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September 3, 2015

Magento Speed Optimization Techniques for Accelerating Your Website’s

Photo Credit: Éole Wind

When it comes to attaining a good page rank for your website and impressing your visitors, website load speed has a significant contribution to make. An average customer expects the site to load in two seconds. If your loading time exceeds three seconds then it leads to an increase in shopping cart abandonment rate. Also Google considers speed as a vital parameter for ranking a Web page.

So just like the design and feature refinements, you need to be watchful about your Magento site’s performance. What causes your website’s loading speed to deteriorate? Well anything in the universe is subjected to wear and tear over a prolonged time period, so your website isn’t an exception. There are many factors that could hinder your loading speed. For instance when you expand your site with too many features and images, it tends to have a negative impact on your site’s loading speed. But this is just a tip of the iceberg. There are many such factors hindering your website’s loading speed.

But, thankfully, Magento gives you lots of options from the backend to improve your website’s loading speed. Here are some of the Magento speed optimization techniques you need to know in order to optimize you website’s performance:

Lowering HTTP Requests

A HTTP request is usually a collection of images, CSS and JavaScript files. When your Magento website loads, these requests are downloaded in the serve side. Too many HTTP requests affect a website’s performance. Stats reveal that 80 percent of the site’s loading time is devoured by these HTTP requests. Hence it is essential to reduce these HTTP requests for an enhanced loading speed. There are two ways to do this:

Use Sprite Images

The first step toward reducing HTTP requests is to reduce the images — that is when sprite image comes handy. A sprite image simply refers to clubbing all images under one image. The emanating image will come under a single HTTP request with a dedicated URL. As the website loads, the corresponding images will be fetched based on their background position. This is very good technique for reducing HTTP requests.

Merging JavaScript and CSS Files

Another method of reducing the HTTP requests is to individually combine all the JavaScript files and CSS files together. Now Magento gives you the option to execute that action from the backend. In the admin panel, you will find the System menu. From that menu choose Configuration > Developer > JavaScript settings. Select Merge JavaScript files. All your JavaScript files will be merged.

Activating Magento Cache

Magento has a default cache system called the file system cache. When you activate the file system, your Web page gets cached and is stored in the folder Var > Cache. The file system cache is set to display an exemplary performance when traffic is nominal. In general, it is recommended to store the cache folder in .tmps format because it contracts and expands to house the cache files.

Varnish Technique

Varnish is a reverse proxy technique. Time and again this technique has proved to be key for content-heavy dynamic websites. By using this technique, a copy of the webpage is cached. So when a new visitor enters the site, he gets to view the cached webpage. This technique is very efficient and is deployed by top tier websites.

Full Page Cache

Full page cache is a very useful extension in Magento. This extension caches a copy of your webpage when a user visits it for the first time. When the user revisits, then he is being served a static cached copy of the webpage. Full Page Cache has been very useful in averting downtime and reducing the server load.

Ajax and Image Lazy Loading Technique

Ajax is an amalgamation of programming tools like XML, DHTML, JS and CSS. The specialty of Ajax techniques is that it upgrades the content on the website only when the user initiates an action. Another technique is the image lazy loading technique. As per this technique, when a user visits a site, the images above the fold are displayed. Only when the user scrolls down are the images below the fold displayed. These techniques can significantly improve the loading speed.

Using CDN

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is one of the best ways to increase your website’s loading speed. This network is a series of nodes distributed geographically. Nodes, also known as edge servers, cache a static copy of the webpage. When a user from a remote location tries to access your website, then the node that is closer to the user delivers the cached webpage. This reduces the latency.

There are many such speed optimization techniques. But only a few of them have been highlighted. By deploying these Magento speed optimization techniques, you can certainly accelerate your website’s loading speed.


Naveen Rengarajan is a digital marketing executive who is very passionate about writing blogs related to SEO, eCommerce and Magento. He works for Contus which provides Magento website development and Magento speed optimization services for eCommerce websites.