Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Speed Up Magento Websites for Better Performance

updated on Jan 03, 2015
How to Speed Up Magento Websites for Better Performance Improving the speed of eCommerce sites is an urgent task for Magento users selling online because high website performance plays an important role in gaining good search engine rankings and increasing conversion rates. People would not like to waste time on a slow site or risk money in a slowly loaded checkout process. Moreover, search engines do not like slow sites, either.

For people struggling to make Magento sites faster, we have the following tips and suggestions prepared which are basic and simple, without requirements on coding. Feel free to select the solutions that are needed by your site.

Select a Web Host Offering Fast Services

Since a self-hosted Magento site requires a server to run on, the quality of the server and the network architecture of the data center housing the server impacts the performance of the site directly. In this case, you should choose a specialized Magento hosting package provided by reliable web hosts which own a good fame in web hosting uptime and speed. In this way, server configuration is well handled. Moreover, a package with SSD or other speeding-up features is even better.

Get the Right Server for Your Site

Firstly, you should make the right choice among shared server, VPS and dedicated server with the consideration of both site performance and budget. If your site becomes slow in recent days, you may need to consider upgrading the hosting package to a higher level as the slowness is probably caused by limited server resources. Secondly, you'd better make sure that the server you use is located in the country or region of your main visitors and consumers. When the server is closer, people load content faster.

Enable Flat Catalog in Magento

Enable Flat Catalog in Magento Flat catalog improves website speed by getting all attributes stored in different databases together in one table for Magento to retrieve faster. To enable it, you need to log into the dashboard, find Catalog in the System > Configuration, and select Yes to use flat catalog category and product. This way works better when your site has large catalogs with thousands of products.

Combine CSS and JavaScript Files

A Magento site could have a large number of CSS and JavaScript files, and the number increases when you install a new Magento theme, add a functional extension, or do other customizations. By combing all the files into one, you will see a large improvement on page loading. To complete this task, you need to go to System > Configuration > Advanced > Developer, find JavaScript Settings and CSS Settings, and choose Yes in the dropdown menus next to Merge JavaScript Files and Merge CSS Files.

Enable Caching

Using caching for Magento sites is an easy but effective way for site acceleration. When files are cached, they are delivered much faster to visitors because there is no need to query the server every time when a visitor views a product or page. People just load the static files instead. To enable caching, go to the Cache Management of System, check all items under Cache Type, select Enable next to Actions and then Submit. Or you can download and use a caching extension to manage all these things.

Use a CDN

Use a CDN Sometimes, the default caching options in Magento system are not enough for delivering content in a fast speed. Therefore, a CDN is needed. Popular CDN services like CloudFlare CDN and MaxCDN not only optimize the content delivery, but also enhance the security of your site content. Besides, they help save bandwidth, and serve visitors around the world by allowing you to choose data center locations in different continents.

Delete Everything That Is No Longer Needed

It is possible that you have installed extensions and disabled some of them later for some reasons, or you have abandoned some products but left them existing in the database. For the sake of improved website performance, you need to remove all things that will not be used in the future from the website to relieve the burden of databases.


The ways introduced above are all easy-to-handle. And there are definitely a lot more methods for optimizing the performance of Magento which include optimizing the images on the site, optimizing databases, trying extensions, configuring Apache, and so on. As sites differ from each other from many aspects, you may try some of the tips to see which ones work best for your needs.