Running a high-performance Magento shop on shared hosting can be tricky, even for the most experienced webmasters. Magento is extremely resource hungry and will bring even dedicated servers to a crawl if you don’t take the right precautions. Here are 4 tips to speed up your store that are easy enough for just about anyone, and best of all won’t cost you anything.
Use Full Page Caching
If you’re only going to use one tip then this is where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck by far. Full page caching simply stores static parts of pages so that users aren’t having to wait on resource heavy database calls on every page load. There are plenty of options out there, for example the Zoom extension.
If you’re using Hawk Host this is available out of the box and you’ll just need to install an extension to get started.
System -> Configuration -> System -> Log Cleaning
Change Save Log Days to 1
Change Enable Log Cleaning to Yes
Magento stores a massive amount of data on every user and it’s for the most part useless if you use a 3rd party to track visits. If you’ve been running your store for more than a month or two then the logs are likely to be 90% of your total database size. Clearing them will give you a minor speed increase, and make your database backups much much faster.
Combine & Compress Your CSS & JS
By default, Magento will include around 30 CSS & JS files with a total size of 800+ kB. 800 kilobytes might not sound like all that much but consider this, Wolfenstein 3D is 750 kB.
You can cut that down to a much more manageable 5 includes and 150 kB with one simple extension called Fooman Speedster
Enable APC & Disable Compilation
System -> Tools -> Compilation
Click Disable Compilation
Compilation can lead to some hard to track down issues, especially after you’ve installed a plugin or two. Not only that but it doesn’t offer a speed benefit if you’re already using an opcode cache. With Hawk Host you should already have APC running, if you’re using another host (BOOOOO!) you should check your PHP settings to see if you’re running APC and if so disable compilation.
Thanks for reading!
Have a tip for speeding up Magento that’s easy and effective? Comment below!