Site speed is crucial for both search engine ranking and for keeping visitors on your site. Slow loading sites have higher abandonment rates and lower conversion rates so it is important that Magento users do what they can to improve the performance and loading times of their websites. In this post, we’ll show you eight ways you can boost the performance of your site to help you rank higher and improve sales.
Update to the latest version of Magento
Magento developers are well aware of the importance of site speed and are always looking for ways to improve performance. This means that newer versions often come with performance enhancements and the only way to benefit from these is to ensure you update to the newest version as soon as possible. Magento will inform you when new versions are available by sending you a notification or message.
Set up caching
Caching is where the data needed to load your website on a user’s browser is pre-stored so that it can be served quicker when someone visits your site. Magento has a built-in module that you can use to set up caching and there are also third-party modules available.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Content Delivery Networks help boost the speed of any website and this includes Magento sites. They work by storing the static data of your website on servers at various geographical locations around the globe. This means that when someone visits your website, the data is sent from their nearest server and, by travelling a shorter distance, it arrives quicker.
Content Delivery Networks are third-party solutions and there are plenty of providers offering this service.
Reducing the size of the data you send to a user will also increase the speed at which your site loads. One of the most used techniques for doing this is known as Gzip compression. Essentially, this compresses your scripts and stylesheets into a smaller data package before sending them to the user.
Optimise product images
Images can make up a large amount of the data a website sends to a user’s browser and for eCommerce sites that have several images for each product, this can have a serious impact on site speed. To make your images as lightweight as possible and without reducing their quality, you should optimise them.
Ideally, images for the web need to be in .png format and be 72dpi and should be set to the correct image size for your theme before you upload them to your site. If you cannot do this, there are Magento extensions that will optimise them for you once they have been uploaded.
Minify your scripts
For your website to work on a browser it will need to send various coding scripts to the user and the more extensions you use, the more HTTP requests will need to be sent. Unfortunately, all these requests slow down your website’s loading time. One way to make this happen faster is to minify the scripts by merging them into a single file. This will shrink the number of HTTP requests and boost the loading time of the site.
Disable unused add-ons
As mentioned in the last point, every time you add another extension or module to your website, you will be adding scripts that need to be sent to the user. This means that both your server and your user’s browser will be working harder to load the page and this obviously affects the site’s speed. You can increase performance just by disabling or deleting any modules that you no longer need.
Use dedicated Magento hosting
If you are using shared hosting for your Magento site, the chances are that the server is configured for general web hosting purposes and not specifically for the needs of Magento. While this won’t harm your site, it won’t help with its performance.
Using dedicated Magento hosting ensures that the server is configured for optimum Magento performance and for the needs of the eCommerce businesses which use the platform. When this is combined with cloud-based hosting, not only is high-performance guaranteed but so is reliability, ensuring that your site always remains available for your customers to buy from.
Magento is a formidable piece of software that can be used to create highly successful eCommerce websites. However, like many CMS platforms, it can have issues with performance that affect its loading times. Hopefully, the tips given here will help you improve your site’s speed and increase its chances of ranking highly, keeping customers onsite and boosting conversion rates.
If you are looking for dedicated, cloud-based Magento hosting, check out our Magento hosting page.