7 tips to speed up Magento
19 Apr 2016

7 tips to speed up Magento

According to Alexa statistics, today Magento is the most popular CMS among the online stores of the Top 1 Million. The reasons for this are many, and include a built-in rich functionality, intuitive interface, a variety of templates, extensions and more.

However, if you are familiar with this CMS, you already know that its main disadvantage – the low performance – is making itself felt. The value of this indicator for eCommerce can not be overstated: in addition to the number of targeted actions of the user being dependent on the speed of operations, it is in itself an important factor in the search engines rankings (eg., Google, whose representatives spoke directly about it). Add to this the importance of behavioral factors to SEO, largely dependent on the speed of the site. That is why SEOs and other professionals working with projects on this platform often wonder how to speed up Magento site. In our today’s article, we will not talk about alternatives to the Magento, and focus on a few simple steps that will help to preserve and increase the number of customers and also rise in search results.

Check hardware configuration

Sometimes the Magento performance issues are associated with the characteristics of the equipment. First of all, please note that the minimum recommended server configuration for Magento looks like this:

  • CPU clock speed – 1 GHz;
  • RAM amount – 1 GB.

In this case, a small traffic page load time approximately equals to 1 second, which is a good indicator. However, it is guaranteed to begin to fall as the number of products and customers rises. The higher the server load, the stronger must be the hardware (particular attention should be paid to RAM), and the more important the integrated Magento performance tuning becomes.

Update the CMS to the latest version

Naturally, Magento developers pay attention to user needs and feedback. They themselves are working to resolve important problems, so do not neglect the operational platform upgrades to new versions. Updates will provide new opportunities to work with the site, help eliminate the identified errors and optimize platform performance.

Choose the right web hosting

The properly selected hosting will help to make Magento faster. The obvious recommendation, suitable for any platform, will be the choosing a dedicated server that is located near to where the main target audience is. The hosting also should be using the PHP-accelerators (eg. XCache, Zend Optimizer). The best choice for web server seems to be Nginx, as it has a relatively small footprint and high query performance, or the optimized Apache.

Use the compression

To improve Magento performance, it is recommended to enable the GZip compression, which will reduce the size of the Javascript, HTML, CSS, XML files. This can be done by adding the listed code to .htaccess contents:

<ifModule mod_deflate.c>

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml application/xml application/xhtml+xml text/css text/javascript application/javascript application/x-javascript


Incidentally, one of the native Magento features can help to compress the CSS and Javascript files. It is activated in the “Advanced Settings”: System – Configuration – Advanced Settings – Developer. Look for the “Merge JavaScript Files” and “Merge CSS files” functions and change their values to “Yes”. It will also help to reduce the number of the HTTP-requests to the server, resulting in your online store pages loading speed up.

Configure MySQL

Magento site performance optimization is incomplete without tweaking the MySQL settings. It is recommended to create a partition in such a way:


key_buffer = 512M

max_allowed_packet = 64M

thread_stack = 192K

thread_cache_size = 32

table_cache = 512

query_cache_type = 1

query_cache_size = 52428800

tmp_table_size = 128M

expire_logs_days = 10

max_binlog_size = 100M

sort_buffer_size = 4M

read_buffer_size = 4M

read_rnd_buffer_size = 2M

myisam_sort_buffer_size = 64M

wait_timeout = 300

max_connections = 400

All that remains is to save and restart the MySQL server.

Use the “show global status” command to determine the server load.

Enable caching

A simple way to Magento speed optimization is to configure caching. It can be enabled at the System – Cache Storage Management settings page. Select to cache everything (“Select all”), select the “Enable” action and apply changes (“Submit”). The status of all types now has to change to “Enable”. Like this, just in a few clicks you will significantly increase the speed of pages loading.

Employ the services of content delivery networks like CDNsun.

Content delivery network is a network of geographically distributed static servers that provide together the fastest site content delivery to the user. The word “content” in this instance refers to the static resources that are used by the site: JavaScript libraries, cascading style sheet files (CSS), images, flash (SWF) files, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), any kinds of documents and binary files.

The advantages of using the CDN:

  • High content availability;
  • High download speed;
  • Source web site load decrease;
  • “Heavy” content hosting;
  • Fault tolerance;
  • Scalability and load flexibility.

This is only some of the ways that you can use. Answering the question “How to speed up Magento website“, one should not only check the characteristics of the equipment or the basic functions of Magento, but also optimize the content of the pages (this is especially true for images).

Share with us your own observations and best practices at CDNsun blog.

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