Speed up Joomla website in simple steps

The speed of your website to a large extend will determine the success of your online business. It does not only affect your conversion rate, it also affects your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages. If you are not just concerned about being online but take the success of your website seriously, speed should be one of the factors you will strive to enhance.

 

Further reading:

How to Increase Your Online Sales and Conversion

Tested Tips To Increase Joomla Website Loading Speed

A Practical Guide to Get Online With Your Own Website

 

Achieving a good speed for your Joomla website requires that you make some tweaks and technical adjustments. You will learn about all that in this post. We will discuss proven tactics that will help you to speed up and optimize your Joomla website bearing in mind that speed considered one of the most significant ranking factors in the Google ranking signals.

Studies have shown that fast loading websites can significantly increase conversion and boost in sales. Of course search engines, visitors and customers love speed and will dwell longer on websites that load fast. The implication will be better conversion. The relationship between speed and conversion becomes clearer in the case of Walmart which announced that their conversions touch the peak when site loads within 2 seconds, and it progressively drops as page loading time increases.

 

Further reading:

Reasons Your Website is Not Ranking on Google SERP

SEO Basics -The First Steps to Higher Rankings in Search Engines

An SEO Guide on the Top 3 Factors That Guarantee Success For Every Website

SEO - What Search Engines Love and Hate About Websites

 

In Another study by Kissmetrics, it found that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. These should make you want to get the best speed for your Joomla website.

In this post, we share some tested tips tips and tricks to speed up and optimize your Joomla website.

But before we get into that, it is important and recommended that you check your website speed performance to be able to judge what changes and improvements your have made with the tweaks you will learn about in this post.

 

Further reading:

Basic Website Speed Optimization Guide

How to Use Google PageSpeed Insigihts to Boost Website Speed

How to Recover Abandoned Cart Purchases

 

How to Measure Your Website Speed

Here are some tools that can assess your site loading speed. These tools not only can measure site speed and overall performance, but also provides details about why your website is actually slow.

 

Backup Your Website

Before you proceed with the next steps which involve making changes to your website to boost its speed, we recommend that you backup your website files and databases. If things get messy, you can fall back on the backup. Now we can proceed with the steps required to boost your website speed in Joomla

 

Further reading:

How to fix a slow-loading website

Trends That Can Improve Your Website Conversion Rate Optimization

How to Get Best Speed Performance with WordPress

 

How To Boost Joomla Speed

It is important to note that boosting the speed of your Joomla website requires some changes and tests. You have to check as you make changes to be sure that it does not break your website and it is delivering on your expectations. Now, below are our recommendations to achieve a good speed for any Joomla website.

 

Choose a reliable Web Host

The first and critically important decision you have to take is on your choice of web host. If your server is slow, there is not much you can do to improve speed. So you need to choose a fast and stable hosting environment for your Joomla website.


Your web host plays a key role because the files are hosted on the virtual environment. When an end user visits your site and it takes time to retrieve data from server, definitely your site loading time is going to be increased. As loading time increases, so you are also going to have visitors leave your site and your conversion is negatively affected. So, take the right decision by hooking up with the right web host.

 

Use updated Joomla and its extensions

As a stand alone software, Joomla is not slow. Moreover, each update comes with bug fixes and security patches. Keeping up with the latest version of Joomla and maintaining the best practices for speed optimization keeps your website good for users and the hosting servers.
 
You should also now that keeping up with updates makes sure you are benefiting from code improvements which comes every new version. This improves your speed and security.
 

It is also important to mention that when updating your Joomla core to the recent version, you also need to check third party extensions to be sure of compatibility with your latest version and update the extensions. ?

 

Use must-have and remove unused extensions?

Keep your Joomla CMS decent by only keeping the necessary extensions. One of the major problems that come with Joomla and every other CMS is the incompatibility with updated versions. Removing unused extensions will help you eliminate the security issues that could come from those extensions.

All must have extensions including modules, plugins and components should be kept up-to-date to avoid exploitation and attacks from vulnerable extensions.

The Joomla core extensions that are not in use does not need to be removed because they will be kept updated with every new version. They pose no real threat. If Joomla is dropping an extension, it will let you now and the next update will implement the drop.

 

Enable Joomla Caching

Caching is a primary action you should take to improve speed. Enabling caching have been found to significantly improve Joomla speed Caching enables your website to serve visitors with static pages that are fast and easy to load.

This is how it works, a page is visited and served to a visitor, the server keeps a copy of that page so that when another visitor comes by loading that page, the server simply serves him the copy that has been kept from the previous visit. Cached copies can be maintained for a long time depending on the Joomla settings on when it should be refreshed. This will depend on how often the website is updated.

To enable the Joomla caching, first head the System > Global Configuration and check the server cache settings. Select ON - Conservative caching option from cache dropdown field, and select Save button. We have recommended that the progressive caching should never be selected basically because it handles all modules on a page all at once and overrides cache settings for each modules. It can be good for websites that do not get updated often like a company website.

Enabling cache settings in Global Configuration is not enough. To ensure Joomla caching system starts working correctly, you have to check whether core Joomla caching plugin is also enabled. To do that, go to Plugins and locate System - Cache. Make sure it is published and save your changes. Now, you would have enabled caching.
 
There are some advanced caching plugins you will require to further boost the speed of your Joomla website. These have been lokked at the article: 10 Plugins to Help You Manage High Loads in Joomla
 

Enable Gzip Compression?

Gzip is the popular and one of the most effective tool for file compression. It lessen the file size and helps to shrink server response time.? Gzip seamlessly compresses and decompresses content as it's transmitted over the Internet. It is used mostly on code and text files, gzip can reduce the size of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files by up to 90%. That's great isn't it?

Yahoo says "Gzip is the most popular and effective compression method currently available and generally reduces the response size by about 70%. Approximately 90% of today's Internet traffic travels through browsers that claim to support gzip,"

To enable Gzip in Joomla! CMS, head over to Global configuration > server and click on option 'Yes' for Gzip compression.

 

Leverage speed using CDN

Content delivery network (CDN) is an incredibly simple way to supercharge your Joomla site and Joomla performance. A CDN is an interconnected system of cache servers that use geographical proximity as a criteria for delivering Web content. If you enable a Content Delivery Network, your static files will not be served from the location of your web host, but from the global network of servers of your CDN provider.

Visitors can be served most effectively from servers that are closes to them thereby increasing the speed of your website and reducing load times.

 

Optimize Images

Image load can be very heavy on websites especially when they are poorly optimized or not optimized at all. One way to mitigate the effect of images is to optimize them for the web. Most image management tools are good for that purpose and you can further lossless image compression with some web-based and desktop tools.

We have covered image compression tools in the following articles:

Best Free Image Compression Tools

Image Optimization for High Ranking

Image Optimization for the Web

 

The articles above list a lot of free tools available for you to reduce the size of our images without loosing quality. These include but not limited to tinypng, remush.it, PunyPNG, etc. These tools will achieve lossless optimization for your images without compromising the quality of the image.

One quick tool than can let you achieve image file size reduction is Quix optimize. It's been removed from the Joomla downloads repository as it turned commercial but it is worth the money you will pay for it. It lets you optimize all images in one click, that too, without leaving your editor screen. If the size is not perfect, change display width size and quality.

In this way, you can optimize your images for any devices such as - Large desktop, desktop, tablet, mobile, mini screen. Besides, the size will be optimized at a perfect rate, and you will be able to generate a lossless webp format of your image.

 

Minify HTML, CSS & JS

There are lots of free and effective compression tools and performance plugins out there in the Joomla downloads repository. These are useful to reduce the load times for your website and reduce its file size. How it works? Well, generally, as Joomla loads its contents, it also loads CSS, JS files which may slow down the whole loading process. CSS & JS files takes a lot of time to render and execute. This issue can be easily resolved by:

  • Compressing CSS, JS files and merging Several files into one.

There are fine and effective extensions that can help you get these done. One of them is JCH Optimize. JCH Optimize works on the latest versions of Joomla and could break your website if you are not running a compatible version. If you install JCH Optimize and find errors on your site, just uninstall it. There is also the ScriptMerge available in the Joomla extension directory.

 

Optimize For Mobile Devices

There are more traffic to websites coming from mobile devices than desktop. So you need to seriously consider optimization for mobile if you won't be loosing a chunk of your visitors. Google has provided a free tool for your Mobile-Friendly test to help you determine how the speed of your website is performing on mobile.

If your tests produces a result that is adjudged poor by the test tool, then consider optimizing it. If you do not know what to optimize, you can use the PageSpeed insights Tool by google for a quick guide.

 

Turn off leeching and hotlinking of your content?

Hotlinking refers to a situation where people link to a non html content on your site such as images and videos. Hotlinking can place a lot of loads on the server and cause your website to be slow. It means stealing your bandwidth and it occurs when any other sites uses direct link to the images on your site. Fortunately, you can prevent this by disabling the capacity to do so.

So for turning off leeching and hotlinking of your content put the below code on your root .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)example.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|jpeg|bmp|zip|rar|mp3|flv|swf|xml|php|png|css|pdf)$ - [F]

 

Serve alternate content

You can also choose to serve alternate content when hotlinking is detected. You can set up your .htaccess file to actually display different content when hotlinking is attempted. This is more commonly done with images suggesting your displeasure of this activity, such as serving up an"No" sign or a sign of displeasure in place of the hotlinked one. Once again, replace example.com on lines 3 and 4 with your own domain name.

 


RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)example.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ http://www.example.com/angryman.gif [R,L]
 

Turn On LazyLoad to your images

What lazyloads do is to delay loading images until the user scrolls down to where the images are. That way, there is reduced pressure on the server and the website loads faster. Implementing lazyloading loads the images above the fold or those images which are visible to the browser window of the user.

Fortunately, there are lots of free plugins available in the Joomla extensions repository which can do this automatically.

Some fine plugins for this purpose include LLFJ and JSLazyLoading all available within at the Joomla extension directory.

You can also use Quix to turn on lazyload and optimize your images wisely. It will take only seconds to turn on lazy loading. Then images will be only loaded when a visitor scrolls down the page to where the image is located.

 

Control amount of post revisions

For the purpose of editing an already published post, some admin will save a copy of published posts as drafts. This adds another load on server and slows down the speed. When you are done with your post and published it, why would you need the stored draft? We recommend you don't keep drafts of published post as you can edit even the published post. If you must save a draft keep it around 2 or 3 posts.

 

Choose a dependable Page builder

The launch of Joomla page builder have made Joomla development much easy. But because they can affect the structure, functionality and code of the Joomla website, a poor page builder can take away the speed gains that could have been made. When yo choose a page builder, make sure you choose a dependable and decent option that will boost your efforts to gain speed and achieve your goals.

 

Summary

Speed is very important for ever website. It is good for users and is a key ranking facto with the Google Search Engine. So whatever can enhance your page speed, from caching, using light and optimized images, compression and minification of codes, use of CDN and having a strong web host, it will add up to push up the ranking of your website, keep visitors on your site and get them revisiting and also enhance your site's conversion.
 
We have provided a good detail into how you can boost the speed of your Joomla website. Get on and take advantage of them Goodluck
 
Is there anything we missed, do let us know in the comments box.

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