High loads on a server are one thing web hosts detest. Failing to fix high-load issues can disrupt the smooth functionality of websites, and it sometimes makes it difficult to connect to databases resulting in errors. High loads can sometimes lead to outright downtime. Web hosts will frown at all these situations and could take strict penalties which could include an outright website suspension if the issue is not addressed.
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Google confirmed that the speed factor will be more and more important for the ranking of a website. As if this wasn’t enough, Google Chrome is going to integrate a special badge to mark slow websites, as already happened with the passage to the HTTP protocol. This means that visitors will be scared of sites marked as slow and Google Chrome will suggest abandoning them. Consequently having a fast website is no more an option but a ‘must’!
In this post, we address the issues related to the Joomla website. We will note that generally, the same procedure applies to other website-building platforms. Here, our major concern is how to address the issue with performance plugins. We will conclude with a review of how you can generally address high-load issues in Joomla.
Installing Joomla plugins should be guided by the compatibility of the plugin with your Joomla version. Some plugins will break your site not because they are poorly coded but, in most cases, because the Joomla version is not compatible with the plugin. In that case, we recommend you upgrade your Joomla installation and retry to install the plugin again.
Now let us look at our top 10 recommended plugins to boost the performance of your Joomla website.
Recommended Joomla Performance Plugins
This plugin is one of the most popular optimization plugins for Joomla. Speeds up your Joomla! website instantly. This plugin provides all the front-end optimizations you need to optimize your website download speed and is the most popular in its category on Joomla!. These optimizations are applied automatically based on the configuration of the plugin and reduce both your website page size and the number of HTTP requests, and results in lower network bandwidth requirements and faster page loading times. CH Optimize plugin makes it easy with automatic settings and robust configuration features to ensure your pages are optimized with little effort and mitigated chances of conflicts. Results vary per site but typical results are significantly increased scores on gtmetrix or PageSpeed Insights. JCH Optimize provides an enhanced user experience for site visitors and can favorably affect website traffic and Google ranking.
- Provides 6 preset automatic settings for easy configuring
- Combine select background images into a sprite
- Adds missing width/height attributes to images
- Finds the critical CSS for above-the-page rendering to optimize CSS delivery
- Lazy-load images
- CDN support
This plugin does not have a free version. But it is definitely an excellent plugin for site performance. JSpeed can speed up your website performance increasing the PageSpeed and ranking for your website.
The Google PageSpeed score assigned to your pages is now crucial, a score of 90 or above is considered fast, and 50 to 90 is considered moderate. Below 50 is considered to be slow.
JSpeed increases the performance of your website by applying automatically several improvements as suggested by Google PageSpeed best practices. By installing the plugin you can reach up to a doubled score during the Google PageSpeed and GTMetrix test. JSpeed is a plugin to optimize and speed up Joomla automatically but obviously, results must be evaluated and vary site by site, if interested contact us now for a free test installation on your website.
-HTML minification: The HTML source code of each page can be minified to reduce the total page size and speed up the loading time
-Exclusions system: JSpeed integrates a powerful exclusions system to fix conflicts and issues due to minification and optimizations
-CDN rewriting: If you own a CDN links for all assets can be automatically rewritten to point to your CDN domain
-Images optimization: Large images can be rescaled, resized, and optimized on the fly to dramatically reduce the total page size and bandwidth usage
-Lazy-load assets: Scripts, CSS, images, and iframes can be lazy-loaded only when really needed to avoid render-blocking resources
-Total cache usage: JSpeed makes intensive use of the cache for all kinds of assets to load them very quickly
-HTTP/2 support: JSpeed works with HTTP/2 compatible servers to leverage preload of assets by the browser
-Htaccess optimizations: JSpeed is able to apply optimizations to the htaccess file in order to leverage the browser caching.
Page Cache Extended
Page Cache Extended generates copies of the rendered pages and loads the entire output on further requests from the previously generated cache files. By loading the content from static files, no database queries have to be processed. This improves the loading speed greatly!
Based on the core plugin “Page Cache”, this plugin’s functionalities have been extended with useful features. You can specify which pages should be cached with the help of an exclusion list for components and URLs. It is also possible to use the list like a white list to include the selected components or URLs.
The HTML code in the cached files can be minified to improve the loading speed even further. HTML comments (e.g. copyright references) can be kept in the optimized code. In addition, you can set a specific cache time independent of the global cache time which can be set in the Global Configuration.
PCE saves the complete HTML output additionally already compressed in the gzip format as a separate file. If the browser the visitor supports the gzip encoding, then the data can be returned immediately without the time-consuming compression process.
The plugin supports the clearing of the cache directly in the front end by a self-defined token. Individual pages can be specifically updated by entering the token in the URL. Thus, not all cached pages need to be purged completely.
Page Cache Extended, in combination with Device Specific Content (DSC), can create device-specific cache files (mobile, tablet, and desktop). For this, DSC simply has to be installed additionally. PCE automatically detects the installation and uses DSC to create device-specific static files.
JotCache is an advanced solution for page caching in Joomla 1.5, 2.5, and 3.x framework. JotCache consists of JotCache Plugin, JotCache Component, and JotCache Recache plugins. The plugin is free.
- Cache management with a faster opening on larger websites – the cached files are presented with cached page titles and links, added more information about the cached page (browser type, language, non-routed query string), implemented items ordering, changed information about date/time of caching (incl. indication of expired or no more existing cache files)
- Exclusion of selected pages and module template positions from page caching
- Bots/crawlers and cookies exclusion
- Selective use of browser cache for chosen page URIs
- Multisite operation
- Use of Memcached (server) as cache storage
- Extended URL caching rules (include/exclude general mode, using logical AND in rule expressions)
- Cache Operation Modes (previous Browser Split) with the possibility for each browser category (incl. phones, tablets) to select its own operation mode :
- exclude from caching
- use common cache (for different browser categories)
- use individual cache
- Powerful auto clean (garbage collection) activity
- Possibility to set different page caches based on visitor browser type and device(phone, tablet).
- Possibility to clear the cache only for selected pages.
- Batch recaching of frontend pages based on :
- information stored in a database from previous page caching activity
- site crawling started with the site homepage to other linked pages up to a given depth level Batch recaching can be also processed as a cron job with selected setting possibilities
- Manual recache of marked files by users with JotCache recache rights. In this working mode, authorized users can start the recache of the viewed page on frontend pages and see immediately the results.
LLFJ – Lazy Load for Joomla
The lazy load feature for images has been found to be very helpful in improving the page load on websites. With this plugin, images are only loaded when a visitor scrolls to the images.
- Two different scripts included – for jQuery or Mootools (Joomla! 3.x)
- Threshold feature – preloads images within a specified range (in pixels)
- Images are loaded only in visible areas
- Saves bandwidth
- Increases the loading speed of all pages
- Nice fade-in effect
- Exclude images
- Exclude components
- Exclude URLs
- Exclude Bots – search engines can index the images
- Exclude in Joomla! Editor – the plugin is not triggered if the editor is loaded
- Toggle selection – entered data are not excluded, but included
ImageRecycle image optimizer
With ImageRecycle, is an effective Image and PDF compression extension for Joomla. Images can represent from 60% to 80% of page weight, so optimization can accelerate your page loading by x3 or more.
Main features of the image optimizer
- Compress automatically new images & pdf
- Compress automatically existing images & PDF
- Run a background optimization of all your images and get notified when it’s done
- Image automatic resizing
- Define an optimization quality images per media type
- Define a min-max size to optimize
- Optimize png, jpg, and gif
- Define compression quality per file type, jpg, png, gif
- Generate a PDF report of your website’s optimization
- Use subaccounts sub-account from component admin.
This is a Joomla Website Optimizer Plugin. The following features are listed for this plugin:
- HTML minification
- preserve IE conditional comments
- merge files
- minify files
- remove files based on a pattern
- async loading
- merge files
- minify files
- remove files based on a pattern
- async loading
- web fonts preloading
- critical css generation based on provided settings
- automatically resize images
- convert to webp
- generate responsive images
- generate preview images
- lazyloading images
- generate responsive css background images
- configurable HTTP caching headers
- optimizations are enforced when the client sends Save-Data HTTP header
- dns prefetch
- profile plugin performance using HTTP server timing headers
- precompressed cached files using brotli or gzip.
- enable service worker
- offline first support
- background sync
- web share target level 2
- web push notifications using One Signal
- immediately update the service worker when the manifest settings change
Content Security Policy (CSP)
Configure almost every csp level 3 setting to your liking:
- disable inline scripts and css
- block css, js, workers, frames, etc.
- allow css and js from specific origins only
- dynamic csp rules generation from the page content
- Sub Resource Integrity
- HSTS header configuration
- XSS-PROTECTION header configuration
- X-Frames-Options configuration
- configure file type that uses hotlink protection
- configure link lifetime
The complete list of features is available in the online documentation
and the change log.
Joomla uses a native cache and Gzip compression system, that’s a good start. Speed Cache is a paid plugin that comes over as a natural improvement of the Joomla page cache system with a lot of performance, compatibility, and feature enhancement.
Speed Cache brings powerful static page caching, compatible with user sessions, a full browser cache system, a preloading cache system, and a URL inclusion cache control. Some handy tools are also part of the extension like the activation for logged-in and logout users, an auto-index for caching URLs, and an automatic cache cleaner on specified actions. Everything is under control from the Speed Cache dashboard.
Speed Cache detailed features
- New static cache system: generate and send more HTML static content than the Joomla cache system
- Activate a full browser caching system: the major part of the page content is stored in the user browser, including heavy resources like images. So even pages with a lot of content will be loaded in no time. Plus, you can automatically ask this cache to be cleaned.
- Cache automatic regeneration after cleaning: once the cache is cleaned it can be regenerated based on a selection of pages
- Check and fix Joomla inbuilt optimization (cache and Gzip): Check for Joomla default performance system activation
- Fix Joomla Expire Headers: Check and fix the Joomla Expire Headers problem
- Image compression is included using ImageRecycle professional service
- Image lazy loading: Lazy Load delays loading of images in long web pages. Images outside of viewport will not be loaded before user scrolls to them
URL inclusion and exclusion from lazy loading
- File minification system with visual configuration: minify JS, CSS, Font, HTML
- File group: group all your JS/CSS and font files to be served faster
- Activate CDN on your website: define CDN URL and content, define CND content exclusion, force CDN relative or absolute path
- Static cache Inclusion/Exclusion by URL
- Static cache Inclusion/Exclusion of URL set by rules
- Speed Cache URL automatic add from new menu items
- Import cache URL from the menu: put all the pages from menu in cache
- Check for PHP version: check if PHP7+ version is activated
- Auto Clear all cache on admin and frontend actions: clean cache automatically based on user actions (save, move, trash…)
- Clean all cache using a button available all over Joomla admin
- Import/Export extension configuration
- Add Exclude module from cache using ajax loading
- Add Implement cache per device (mobile, tablet, desktop) to maximize template compatibility
- Add Possibility to cache external script to get better Google page speed
- E commerce compatible
- CCK compatible (Zoo, K2, etc)
Standard pricing starts at $29.00
This plugin can help you to optimize your site’s code and move script tags and inline scripts to the bottom of the page. Also, move styles to the bottom of the page and minify site’s code without any crash on the site. This can help you to increase site speed and get good points from Google PageSpeed Insights Tools.
Joomla InstantPage Prefetch Preload Prerender Extension to Pre-fetch Content Before You Visit The Page
Why You Use Joomla Instant Page?
Reduce Waiting Time
No customer wants to wait for a page load. Make your website extra fast and scalable with Joomla Instant Page.
Increase Conversion Rate
Latency on the web always hard to overcome. Removing 100 milliseconds of latency improves your sales by 1%, and Joomla Instant Page helps you to get that.
Joomla Instant Page Integrates Easily
Setting up Joomla Instant Page takes less than 1 minute. No tech skills required.
Joomla Instant Page preload a page right before a user clicks on it or hover their mouse over that link.
Joomla Instant Page render your page so fast and makes your page feel instant in less than 100ms.
Preload HTML Only
Joomla Instant Page only preloads the HTML file. Therefore, CSS and image file is out of its concern.
Don’t want to wait for more?
Increase website conversion
Works with all popular browsers
Reduce page loading time
Easy to install