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Does your Magento store load too slowly? Here are some helpful tips on how to speed up Magento 2 sites.
In this post, we talk about effective Magento 2 speed optimization techniques that online merchants can apply to enhance the performance of their stores. While some of these require a deep knowledge of the system and even certain programming skills, others are more of a DIY nature. Follow all our recommendations or, at least, some of them to learn how to increase a Magento 2 site speed for better customer experience.
There’s probably no e-commerce platform available on the market today as powerful and feature-rich as Magento. We have recently written about the reasons to choose this system for an online store. Magento allows merchants to manage their products easily, provides multiple tools for running marketing campaigns, has some great SEO capabilities, caters to mobile devices, and has other features worth applauding.
Alas, there’s always a fly in the ointment. With so many functions and modules, Magento looks like a mammoth. It exerts a considerable load on a server, often causing perhaps the worst issue for site owners — an increase in page loading time. Migrating to Magento 2 improves the situation to some extent, but the problem still persists.
Put yourself in the shoes of a visitor to a Magento store for a moment. You click a link just to stare at a blank page with a progress bar or spinner running for a second, two, three… It’s hardly likely that you would want to stay on this site longer than that.
Now, put your own shoes on again. What implications does this kind of performance have for you as the owner of a Magento store? No conversions, no love from Google, and the most frightening damage of all — no sales.
The good news is that you can put things straight by following some tried-and-true Magento 2 speed boosting practices we discuss below. They’re in no particular order, except the first one, so pick any technique, apply it, and follow it with any other.
How to Speed Up a Magento 2 Website: Tips and Tricks
Magento 2 Speed Optimization Tip #1: Avoid Cheap, Clunky Themes
First things first. If you are just starting out on your e-commerce adventure, selecting a good, freshly made theme for your Magento store is crucial. A bug-infested theme created by a company or individual programmer without any street cred is a surefire way to pull the performance of your Magento store down to the bottom.
You can find a plethora of free and premium themes in the vast space of the Internet, but be very careful when selecting one for your site. Do some research on the company that has made it. Look for answers to these questions:
- How long has the company been providing its services?
- How many themes has it created?
- What do other merchants say about the company’s work?
- Have any issues been reported?
No doubt: there are many beautiful, well-coded ready-made Magento themes out there. Still, if you want to be 100% certain that your store will run smoothly, hiring PSD2HTML Magento developers to build a custom theme would be the best option, hands down. We are experts at Magento 2 speed optimization with years of experience behind us and a rich portfolio of hand-crafted Magento themes.
Magento 2 Speed Optimization Tip #2: Revamp the Searching Mechanism on Your Site
Letting your customers find what they are looking for in a split second is a great conversion-boosting factor. That is exactly what Elasticsearch offers. It is a great distributed analytics and search engine that makes finding the items on your Magento store a breeze.
Do you have an international audience? No problem. Elasticsearch caters to customers speaking multiple languages. There’s also no need to type in entire search terms. The engine provides word suggestions for faster results.
What’s also convenient is that Elasticsearch is now included in Magento as a core feature. However, that happened just a short time ago — when version 2.3 saw the light of day. Therefore, it’s the best tool to speed up Magento 2.3 based sites or sites powered by later Magento versions, although you can set up Elasticsearch for previous Magento editions independently as well.
Follow the steps described in the official guide to take advantage of this search engine.
Magento 2 Speed Optimization Tip #3: Change the Way the System Indexes Your Magento Store Data
Indexing is an excellent performance optimization mechanism in Magento. You should know that the system stores all kinds of data, such as prices and products, in a number of separate interrelated tables.
Once a price changes in one of the tables, for instance, the system must bring data in all the other tables that reference that price up to date. Depending on the size of a store, this process may take quite a long time.
To address the issue, all the data used by a Magento store is collected into purpose-built tables by indexers. One of the ways to optimize a Magento 2 site speed is to change how frequently these indexers do their job.
The default behavior of an indexer is to run whenever you save something like a category. This may slow down a Magento store considerably. Therefore, you should set a specific time interval for indexers to run in the Magento admin panel (the “Update on Schedule” option) or via the command line interface (requires programming skills). Visit the official guide to learn how to do that.
Magento 2 Speed Optimization Tip #4: Take Good Stock of Every External Add-On You’ve Installed
A huge army of Magento developers has built all kinds of additional modules to enhance the functionality of online stores. Marketing, customer support, payment, security, and shipping extensions — the list is almost endless.
It’s quite natural that merchants want to convert their Magento stores into e-commerce Swiss knives by trying each and every module offered by the market. There’s one serious drawback to following this path, though: a blow to Magento 2 speed.
This is because every active add-on sends requests to a server and receives responses. Depending on a number of factors, such as the quality of hosting, this digital badminton game may take too long and turn your Magento store into a snail.
A fix? Take good stock of all the add-ons you currently have. Do you really need these two order managers? Are you sure the special promotions extension brings real value to your business? Go over all the apps one by one and remove those you find redundant or useless. Measure the page loading time with specialized tools like GTMetrix.
Saying goodbye to worthless or poor-quality add-ons is one of the most effective methods of Magento 2 speed optimization. Make sure not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though. Some extensions are really good, and keeping them is wise.
When in doubt, talk to our team. Our experienced Magento engineers will help you come up with the best collection of extensions to optimize the performance of your store. We can also add a custom feature to your site to meet your specific needs.
Magento 2 Speed Optimization Tip #5: Serve Copies of Your Pages to Visitors Whenever Possible
Imagine that you need to send an invitation to an event to 100 people. Writing a hundred invitations by hand would be laborious and long. This is why you use printed invitations instead. It’s faster, and all you have to do is add your signature to every card.
This is very similar to the caching mechanism you can use for the speed optimization of Magento 2. Rather than generating a web page anew every time a user requests it, Magento creates its full copy or part of it in the memory and returns it when the user visits it next time. This is a tremendous performance optimization booster.
The system provides a long list of cache types such as web services configuration, customer notification, integration configuration, page cache, and others. A good rule of thumb is to turn them all on. To learn how to do it through the command line interface, visit the official Magento guide for developers. To enable the caches in the admin panel, go to the System -> Cache management page.
A Few More Words
These five techniques are just some of the many ways to speed up Magento 2 websites. Still, they can serve as a good starting point and should hopefully give a much-needed performance optimization boost to your Magento store. We recommend trying them all.
If you need your online store to be truly fast and glitch-free, seeking help from professionals is advisable. Our highly professional Magento development team consists of top-notch experts well-versed in all the niceties of the most powerful e-commerce platform in the world.
We are always ready to help you with any performance optimization or custom development task. Let’s get in touch!
FAQs on Magento 2 Speed Optimization
What are the best tools to perform a Magento 2 speed test?
What is Varnish?
Varnish is a free caching solution used to increase Magento 2 speed. You can specify your own caching rules using Varnish’s own language. This is very handy and allows Magento store owners to fine-tune the caching mechanism to fit their needs. To learn how to enable Varnish in Magento 2, visit this page.
Why does the speed of a Magento store matter so much?
In a fast-paced business environment, speed reigns supreme. A slow-loading Magento store has a high bounce rate and is frowned upon by Google. The sad outcome is a loss of revenue.