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The Best Way to Speed Up Your Magento Site

Having a Magento site that runs successfully is all about having the right balance between its performance and the costs involved. Magento comes with a long list of features but it is a resource heavy application that has been designed to work in an environment that has dedicated hosting.

Magento does serve a purpose but for those ecommerce stores that are large and process hundreds of transactions on a regular basis it is recommended that they use VDS or Dedicated server. These are managed solutions that enable engineers to shape a hosting environment that is geared up for a Magento site which gives a quick and uninterrupted experience for those visitors who are shopping.

However, for ecommerce stores that are just starting out, they will be more sensitive to costs and therefore, one of the best places to start is a shared hosting package. Every ecommerce store has to start somewhere and finding shared hosting that is optimised to suit them is the best way to launch a store successfully whilst having the ability to grow quickly and reliably. For those stores that are just starting out, having fast loading pages can really enhance the experience for shoppers and it can make a huge difference when it comes to finalising sales. Magento comes with the ability to make subtle changes that can help improve the speed but the steps shown below will also help you to get the most from your Magento site.

Performance is improved when you enable the cache settings within your Magento site as it works by decreasing the load on the database. This can be enabled by heading to system > Cache Management and then enabling all cache types.

For those who are on a shared hosting package the sessions storage setting is perfect for them. In app/etc/local.xml ensure that sessions are stored in the database as opposed to the file system will see an increase in speed.

An increase in performance can be seen through upgrading to a more recent PHP version due to the new features included in the latest version. Using the Tsohost Cloud Control Panel will enable you to update your PHP version.

The data of single products are stored in Magento and this could be data such as price and product ID. As these are stored in multiple tables it can result in queries taking some time. Therefore, Flat Cataloging puts all data into one table which enhances performance considerably for catalogues of more than 1000 products. This can be found under System>Configuration>Catolog>Front End and then choose yes for Category and Product Flat Catalog.

To decrease the number of HTTP requests sent to the server from you site, merge both Javascript files and CSS files. This can be achieved by going to System>Configuratio>Developer and then select for both Merge Javascript files and Merge CSS files. There are extensions that can be used such as Fooman Speedster Extension but there have been reports of this causing problems for a number of users.

Magento automatically logs a large number of things that over time can result in an extremely large database. There is not a huge requirement for users to have logging to this extent and it ultimately causes a drain on resources. There is the option to disable this feature through system>Configuration>Developer>Log Settings. There is an extension known as DisableLog that can do this and it also disables other statistical data.

Finally, managing extensions is crucial, so uninstalling extensions that you no longer use can help but and be aware when adding them to your site because they can cause problems which eventually will have a negative effect on the speed of your site.

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