Instant Magento Performance Optimization How-to

My first suggestion when installing Magento for a live site is get a big dedicated server or use Amazon so you can scale quickly and easily. I mean, you are planning to make money right? So you might as well spend a little more. Magento is a beast. It consists of lots of code and a heavy database. But the best server won't do everything. There is still a lot you can do after you have installed Magento on your server to speed it up.

My second Magento site was a store with 14000 SKUs with a lots of attributes and a mix every Magento product type. When I started the site Magento was this shiny new toy that was still in beta. It worked great for the site with 500 products and a few attributes. Now it was time for a bigger site. About halfway through the construction of this site, I started to lose faith in Magento's ability. By the time I was done, it could take up to 12 seconds for a page to load. That was not good and there was only the Magento forum and site to explore for answers. I tried a few things and sped up the site, but not much.

Magento has evolved a lot since then and there are many ways to tweak more speed out of your shopping cart. In fact, there are so many ways to optimize your Magento store, that there is a book dedicated to it: Instant Magento Performance Optimization How-to. In this book, Nayrolles Mathieu takes a Magento site with page load times of 2.58 seconds and after optimizing it, gets a page to load in only 0.66 seconds. Here are some of the ways you can speed up your site which Nayrolles Mathieu explains in detail:

 

  • Merging CSS
  • Merging JS
  • Logging Files
  • Compiling
  • Managing the Index
  • Removing Paypal's Logo
  • Using Magento caching
  • Enhancing the expiration date
  • Keeping your sessions alive
  • Storing your sessions in the database
  • Configuring MySQL
  • Using gzip compression
  • Installing PHP accelerator
  • Clustering
  • Balancing load
  • Replicating the database
  • Managing the caches
  • Logging
  • Using the profiler
  • Using a debugger

This book is must read for anyone who has to maintain a Magento site. Slow page load times can not only piss off your customers, but can also affect your Google rank. You can't afford to have a slow site.