Quick Tips to Improve Magento Speed and Performance

Scott Murray | March 20th 2017

Looking for some easy wins to squeeze a bit of speed out of your Magento installation? Each of the tips below will have a measurable effect, so if you apply them all, the cumulative effect could be considerable. Let’s get straight on it …

Caching and session storage with Redis

Here at PushON, configuring builds to use Redis (named as a shortened form of remote dictionary server) for cache and session storage is something we highly recommend and almost always do. Keeping cache and session storage separate to your filesystem can have a positive impact.

Before configuration of the integration between Magento and Redis can begin, installation of Redis has to be completed. We recommend you getting your hosting provider to carry this out, or if you aren’t on a managed server (or feel like doing this yourself), then have a read of this quickstart guide.

For Magento 1 Redis, integration is available in Magento CE 1.8 and EE 1.13 and later. For Magento 2, Redis integration is available in all editions.

Configuration for the integration between Magento and Redis can be found via the Magento DevDocs (http://devdocs.magento.com/).

Google page speed optimization

The Google page speed tool is something we also use regularly. Using this tool and following its recommendations once completed can greatly increase the speed of your site.

We find that merging CSS/JS and optimizing images are two key factors here. So integrating these into your workflow for the future can ensure that the page load times will continue to stay low.

For image optimization, we highly recommend a tool called ImageOptim (https://imageoptim.com). This is a great tool that helps keep your images looking sharp with its lossless compression engine.

The function of running the tool and being given a download package containing all of the optimized content is a great feature and can save us time when servicing our clients.

Correct web hosting

Ensuring your webserver is powerful enough to handle the Magento is a problem that we see often, especially with new clients. You can follow all of the obvious optimization tips and tricks in the world, but you’ll hit a brick wall if your server simply can’t handle the number of requests being thrown at it.

We understand that budget is often a problem when it comes to picking the right specification server, so it’s very important that you do the research before picking the server so that you know your requirements.

Factors to take into account are:

  • Storage and bandwidth allowances
  • Server type (i.e. dedicated, virtual, cloud, managed)
  • Support
  • Location
  • Magento friendliness

The last point on the list is the most important. There are many hosting companies out there, but do they advertise as ‘Magento Hosting providers’? If you’re techy enough to read this far into this article then you probably know that Magento needs a lot more processing power out the box than any other modern framework.

Keep code up to date

Keeping Magento up to date will not only fix any security problems, it will enhance its performance too. The Magento team is constantly improving Magento, so staying on top of all updates is a priority for our development team here when it comes to servicing our clients.

A handy tool we like to use here at PushON is MageReport. It gives us the ability to quickly identify what sites are missing important security updates.

In addition to keeping Magento on the latest versions, we also do this with any extensions installed. Some extensions override core functionality so it is important we keep these on the latest versions. We recommend subscribing to extension providers’ newsletters to keep you informed of extension updates.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Although CDNs aren’t absolutely necessary, they will give huge benefits in page load times and ultimately make the user experience much smoother.

I won’t go into detail on how to configure a CDN for Magento as there are plenty of guides and endless CDN providers out there (which all have their own ways). So our recommendation here is to do some research in finding the best CDN for you, within your budget.

Flat catalog

Enabling flat catalog in Magento is a simple update, but will provide your store with a welcomed performance boost. In a technical brief, it’s great for performance as it will only require one query to load a whole product, instead of joining 5–6 tables. Flat catalog can be enabled by setting the option Use Flat Catalog Product/Category to Yes from the admin:

System > Configuration > Catalog > Frontend > Use Flat Catalog Category | Use Flat Catalog Product

 We also recommend that you make sure your Magento Cron is running, as this will ensure that your indexes are refreshed regularly.


That’s all the basics covered off for giving your Magento site a speed boost. All else being equal, these basic steps combined can have a dramatic effect on speed – and since load speed is a ranking factor, you might find your site rising the search results pages, too.