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Improve the Speed of Your Magento Site

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I’m finding all sorts of crazy little finds recently with regards to improving numerous of aspects of Magento, and today I’m focusing on speed.

Obviously, speed is of the essence when you’re hosting your Magento site. The E-Commerce platform is pretty resource intensive. Some people have been complaining of slow speeds, and things just taking a little bit too long. Well, considering users make up their minds about a web-site within the first five seconds, load time is crucial.

I found a handy Magento Speed Test tool, where you can enter a URL and see how fast it pings from various computers across the world. I have pinged an installation by Simple Helix, the Magento specialists – and all of the locations which ping the Simple Helix server which contains the Magento installation, come up with good speeds.

So, when choosing a Magento host, you should really use this tool in order to decide if their speeds are good enough. It’s almost worth asking the company (before you sign up with them), to show you a Magento installation somewhere so you can ping it using the mentioned Speedtest service.

UK based NuBlue Magento Hosting are another company to have used this service to demonstrate how good their servers are. Again, they ping very well, and their example Magento installation, which is available to see through their website, shows quick speeds!

In terms of speeding up your web-site, whack…

php_value memory_limit 128M

.. in to the .htaccess file in the root. This will help to ensue that the memory that PHP has access to is not exhausted, and you should suffer less hangs and more speed.

Other speed tips include making sure Magento caching is turned ON in Admin, ask your server host to enable MySQL Query caching, and enabling GZip COmpression in the .htaccess will certainly give it a boost too. You can do this by finding “enable apache served files” in the file, and then changing the chunk of code to the following…

############################################
## enable apache served files compression
## http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html#gzip

# Insert filter
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

# Netscape 4.x has some problems…
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html

# Netscape 4.06-4.08 have some more problems
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip

# MSIE masquerades as Netscape, but it is fine
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
# Don’t compress images
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary

# Make sure proxies don’t deliver the wrong content
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary

Best of luck!

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about the author

    This article was written by Sam Davis on October 16, 2008.
    Computing over a glass of Grenache Shiraz... again!
    Sam is the Editor of Blasted Thing. Contact Us

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