The pace of life has become much quicker. We move fast. We accomplish much. And we expect website performance to keep up with us. Performance is one of the key factors in many areas of our life therefore, and Magento’s performance is no exception.
The speed of a website affects every user experience. From first landing on the site, to searching on the site for the various products and services, to selecting and purchasing contents from the site. If a website does not deliver results fast, users will find an alternative website to buy what they need.
In this article, we will review the most important areas of Magento website that affect its performance;
1. Platform version
Ensure your website is upgraded to the latest Magento version. Each new version introduces many fixes and optimizations to the platform’s core code. It’s important to upgrade your Magento on a regular basis.
2. Deployment mode
A “developer” type of deployment mode (if enabled) for a production environment can significantly slow down a website’s performance. Make sure that you have the deployment mode switched to “production” in order to utilize all performance benefits from it. In the “production” mode the system creates precompiled versions of all necessary PHP classes and static assets during the deployment process and speeds up the runtime operations in that way.
3. CDN and HTTP protocol
4. Time to first byte
Time to first byte is the time required for the server to process information and send results to the end-user. This metric is all about the Magento backend optimization. The closer you can get to 0.0 sec., the better the website’s performance.
5. First meaningful paint
Similar to time to first byte, is a measurement known as, “first meaningful paint”. This measures when the primary content of a page becomes visible to the user. Think of it as the time required for the system to render basic interactable elements seen to users on the website.
6. Gzip compression
Gzip compression speeds up the textual content delivery by compressing it on the server side and decompressing it on the browser side. In this way, the physical size of the textual content is reduced during delivery.
7. Expiration headers
Expiration headers determine how long different content will be cached in your browser. An incorrect expiration date for headers may result in inefficient caching.
8. Render-blocking content
9. CSS minification
CSS minification reduces the physical size of web page styles. The smaller the size of the style – the greater the reduction of data download required by the end-user. It results in an increased speed of page loading.
10. JS minification
11. HTML minification
For some pages like the checkout page, the system needs to download additional HTML templates during the page components rendering process. HTML minification reduces the waiting time for user interface components processing.
12. Optimized images
As a general rule, optimized images are much lighter from the data transfer perspective. Images optimization is the first and very important step in ensuring website pages load faster for downloading.
13. Oversized images and images aspect ratio
Consider maintaining the image resolution and aspect ratio consistent with the original size of the image. If image size is only reduced by applying size adjustment styles on the webpage, you will have unnecessary data that then needs to be downloaded by the end-user.
14. Next-gen formats for images
WebP, JPEG2000, and similar formats are the new generation of storing and delivering digital images. They are a smaller size than previous generations. By delivering images using next-gen formats you will speed up your Magento store.
We decided to simplify the testing process of a Magento website performance by developing a Performance Check Tool that displays a performance score and offers recommended improvements. It is similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, but our performance check tool is developed specifically for the Magento platform.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a universal tool that is oriented for generic platform reviews. Some performance improvements advised by this tool might not be easily achievable with the standard Magento set up. The Performance Check Tool provides Magento specific performance recommendations, which are relatively easy to implement for the Magento platform.
The Performance Check Tool score you receive for your website reflects how your website adheres to Magento best practices from a performance perspective. Any non-optimal scores come with recommendations, including suggestions on what should be optimized.
In the end, keeping your eCommerce website optimized for performance will lead to better, faster user experiences and ultimately better conversion rates. If you want to further discuss website performance or learn more about our website performance audits, please reach out.