Get started building your WooCommerce store or web application — Call us today at (206) 806.7809

Written By


Reading Time: 4 minutes

Because Magento is a heavy e-commerce CMS system, it can run a bit slow from time to time, especially if you haven’t optimized your store. There are a number of simple things you can do to get your page load speeds up.

1. Enable Flat Catalog

Flattening your catalog should help with page load speeds. Why? Magento stores the attributes that apply to categories and products in separate database tables, depending on their data type. This EAV model allows them to be very protractible, but it also means that Magento has to search through multiple tables for spread out information. This causes longer SQL queries and more reads, meaning that information can get stuck in a kind of log jam, slowing your site down. When you flatten your categories and products, you tell Magento to store all of that data in one table for Magento to retrieve.
How to do it:

  • In the back end of your store, navigate to System > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog
    • Expand the Frontend panel by clicking on the arrow to the right.

Faster 1

    • Use Flat Catalog Category: Set this field to “Yes”
    • Use Flat Catalog Product: Set this field to “Yes”
  • Click the Save Config button

Reasons to be cautious:

The standard EAV database setup gives a little more flexibility when you’re messing around with your data and attributes. Thus, it can also be helpful for developers and when upgrading your store.

2. Merge CSS and JavaScript Files

Magento stores can possess a large number of CSS and JavaScript files, and that number only increases as you add extensions and customizations to your website. When you merge all those files, the browser only needs one HTTP request to access the content. This saves bandwidth and means that pages can load faster.
How to do it:

  • Navigate to System > Configuration > Advanced > Developer

Faster 2

    • Expand the JavaScript Settings panel and the CSS setting panel
    • Set the Merge JavaScript Files and Merge CSS Files fields to “Yes”
  • Click the Save Config button

Reasons to be cautious:

Depending on the layout of your store, page load speeds will increase for the individual pages that a customer visits, but aren’t always improved for later pages visited in the same session, since new merged URLs can cause customers to redownload files that they’ve already downloaded. There are a few extensions on the market that can help with this issue.

Fooman Speedster is one of them.

3. Caching Magento

Magneto has a management system in place to help you organize cache and improve your store’s performance. Cache entries are stored in the file system. As you get more requests from visitors, the time it takes to read and write to Magento’s file system grows longer and longer, slowing your site down. Managing your cache properly will help speed things up.
How to do it:

  • Navigate to System > Cache Management

Faster 3

    • Check the following items:
      • Configuration
      • Layouts
      • Block HTML output
      • Translations
  • In the Actions dropdown menu select Enable and click Submit
    • Uncheck the following items:
      • Collections Date
      • EAV types and attributes
      • Web Services Configuration
  • In the Actions dropdown menu select Disable and click Submit

Reasons to be cautious:

You will want to keep cache disabled if you’re editing the core or template files for your Magento store.

4. Clean House

To keep your store running quickly and efficiently, it’s important to make sure you don’t have too much ineffective bloat. Compile the extensions that you actually need. Disable Magento modules that you don’t need. By cleaning house, you’re using fewer resources to run your store, making it faster to operate.
How to do it:

  • Navigate to System > Configuration > Advanced> Advanced

Faster 4

    • Open the Disable Modules Output panel to view the status of your store’s modules
    • Switch those you do not use to Disable (for example, the Mage_Wishlist module if you aren’t enabling wishlists on your store).
  • Click the Save Config button

Reasons to be cautious:

Just don’t inadvertently disable any modules you need.

5. Get your images in order

Images can be a prime culprit for slow load times. You want to make sure that your image files are optimized for the best possible performance, especially if they appear on every page of your website. There are a few different approaches you can take to keep your images loading quickly.

  • Don’t Scale
    Instead of taking a large image and scaling it down in code to fit the actual size needed, change the size of the image. That way you aren’t wasting time forcing your website to load files that are larger than necessary.
  • Assign the Correct Measurements
    Use HTML width and height tags for your images in order to properly specify size.
  • Compress
    Magento will automatically compress your images by a default of 75%. Sometimes this is perfect, sometimes, especially with larger files, you can get away with more compression. If you’re looking for a simple compression solution, Smush It can compress batches of images.

Reasons to be cautious:

None! Optimize those images.

Your team is about to get a whole lot mightier.

If it sounds like we might be a good fit, send us a message. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours. And then we can hit the ground running.