Time for A Tune-Up? Get Your Magento Store Moving Faster

Published March 28th, 2014 by Michael Farin

The good news? Magento’s really powerful and has an incredible range of features.

The bad news? It can be slow. Very slow.

Fortunately, if you own or have access to your server – and know how to make a few handy tune-ups – you can quickly fix some of Magento’s performance issues and speed up the requests on all of your e-commerce sites.

Feel like saving yourself some money, time and headaches? Then read on.

Tune-Up Tip #1: Pick a PHP accelerator.

And then install it. A PHP accelerator can make your Magento site run ten times faster, so why on earth would you wait? Here’s the secret: The accelerator stores a pre-complied version of all the PHP scripts, so the code doesn’t have to be read from the slow hard drive. It’s like pre-packaged lunch meat! Tearing open the package takes SO much less time than going out to the woods and finding a wild turkey.

Pick from Zend Optimizer+, XCache, ionCube, APC, eaccelerator, or any of your favorites.

Tune-Up Tip #2: Unlock the secret powers of nginx.

Did you know nginx (engine x) isn’t just a mail proxy server? It can also be set up as an http and reverse proxy server – and it’s a MUCH faster http server than Apache.

If you set nginx up as a reverse proxy server and allow it to receive http requests and serve static content before it passes everything else to Apache, you can decrease your load by 50% and increase your speed by 50%, too. Ideally, you can now use a much smaller server setup, and reduce costs big-time.

Bingo! It’s the power of teamwork.

Tune-Up Tip #3: Shoot the wounded.

And by that, we mean disable all those unused Magento modules. Seriously. You’re not using them for anything, and they’re just slowing you down. Without them, Magento won’t have to load useless modules every time the page is generated. And your wait time will be significantly reduced.

Go through and find the ones you’re not using, and weed them out. Phoenix_Moneybookers? Mage_Usa? Poll? Paygate? Newsletter? GoogleCheckout? GiftMessage? Downloadable? Authorizenet? Find_Feed? Tags? Weee? Be ruthless!

Disabling modules on Magento is easy. Just go to:

System > Configuration > Advanced > Advanced

And boom, they’re out of there.

Tune-Up Tip #4: Edit .htaccess settings.

Go ahead and uncomment settings within your .htaccess, and you’ll be able to unlock significantly better Magento performance. Enable gzip compression and increase the PHP memory limit, and you’ll notice a distinct difference in your performance. It’s like Viagra for Magento. Kind of.

So, how fast do you want your Magento to move?

In the end, it’s up to you.

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