Every eCommerce retailer may have started working on the ways to achieve better online sales this time as compared to last year. What you achieved last year should be taken as a compliment and what went wrong as a lesson to avoid this year.
Whether you are a newbie in the ecommerce industry or a well-established business, managing a website effectively would be the first priority for you. If your website works well, audience will obviously like to buy products from your e-store leading to good online sales. There are several factors that have an effect on your website sales – the CMS platform, host provider, security, optimization, etc.
The first and one of the most crucial factors is the platform. Which one would you prefer? Is it Magento? Well, Congrats! That’s a smart choice. Enriched with features and popular as a professional open-source ecommerce solution, Magento offers great flexibility and control to its users. In recent years, Magento has gained enormous popularity and is considered to be one of the very few platforms that comprise of numerous functions and extensions. When a retailer starts his online store on Magento platform s/he is much at ease due to its much easier GUI.
High website performance is vital to gain good search engine rankings and increasing conversion rates. So, every e-store owner is always looking for ways to speed-up his website as customers won’t like wasting time on page loads or risking money, if the checkout process is slow. Boosting the website speed has become a significant task for the Magento users too. Therefore, in addition to having a site hosted with a reliable Magento host, here are a few tips to boost your Magento store –
Enable GZIP Compression in .htaccess
Following is the code to enable Gzip compression in Apache .htaccess –
mod_gzip_item_include file .(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*
Save the .htaccess file and then refresh your webpage.
Following is the code to enable Gzip compression in NGINX configuration –
Create a file at /etc/ nginx/conf.d/gzip.conf with the following content:
gzip_disable “MSIE [1-6]\.(?!.*SV1)”;
After this file is created, restart your server.
Enable the Flat Catalogue
Customer and product data is stored using EAV model in Magento. This allows these objects to extend but it results in long SQL queries and more reads. To merge the product data in one single table, you need to enable the Flat Catalogue for Categories and Products. The process is as follows –
- In the Magento Admin, go to System -> Configuration -> Catalog
- Under Frontend, change Use Flat Catalog Category to YES
- Under Frontend, change Use Flat Catalog Product to YES (optional)
Merge CSS and JS Files
This is another simple and effective method for site acceleration. When caching is enabled, files are delivered speedily to visitors as there isn’t any requirement to request the server whenever the visitors views a page or product. Go to the Magento Admin – System – Cache – Management and select Enable from the dropdown menu and hit Submit.
It’s a new feature in Magento versions 1.4.x.x and above that compiles files and finds opportunities into blocks of HTML that are easily accessible. You can enable compilation by going to the Admin – System – Tools – Compilation and click Enable. All the active scripts in the Magento’s core structure will be shifted to the front for increasing the website speed. By turning on the compilation, the website performance increases around 25% to 50% based on the page request.
Use Expires Headers
Expires headers or cache control headers enable you to reduce the number of HTTP requests. To turn this feature on, uncomment the appropriate line and add “ExpiresActive On” right above it as below.
######################### Add default Expires header## #########
ExpiresDefault “access plus 1 year”
Delete Everything That Is No Longer Needed
It might be that you have installed extensions and disabled some of them after some time for any reason or there may be products abandoned but have been left existing in the database. You need to clean all this unwanted data as if you keep it in disable form, the size of the database will increase. To uninstall Magento extensions – Log on to Magento’s Admin – Connect Manager – click the dropdown menu and select Uninstall and then Commit Changes.
For optimising images you need to select a particular image file format that is suitable and resize the image using image compressor. Compressing the image will decrease the bandwidth between the browser and web server. You can choose from various compression tools in the market – imageoptimizer.net, hjpeg-optimizer.com, smush.it, JPEGMini.com, etc.
To conclude, running a successful Magento store requires a healthy balance between performance and cost. Also, when it comes to performance, optimizing the speed of your Magento is an immeasurable job. But the ideas listed above are easy-to-handle and will surely help to improve your website performance.
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