Magento Website Optimization Tips

Optimizing your website will speed things up, and save a lot of server resources. Below we have listed some common ways to optimize your Magento website.

1: Use CSS/Image Sprites. An image sprite is a collection of images that are put into a single image and called via specific CSS classes to that page in order to reduce the load time of the page, as well as the amount of HTTP requests need to be sent to the server. This also has the benefit of reducing the size of your images and decreasing page load times.2)Minify/Merge Javascript and CSS Files. When CSS and Javascript is minified (or merged) you’re only generating a single HTTP request when loading the content. This helps to reduce the load on the server, as well as further speed up how quickly pages load. One recommendation for this is the “FooMan Speedster” module, which also helps to crunch CSS files (removes extra whitespaces to further optimize the site). Newer versions of Magento (1.4+) contain an option to Merge CSS, while Javascript files are merged by default.

2: Disable unneeded Magento modules. In some cases you may find that you have extra modules enabled in Magento that are not necessary to the operation of your site. We highly recommend that you disable these modules in order to reduce the amount of resources that the site is consuming on the server.


Further reading:

Magento Installation Tutorial

How to login to Magento admin backend

Magento Store configuration

Magento Web Hosting

Magento Website Security Tutorial

Magento Store Settings Configuration Tutorial

2.1 How to Disable a Magento Module

To disable a Magento module, you can do this by navigating in the Magento backend to System > Configuration > Advanced > Disable modules output you can easily disable certain modules. You can even select the scope of the configuration (in the top left of the page) and there for disable specific modules only for specific Store Views. This works out fine in most of the cases, and this is actually the preferred way of disabling a module.

Although this sounds quite easy, there are lot of people having difficulties with this. This is because the actions explained above only disables module output as it says. If your module uses, let’s say some Observer functionality to hook into some part of the system and does some overriding then those actions won’t be disabled.

To fully disable module, you need to go to module config file, like /etc/ActiveCodeline_MyModule.xml, and set it’s active parametar to false, like:

< ?xml version="1.0"?>

3: Enable flat catalogs. If you have a smaller Magento store, then changing from the more complex EAV structure to the flat catalog option can help to significantly reduce the resources consumed by the Magento installation when visitors are browsing the site.

3.1 How to Enable Flat Catalogs in Magento

As stated above, the benefits of using Flat Catalog is that it will help you speed up your product collection instead of managing the catalog data in many table by the Entity Attribute Value (EAV). When your store applies the Flat Catalog, the new tables on the fly are generated and they will store every necessary data related to your product or category.

The flat catalog is updated automatically and quickly in every minute or according to your cron job regradless that your catalog contains more than 500,000 SKUs. Apparently, the flat catalog also speed up the processing of catalog and cart price rules without any difficulties.

To enable the flat catalog in the effective way, follow these steps:

Enable Flat Catalog in simple steps:

Step 1: Activate the Flat Catalog
Step 2: Check the Results

Step 1: Activate the Flat Catalog

On the Admin Panel, Stores > Settings > Configurations.
On the left panel, under Catalog, select Catalog.
Open the Storefront section,
Choose Yes in the Use Flat Catalog Category field.
Choose Yes in the Use Flat Catalog Product field.

Save Config to complete.
When you see a system message about the cache update, tap the Cache Management link to clear the cache.

Step 2: Check the Results
Method 1: Check the Results for a Single Product

On the Admin Panel, Products > Inventory > Catalog.
Choose the row in the Inventory list to edit the corresponding product.
In the Name field, insert the text “_DEMO” to the product name.
Click on Save.
Open the home page on the new brower tab, you can check the results:
Search the item you edited.
Use the navigation to browse to the product under its assigned category.

To make sure the results are correct, let refresh the page and the change will display with your cron job schedule.

Method 2: Check the Results for Multiple Products

On the Admin Panel, Products > Inventory > Categories.
In the upper-left corner, choose the Store View to display, you can set for all store view or a specific store view as you need.
Choose an existing category from the category tree.
Click on the Add Subcategory link, and do as the following:
Enter the “Test Category” for the Name.
Choose Yes for Is Active field.
Save Category to save the settings.

4: Enable caching. If you do not currently have caching enabled, then you’ll want to enable this in your Magento installation. For Magento and up, Full Page Caching is included in both the Enterprise and Community version and should be enabled. If you run an older version of Magento Community version then the option is not natively available and we recommend that you upgrade accordingly.

How to Enable the Magento Cache

The fact about Magento as with all other Content Management Systems (CMS) is that it can be a bit of a resource hog. That is why it is difficult to run a Magento store from a shared server

One way in which you can combat this is by implementing a caching solution. Let us look at how this can be done by enable caching for your Magento store using Magento’s inbuilt caching engine. Though there are more refined and more intensive caching solutions available, this is perhaps the easiest to implement

  • Log into the Magento admin panel
  • Log into your admin panel by visiting the admin URL. This is by default unless you specified otherwise on installation
  • Navigate to System > Cache ManagementClick the “select all” button in the top left hand side of the page, in order to select all caching methods available.
  • Click the drop down box, next to “Actions” in the top right area of the page, change this to enable
  • Press the “Submit” button

Magento’s built in caching is now enabled

How to Flush The Magento Cache System

The Refresh option flushes the cache for all components while the larger Flush Magento Cache button may not actually fully flush all aspects of Magento's cache. If you are troubleshooting an issue, we recommend doing the line-item refresh prior to hitting the Flush Magento Cache and Flush Cache Storage buttons.

Flush Magento Cache

This button deals with the main cache items for page display purposes. It can safely be used if you want to refresh your page.

Flush Cache Storage

This option is a more complete cache flush and includes more items in Magento's cache directory.

Flush Catalog Images Cache

The Flush Catalog Images Cache option is just what it says. It deals with the catalog images. If you are changing images on products, and not seeing the new images on your site, you can try flushing this and refreshing your page.

Flush Javascript/CSS Cache

This option involves a lot of the page styling cache and can be flushed when you are making updates. It is not needed regularly, but it is best to do if you want to see any recent changes.

Also read: Magento Store configuration

Cache is a well known method used to speed up a website. Rather than load an entire page along with all extensions each time a page is clicked, enabling cache system saves a copy of the web page and calls that copy up speedily when the page is clicked. The saved copy somewhat works like a static page and so loads much faster.

Be that as it may, with the cache system enabled, in the event that you have made any adjustments to your Magento store, you will be required to clear the cache for your alterations to show up on the frontend of your Magento store. That is to say, on a cache enabled Magento store, the changes does not instantly appear unless you clear the cache.

Magento keeps its store in/var/reserve situated inside the Magento installation catalog. In this way, for instance, if your Magento is installed in your public_html folder, the cache will be in public_html/var/cache.

To clear the store, basically erase everything from the/var/cache catalog and after that reload your site.

You can also clear all sessions by deleting everything from the/var/session folder inside of your Magento installation directorty.

To do this, you need to login to the control panel of youe website and locate the applicable folder, clear the content by selecting it and clicking the delete button.

5: MySQL database optimization. In PhpMyAdmin, you can select the tables and run the Optimize Table command on them. Over time, databases can become fragmented and this may impact the performance of the site. By optimizing the database you’re removing any overhead caused by fragmented or bloated tables.

6: Disable Magento Logging. Logging is typically only needed during development and/or for debugging, and as such is not necessary for day-to-day use. By disabling logging, you can help to reduce the disk writes of your site, thereby further reducing its resource usage.

7: If you have a lot of images on your site, you may wish to look into moving them onto a CDN. This will remove a lot of the burden from the server, and this can also improve the load times of your site as the CDN will load the images from servers that are local to your visitors.

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