4 Easy & Extremely Effective Ways To Speed Up Your Magento Store

Magento isn't very snappy... HA, GET IT!??!

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.

But for my money the best increase in performance is with a solution called LiteMage.

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.

Disable Logging

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!

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3 Responses to 4 Easy & Extremely Effective Ways To Speed Up Your Magento Store

  1. OpticalOwl says:

    Who would use Magneto over WP with WooCommerce? At this point with Automattic buying out WooCommece there is pretty much ZERO reason to use Magneto. It’s heavy, difficult to use for mere mortals, and requires a whole lot of maintenance.

    I know developers make the argument for non-WP sites all the time. Honestly… who cares what they think though? WooCommerce’s rapid market share increase for ecommerce sites speaks for itself.

  2. Matt L says:

    It has a lot to do with perception, WordPress (and Woo Commerce by extension) are generally considered to be amateurish in my experience. As a developer I’ve ran into this time and time again even in cases where WordPress + Woo Commerce was clearly the right choice.

    What you said about developers is the biggest hurdle for Woo Commerce I think. There are thousands of developers that have spent years learning the intricacies of Magento and are firmly entrenched on that side of it, Woo just doesn’t have as active of a community of devs. With the market share shifting rapidly that should start to even out.

    I personally prefer Magento because I have years of experience with it, but I wouldn’t hesitate to fire up a Woo Commerce shop.

  3. Yolanda Qin says:

    I have tried both Magento and WP with WooCommerce extension. My conclusion is that Magento is far more better than WP for a web shop. WP is suitable for a simple blog but never a best choice for an e-commerce site. Finding the best host for Magento is really a big problem.
    Dear Matt, I tried several servers but most of them just cannot run my Magento store, i always get error 503. I am planning to purchase a shared plan from hawk host, is it a right choice for Magento hosting?
    At other hosts, I experienced difficulties in product import. Some of my sites crashed due to heavy data processing. Some of my sites get error 503 every time I refresh cache. I was afraid if hawk host will have the same problem.
    Looking forward to your early recommendation.
    Yolanda Qin

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