Speed up Magento | Magento Speed Optimisation
In todays free Magento developer guide, we are going to show you how to optimise the speed of your Magento eCommerce site. By the end of our step-by-step guide you’ll be an expert in Magento speed optimisation. Not only is our guide free, all of the tools used (excluding Magento) are also free of charge. What more could you ask for?
Why Do I Need Magento Speed Optimisation?
Magento speed optimisation is crucial to the success of any Magento eCommerce site. Previous surveys have shown that 83% of people expect a web page to load in 3 seconds or less. Meanwhile, more than 40% of the same audience will abandon your page if it takes more than what they expect. Take some time to have a look over the info-graphic below.
What Will I Need For This Guide?
To follow our guide step by step the only thing you will need (other than Magento) is a GTMetrix account. Not to worry however, creating a GTMetrix account costs the same as our Magento developer guide, absolutely nothing! Simply visit the GTMetrix Website, click “Sign Up”, and fill out the required fields to create your very own GTMetrix account. It’s as simple as that!
In “Analysis Options” ensure you have selected the right settings regarding your location and web browser of choice.
Create A Backup Database
Creating a Magento backup database is a quick and simple task that can be done by anyone. To learn how to complete this step, visit our How To: Magento Backup Database Creation article and follow the step-by-step instructions to complete this part of your Magento speed optimisation. Once you’ve successfully created a Magento backup database you will be safe to continue with the rest of our free Magento developer guide.
See you soon!
Edit Your URL
Welcome back! It’s time to continue with your free Magento developer guide! Now onto some of the tips & tricks that will help you fully utilise your Magento speed optimisation. This next step will show you how to shave off some valuable time from your page’s loading speed. It will also make your Magento eCommerce site’s URL a lot more user friendly. You may notice that Magento adds information to your URL that you haven’t specified.
For Example: The URL before Magento speed optimisation would be http://www.angelaccessories.co.uk/index.php/men/new-arrivals.html
This URL isn’t the most user friendly, but there’s a way you can fix this while optimising the speed of your Magento eCommerce site. First of all, you’re going to need to enable the option to “Use Web Server Rewrites“. In order to do this you simply hover over the “System” tab and go down to “Configuration“. Once in the configuration settings you will automatically be in the “General” section. On the left hand side under “General” you will see the tab “Web“, this is where you want to be.
Now that you’re in the right place you want to use web server rewrites. To do this, simply select “Search Engines Optimization” and you will be presented with the option to “Use Web Server Rewrites“. Click the drop down menu and change it from “No” to “Yes“. This will remove the “index.php” from your URL. Once you have enabled the use of web server rewrites you want to move onto getting rid of the “.html” from your URL also.
To remove the “.html” from your site you first need to go into the “Catalog” section in the configuration settings. You’re nearly there already! Simply look to the left hand side of the screen and you will see the tab named “Catalog“. Upon entering this section you will notice that there is a tab named “Search Engine Optimizations“. This is where you’re going to remove the “.html” from your URL to create a professional, user friendly image on your Magento eCommerce site.
Now that you’re in the “Search Engine Optimizations” tab in the “Catalog” section you will be able to remove the “.html” from all the URLs on your Magento eShop. You will a few options however the only ones you will need to change are the two named “Product URL Suffix” and “Category URL Suffix“. In these boxes will be “.html“. Simply remove it from this box and click the “Save Config” button in the top right hand corner.
Reindex Catalog URL Rewrites
Now that you have successfully changed your URL you will need to reindex the catalog URL rewrites. This simply means that you are telling Magento you have updated your URLs so that when people click on them they aren’t greeted with an error page. As soon as you change your URLs Magento will display a message under the “System” tab stating:
QUOTE: One or more of the Indexes are not up to date: Catalog URL Rewrites. Click here to go to Index Management and rebuild required indexes
By simply clicking on “Index Managenment” you will arrive at the page in the image below.
When you have changed your URLs, the first green button under “Status” will be red, reading out “REINDEX REQUIRED“. Select the “Catalog URL Rewrites” option and then click the orange “Submit” button in the top right hand corner. This may take a few seconds. Once finished you should navigate through the frontend of your Magento eCommerce website to ensure that the URLs in your Magento eCommerce site have been changed over successfully.
It’s always a good idea, when making any changes to a Magento eCommerce site, to check the frontend. This is because the effects of certain changes may impact differently on specific websites. Depending on how it’s built i.e. what template you are using, some may cause errors. So it’s always a good idea to create a Magento Backup Database as well as checking to see if the changes have had a negative impact on your site.
Clear Your Cache
Now you will clear your cache. To do this, simply hover over “System” and select “Cache Management“. Once you click into this section you will enter the “Cache Storage Management” section. Simply click the orange button “Flush Cache Storage” in the top right hand corner and Magento will clear your cache. It’s that simple!
Once completed, navigate through your site checking your categories and products to ensure there everything’s in place.
It is recommended, when making any major change to Magento, to run a test purchase. This will allow you to know if these changes are stopping purchases from coming through.
Use Flat Category & Product
This step in our Magento developer guide will show you how to further increase the effectiveness of your Magento speed optimisation. As you have already removed the “.html” from your URL in STEP 2 you will know how to access the catalog configuration settings. Once you arrive back here you want to click into the tab labeled “Frontend“. Once you have clicked into this tab you will be presented with the following options.
You may have already spotted that two of the options presented are “Use Flat Catalog Category” and “Use Flat Catalog Product“. These settings will automatically be set to “No” so, as you may have guessed, we’re going to change this to “Yes” on both settings. As Magento uses lots of different tables when you implement products and categories it takes up a lot of time for Magento to load these. By using flat catalog products and categories you are condensing these products and categories into one table instead of many. This allows for Magento to do less while loading your page. Completing this step will help maximise the effect of your Magento speed optimisation.
STOP! Before you leave this page we have one more tip for you. This tip is more of a search engine optimisation technique rather than Magento speed optimisation. Scroll down until you reach the “Search Engine Optimizations” tab and click it. You will see various options, some of which you will recognise from the eariler steps. What you want to focus your attention toward snow is the option named “Use Categories Path for Product URLs“. Now, we’re going to break the trend and change this setting from “Yes” to “No“. If you have product in multiple categories, what this does is instead of Google trying to reach the product multiple times it only spiders it once. Allowing you to cut down on duplicate content.
Reindex Your Changes
This step is exactly identicle to STEP 2.1 with only one small difference. Instead of selecting “Catalog URL Rewrites” you want to select “Product Flat Data” and “Category Flat Data“. You will know what needs to be indexed as under status it will display, in red, text saying “REINDEX REQUIRED“. Failing to see a red bubble with ‘reindex required‘ in all capital letters will be harder than this entire Magento developer guide! Depending on the amount of products on your Magento eCommerce site this may take some time.
Refer to STEP 3.1 to clear you cache again. Afterwards, check the front end of your website to ensure there are no issues.
Switch on Magento’s Caching Engine
There are circumstances when this should be switched off. Maybe a developer was on your site and didn’t want to have to empty the cache every time they do an update. If you’re using this guide as a means of boosting you Magento speed optimisation however, then you will definitely want this to be on. Switching on Magento’s own caching engine is as easy as clearing your cache. It’s in the same menu (“Cache Management“) and all it requires of you is to select all available options and enable them. To do this, you can either manually tick every box or quickly use the “Select All” option which is directly above the tick boxes. Once all are selected we’re going to change the red “DISABLED” bubble will change to a green “ENABLED” bubble. Simply click the “Actions” drop down menu next to the orange “Submit” button and change it to “Enable“. Afterwards, simply hit the “Submit” button to complete this step and increase your Magento speed optimisation.
Check Your Page Speed
Remember at the start of this free magento developer guide we mentioned a page speed checking tool called GTMetrix? No? Jump back up to the top of the page and read the “What Will I Need For This Guide” section. If you’ve been paying attention and have already created a free GTMetrix account simply go on and run a speed test. If you have done this before your Magento speed optimisation then you will be able to see the comparison between your unoptimised site versus your fully optimised Magento eCommerce site.
Enjoy The Difference With Magento Speed Optimisation
Although it may only be tenths of a second or even a whole second, this may not seem like much. The difference in the experience of your Magento eCommerce site however is colossal. You will find that more people will choose to stay on your site due to its speed and efficiency.
At the Magento Web Design office we carry out Magento speed optimisation for a large number of different clients on a day-to-day basis. From our experience we have found that after the implementation of Magento speed optimisation there is a colossal increase in traffic to their Magento eCommerce sites. Large and small business alike, it will work wonders for your eShop.
Now obviously, nothing is guaranteed. Especially when it comes to optimisation of any kind. As Magento speed optimisation is free it can be done by just about anyone. However, if these changes are made incorrectly it may have a critical impact on your eShop. That’s why we always recommend you have the professionals handle it for you.
At Magento Web Design we offer effective, highly comprehensive Magento speed optimisation. What’s great is that it’s EVEN CHEAPER when you sign up with one of our Maintenance Contracts.