Meta Data tab.

The optimization process is a continuous process. Once these basic techniques have been applied, the groundwork for advanced tweaks would be covered.

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