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5 Easy Steps to Increase Magento Site Performance

Magento is a massive system with tons of files which can really slow your site down if not set up properly. There are plenty of ways that you can optimize your site to improve performance (optimized code, upgraded servers optimized for Magento, etc.). These things can always help, but sometimes, it’s nice to have options available to you without needing a CS degree or spending a ton on hosting. This list will give you some times for how to optimize your sites admin settings to improve your websites performance.

1. Disable Logging – Logging is a feature in Magento which can be useful for testing while developing a site. It creates records of how various features in your site are working/communicating with internal and external systems. But once your site is live, logging is less necessary. Moreover, it is a big drain on your servers resources. This feature is enabled in all Magento releases by default, so you’ll need to go into the admin to disable it. To do so, go to:

  • System>Configuraiton>Advanced>Advanced
  • Expand the “Disable Modules Output” list and look for “Mage_Log”
  • Set this to “Disable” and click the “Save Config” button at the top right of the screen.

2. Enable compilation – Compilation has been a part of Magento for the last few releases (since Magento CE 1.4.x.x). Essentially, this feature reorganizes site files and scopes into a more easily accessible blocks of HTML. According to Magento, this feature can increase performance by 25-50% depending on the page requested. The caveat to using compilation is that you need to recompile the website each time that changes are made (especially if new extensions are installed – we recommend disabling compilation when installing new extensions and re-enabling it when the installation is complete). To enable compilation, go to:
  • System>Tools>Compilation
  • Clicking the Orange button to “Run Compilation Process” will turn on compilation for the site.
3. Combine JS and CSS files – This is another feature that has been around for a while now (since Magento CE 1.4.x.x). While this feature doesn’t decrease the file sizes for your JS or CSS files, it combines them into one which can yield significant improvement in browser rendering time. To enable this setting, go to:
  • System>Configuration>Advanced>Developer
  • Expand the sections for “Javascript Settings” and “CSS Settings”
  • For the “Merge Files” options, set the value to “yes”

4. Enable Flat Catalog – Magento uses the EAV database model, so loading a category or product page requires several different database queries from different database tables storing product data. Enabling the Flat Catalog allows these pages to be built using a single DB query from a single DB table. This reduces the performance bottleneck of loading a product/category page significantly. To enable this setting, go to:
  • System>Configuration>Catalog>Catalog
  • Expand the Frontend section
  • Look for the options “Use Flat Catalog Product” and “Use Flat Catalog Category” and set the value to “Yes”
Note: If you can’t set these values to yes (they are grayed out) it likely means you need to enable indexing for these features under System>Index Management.

5. Keep it Simple – This should go without saying, but it bears repeating: just because extensions are out there, DOES NOT mean you need to install all of them. The more files you add to your site, the more server resources you are wasting. Be critical about what features you want to add to your store. If you do want to try out a new feature, consider setting up a development environment so you can test that feature out without affecting your live sites performance. Like these tips and want to know more? Contact us today to discuss your site and how Redstage can help grow your business!

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