Joomla Performance Optimization – Steps to Improve Joomla Page Speed

By Saurabh Barot   |   6 November, 2019
Joomla Performance Optimization – Steps to Improve Joomla Page Speed

When it comes to choosing the content management system, Joomla is considered the most powerful one. Just from developing simple websites to complex applications, Joomla is used by businesses across the world. Many prefer Joomla because it is simple to manage, easy to install, flexible, reliable, and easy to use. Again, Joomla is free to use and open source in nature.

According to SimilarTech, there are

397,715 Joomla websites

367,824 unique domains

3.4k Joomla Github Stars

Joomla Statistics
The popularity of Joomla has led its use across different domains and industries. Some of the widespread use cases of Joomla are:

  • eCommerce
  • Social Networks
  • eLearning
  • Corporate websites
  • Video portals
  • Project management
  • Portfolio sites
  • Events and ticketing
  • Multilingual websites

Why Speed Matters in eCommerce?

Every eCommerce business is developed with the aim to bring in new customers. This means if your website takes much time to load, then you will eventually drive away from the people who are visiting your store. They will click on your website and will move away the moment they realize it takes much time to load. This way, you will lose all the money you put up to develop the eCommerce store as well all the money you spent on marketing the store.

Page speed matters the most when we are talking about loading a website because even a delay in 100 milliseconds can reduce the conversion rate by 7%. Moreover, for a website, which takes more than 5 seconds to load, it experiences a 38% bounce rate.

1-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%.

53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

49% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less Akamai’s 2015 Performance Matters .

4+ seconds delay in loading saw 3/4 of their web users never returning back to the site. – Akamai

How to Test Performance?

In case you think that you have done everything right to get started with your eCommerce business and there is nothing to look at anymore, then you are wrong. It is a fact that you need to keep on working on your eCommerce store always. You need to improve your code and enhance your design from time and again.

So when we are talking in terms of the load time of a website, this matters too. The digital world is constantly moving, and so you need to stay competitive in the market, and this can be only achieved when you do everything the right way. You can keep on knowing your eCommerce business well when you regularly test the speed of the website.

In case you are thinking about improving the load speed of your eCommerce store, then you need to know that you can do it by making use of the right tools. Some of the tools which you can use to improve the page load speed of your eCommerce store are:

Pingdom

Pingdom is a tool that can be used to test the load time of the website, and it is free. Apart from checking the eCommerce website, you can use this tool to check any other website which is live on the internet. Pingdom is the most sort after tool in the market, and this is because of the different result metrics it offers to the users. Further it offers detailed graphical representations of the performance of your website. Users can go through expandable tab and make necessary changes in the website to ensure it performs to its maximum capacity.

GTmetrix

GTmetrix is another tool that is available in the market and can be used to test the load speed of the website. Just like other websites, you need to sign up for this tool. GTmetrix comes with a number of features that offer you a better idea about the different performance factors of your website. With Gtmetrix, you will also know which areas on your website take more time to load, and this will help you make the necessary changes in that specific area only. GTmetrix’s Report Page neatly summarizes your page performance based off key indicators of page load speed.

 

Steps to Improve Joomla Page Speed

 

Choose Faster Hosting Service Provider

You will be able to increase the Joomla page speed significantly when you go for a good web host. You need to choose a web host that fits best with your business by understanding data transfer, web space, database type support, backup, CDN, monthly traffic, etc.

Fun Fact : There are 338,561+ web hosting providers around the world, as of May 2019.

Keep Joomla and its Extensions updated

To maintain the speed of the website, you must make use of the latest version of Joomla. This is very important as the new version always comes with its set of new improvements. Again, compared to the previous version, the new one always performs better even if the changes are small.

To maintain a good speed for your website, you need to keep your website extensions updated. So when you are trying to keep your Joomla site updated, you need to ensure the extensions are updated too.

Remove unnecessary Extensions

You can make use of different extensions to carry out various functions of your website. However, before you make use of extensions, you need to be clear that using extensions that are not appropriately optimized can slow down your site. When you make use of many extensions on the frontend, a number of HTTP requests will come, and they will have to handle them all. So it would be better that you keep a minimum number of extensions as needed and let your site be light. Light site will load faster.

Make sure to Optimize .htaccess file

How your web servers will process your website is handled by .htaccess file. It does that by adding a number of rules in there to improve the Joomla Page speed. Some of the important rules used mostly are:

  • Expires headers: Using it, you can set different expiration times for your different types of files.
  • ETag: This, instead of the server, fetches the image from the local browser cache.
  • AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE: This removes all the breaks, empty lines and spaces in the HTML when you are trying to minify its source code and compile HTML.

Use CDN

Content Delivery Network or CDN is nothing but an interconnected system that is based on cache servers. It delivers web content by making use of geographical proximity. When you make use of CDN for your website, the speed of your website will increase, and CDN will work towards reducing the distance between your website server from where content is delivered and the visitor on your site.

CDN is most commonly used to deliver media files like images, audio, video, etc. This means all this content is loaded to the visitor from the CDN and not the server. This is done because CDN is said to be reliable and more efficient. You can make use of some extensions along with CDN to achieve this.

 

Find the list of TOP CDN and compare its Performance from CDNPerf.

 

Enable Joomla Caching

Whenever a visitor opens a Joomla site and loads a page, content from the database is fetched by Joomla. It then loads the extensions which are needed on that page as well as the template files. After that, everything in here is rendered as a single page, which takes much time to happen. The Joomla Caching system can easily resolve such a thing. Once you enable this plugin in your Joomla site, the resultant page will be stored whenever someone loads it. This means the stored version of the page will be made visible to the user rather than loading the page again and going through the same process.

To enable the Joomla cache, you can follow two steps:

In Global Configuration enable cache setting

You need to first navigate to ‘System-> Global Configurations.’ After that, you need to open the ‘System’ tab in there and look for ‘Cache Settings.’ In that, you need to choose Progressive caching or Conservative caching.

enable-joomla-cache
Which of these modes to choose?

  • Progressive caching is used to deliver the same content to all the website visitors.
  • Conservative caching is used to deliver different content to different visitors.

Enable Joomla system cache plugin

To do this, first, go to ‘Extensions -> Plugin Manager.’ Now go for system cache plugin and enable it.

enable-cache-plugin
Always Use optimized Images

For any website, images play a very crucial role, and if you have good images there, then it can increase the chances of improving the value of your content. Now, in case you are not using properly optimized images, then it will slow down your site very much. To avoid that you need to keep some tips in mind:

  • Don’t use too many images on the same page
  • Only use images if you need to have them.
  • Don’t go for large size images.
  • Keep the size of the images small by using tools like Adobe Photoshop.
  • Enable GZIP Compression

Before your site is passed on to the visitors, this step gets it compressed first. Such a step will reduce the size of the webpage, and this will let to load faster.

To enable this, you need to first go to

‘System -> Global configuration -> Server -> Server Settings’. Now look for GZIP Page Compression in there and enable it.

Joomla Gzip Compression

Minify CSS and JavaScript

All the style and layout information that is present on the page should be processed when the browser renders the content on the site. This means that till the time external stylesheets are downloaded and processed, the browser will block rendering. Now for it to happen, it will need to make multiple to and fro trips, and this will lead to taking more time to render. Now, you can avoid this by compressing JavaScript and CSS.

When you go for JS and CSS optimization, you work towards reducing all the unnecessary codes in those files. This will reduce the size of those files, and the request numbers will decrease too.

It is possible to carry out this task manually, but then it is quite risky, so not recommended. So it would be better you go for a framework that offers support for JS and CSS optimization.

 

Check out our Article : [10 Reasons to Upkeep] – Why website update is important for business?

 

Always Prefer Asynchronous Loading

You should optimize the way it takes the website to load. In the case of synchronous loading, if one file takes time to load, the browser will stop others, and so they have to wait in a queue to load.

Now in case of asynchronous, if the file takes more time to load, the browser will run the other file simultaneously. This means you will have improved performance.

Clean Database Regularly

It can happen that your Joomla page speed is facing issues because the database is not clean. To clear that issue, you need to optimize and repair your database. For the same, you need to make use of phpMyAdmin as Joomla does not come with such a built-in feature.

Optimize it for Mobile Friendly

There is an increasing trend to have responsive designs, and so you need to make sure that your website opens well across different devices. To know how well your website is performing on mobile, you can make use of Google PageSpeed insights. After that, you can come up with your list of issues and get them fixed.

Use optimized template and extension

A template or extension with good design is not always the best choice. There are other factors you should consider such as its features, its usability, is it friendly with Search engines, is it sleek and optimized, etc. Further always check the resource consumption of your template or an extension… If it consumes more resource then try to optimize it if possible otherwise don’t use such template.

joomla development services

Popular Plugins Used for Joomla Performance Optimization

Cache Cleaner

From the Joomla admin panel, it easily cleans the cache.

JotCache

Enhances the Joomla caching system, which is built-in.

CDN for Joomla

Make use of the Content Delivery Network to speed up Joomla site.

CacheControl

It can be used to decide on what pages and components on the website; a cache needs to be kept turned off.

JCH Optimize

Combines CSS and JavaScript, minifies and compresses JavaScript, and combines images into sprites.

JavascriptAsync & Defer

Carry out JavaScript loading asynchronously as well as improve the page loading time with this plugin.

jQuery Easy

Use this tool to resolve the issues that come in frontend and backend of the website while you are using Mootools libraries along with jQuery.

GZIP

Enable Joomla website compression using GZIP extension & download your website zip file format and serve to browser in an unpacked way.

ImageRecycle Image Optimizer

It’s a PDF & image compression extension that is useful while the images on the page are causing the delay in the page to load.

Wrapping it up

Merely having a good looking Joomla site is not enough. You need to ensure that it performs better. This can only be achieved when you take proper measures from time to time. If you are not sure about what you should do, follow this post.

Saurabh Barot

Saurabh Barot is co-founder and Experienced Chief Technology Officer at Aglowid IT Solutions. His deep industry experience in Angular, React, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Mean Stack and just to name few, has helped the company reach to a new level. He believes that technology is all about exploring new possibilities. Whatever a mind can think (exception can't be ruled out), technology brings it into reality.

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