7 ways to speed up a Magento site

1. Get the latest version of Magento

Even if you read no further than this first tip, this is the most crucial for improving your site optimization. When you have the latest version of Magento, everything is easier to enable. Your eCommerce world opens up before you, giving you greater flexibility and control, not to mention plenty of new built-in options specifically designed to optimize your site. But, those aside, simply by upgrading to Magento 2, your site will improve. That’s because the new version of Magento takes advantage of newer technology to better deliver content to your users.

2. Reduce page load time. 

Load times can be the biggest bugbear for eCommerce. You already know how important it is to keep customers interested and reduce your bounce rates. But the elusive ‘fast-load’ is never quite the speed you’d like. Perhaps try a CDN (Content Distribution Network) to deliver content faster. It does this by using network points across the globe. When there are hubs dotted around with ‘copies’ of your site it means your store can load faster no matter where your customers are in the world. 

In addition to this, after an upgrade to Magento 2, you’ll have access to a built-in feature that allows you to merge CSS with JavaScript files. By combining them into one file, you’ll seriously speed up your load time. Magento 2 makes it super simple to take this to the next stage and ‘minify’ your already ‘merged’ CSS and JavaScript. Make it small, nimble and fast, and it really only takes a few clicks in the System Developer settings.  

3. Don’t let images hold you back.  

We love images. In fact more than 50 percent of websites are made up of images. Customers love images. They are engaging, eye-catching and can communicate an array of messages and feelings – fast. At least that what we all want. The truth is, is that our beloved images are often the very things that are slowing down our Magento sites. Depending on how large, how many alterations and tweaks you made to that image in Photoshop, and how prevalent they are on your site images can have a huge ‘slow-down’ effect. 

The way to ‘optimize’ is to reduce the heavy load – that is the size of the image. However, you also want to keep the quality. Reducing image size in a way that pixelates or damages quality will only damage your site from an aesthetic point. So, you’ll be pleased to know that you can optimize your image and still keep the detail. Magento 2 has already got plenty in mind for this. You’ll find there are a lot of image optimization options, such as extensions like TinyPNG. 

4. Flatten stuff. 

We don’t actually mean flatten any old random stuff. What we mean is make use of Flat Catalogs. Magento 2 has an easily enabled Flat Catalog module for products and categories. It’s pretty easy to switch this on. Head to System, Configuration and switch on Catalog (click ‘yes’). There are two: Flat Catalog Products and Flat Catalog Categories. What these do is essentially ‘flatten’ a lot of lines in an EAV Catalog. 

Flat Catalogs make such a difference to your site optimization that many people wonder why it’s not automatic. The truth is that EAV Catalogs allow greater flexibility across your store products and categories. But if you have a large eCommerce site and your performance is suffering, this is one of the quickest tricks for improving site speed and performance without really touching your site too much. 

5. Experiment with Magento Compiler 

Magento Compiler is available with the latest version, so if you are running an older Magento site, now’s the time to upgrade to Magento 2. Why is it worth it? Well, it’s been reported to give you an average performance boost of 50 percent. It’s fast and simple. Go to System, Tools and hit ‘Compilation’. What this does it literally ‘compile’ what can be lots of file system reads into a more readily accessible and faster file. It also caches frequently used files. It’s a little trick that can speed up your Magento site in no time. 

6. Magento Lucene Search 

Get customers to your Magento site faster by making sure that their search results are leading them to your page. Indexing and search capabilities shouldn’t be underrated when looking at ways to optimize your Magento site. After all, your potential customers have to find you first, before you can worry about bounce rates and slow load times. Add-on modules for Magento 2, like Lucene Search, put all your indexing in one place and allow it to be optimized with no need for additional or external software. 

7. Professional insights. 

One of the most effective ways of improving your site optimization is to have a professional take a look at your store from top to bottom. They can read your store data, offer heat mapping, customer insights and version upgrades to give your store a complete optimization overhaul. Even if you don’t get the experts in, do your system performance tests regularly. How else will you know if your need to upgrade or update your site?

Don’t forget a site optimization overhaul doesn’t have to mean expensive and time-consuming. Magento experts understand how to get you the fastest, slickest eCommerce site in the most efficient way possible. For example, a simple upgrade to Magento 2 could open a world of possibilities. 

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