How to increase the speed of your Magento website: Top 12 easy tips for Magento 2 speed optimization in 2020

Stefan Wieczorek —  June 8, 2020 — Leave a comment

Magento should be the first choice for any e-commerce business. One reason is the broad variety of available customizations and extensions.
This flexibility might be great for managing nearly every part of your online shop. But many shop owners and developers complain about Magento 2 loading slowly, and its poor performance.

The main reason Magento might be slow is the exaggerated or unnecessary use of customizations and extensions.
Another reason could be Magento hosting which does not fit your needs. This should concern you, as page loading time has a direct impact on sales. The slower the website loads, the more people leave it without buying anything.

Slow loading time is causing a high abandonment rate as well as an unsatisfying user experience and in consequence, is losing you important sales. Therefore, you have to work on Magento’s speed.

Speeding up Magento and improving the overall site speed should never be neglected.

But how can you make your e-commerce site load faster?

In this article you will learn the most important ways to optimize Magento’s performance:

Table of Contents

Magento’s slow loading: reasons for Magento’s slow response time

Slow loading times are at best annoying for your customers. But at worst, they influence your sales and cost you money. Because there are many options, there is no need for a potential customer to wait until a slow website finishes loading.

To solve this speed problem, the first step is to identify the reasons why it is loading slowly.

The most common reasons for Magento’s slow response time include:

  • slow and old hardware (inadequate technical requirements)
  • Not optimized configuratiation of PHP, MySQL, NGINX and other settings
  • customizations
  • extensions
  • disabled full page cache

After that, there is one thing never to forget: the loading time of your page is directly connected to your sales.

How slow loading affects your sales

Besides the traffic of your page, another important number to pay attention to is the conversion rate.
Conversion generally refers to a person going the next step with your business, e.g. from a lead to a customer.
In e-commerce, the conversion rate describes the relationship between website visitors and transactions made.

Your page traffic is the same or increasing but you still wonder about a few sales? Then you have a problem with the conversion rate.

One main factor of a low conversion rate is slow loading time. Studies have proven that fast loading speed will result in a greater conversion rate. Users like a loading time of 2 seconds or less.

This means, the faster your e-commerce site is loading, the more likely a visitor will buy.

Therefore, improving your site speed is also improving your sales.

So let’s start with running a speed test.

Magento speed test

To ensure that your e-commerce site is running as fast as it should, a speed test is recommended.

Test your shop’s speed with our Magento Speed Test.

For the free demo, you will need to provide some information. As we are not interested in collecting your data, feel free to anonymize or remove any data you feel uncomfortable with.

Usually, it only takes 12 to 24 hours for us to set up your demo.

If you need assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. We would like to help you with a free consultation.

In the meantime, you can take action yourself with our top 12 easy and actionable tips on how to make Magento load faster.

Make Magento 2 faster: Top 12 easy and useful tips for Magento speed and performance optimization

Optimizing the page speed of your Magento site is easier than you think.

Based on our longstanding expertise, we present 12 tips to speed up Magento 2. In following them, you will be on the best path to achieving a high Magento performance on Steroids.

Tip 1: Use the latest Magento version

Using the latest version is useful advice for how to secure a Magento site as well.

Magento 2 updates not only contain bug fixes but also performance improvements.

So, make sure you are always running the latest version is important for security as well as speed.

Tip 2: Make sure to use HTTP2

HTTP/2 is a relatively new protocol. It is based on Google’s SPDY (pronounced as “speedy”), which is an open-specification networking protocol developed for transporting web content.

Compared to HTTP/1.x using HTTP2 is significantly faster because it has implemented key optimizations to data transfer.

For Magento this is benefitting as it is enabling to:

  • compress headers
  • use multiple server requests at the same time
  • work in parallel on a single connection
  • load several resources (like CSS, JS or images) simultaneously

All of this was not possible with HTTP1.

Therefore, we recommend asking your hosting provider if HTTP/2 is enabled in their server settings.

If we are in charge of your Magento hosting you don’t even need to ask, because at us HTTP/2 is automatically activated while using HTTPS.

Tip 3: Enable Caching

A false setting for the cache can be problematic for Magento’s speed as well.

The cache being off can happen through the actions of an unreliable third-party developer, designer, or someone who had access to your Magento site and simply forgot to turn it on again. This carelessness can slow down your site tremendously.

Luckily, you can quickly turn the cache back on.

Simply follow these steps:

  • Login into Magento Backend
  • Navigate to System → Cache Management
  • Make sure that the status of all cache types is green and shows the label enabled.
Magento enable caching

How to enable caching for improved speed.

Tip 4: Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Regarding cache there is another useful tip: use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

A Content Delivery Network is a geographically distributed and interconnected network of cache servers. It aims to provide high availability and performance by distributing the service close to the end-user.

The result for your customers of using a Content Delivery Network is the faster loading time of your pages.

Once you have CDN activated, you can set it up in the Magento 2 configuration. Not sure which CDN is the best for your needs? Our hosting plan Single Server Enterprise includes CDN as standard.

Reach out to us for a free consultation!

If you are not sure about compatibility, don’t worry: Magento 2 supports all Content Delivery Networks.

Simply follow these steps:

  • Go to Stores → Configuration → General → Web
  • Under Base URLs (Secure) fill in the information from your Content Delivery Network
configure CDN

How to configure Content Delivery Network (CDN)

As we are aware of this performance advantage, in our Single Server Enterprise hosting plan as well as all Multi-Server and Auto Scaling Plans, a CDN is included.

Tip 5: Use MGT Developer Toolbar for Magento 2 – for free!

You are a developer yourself and searching for a convenient solution to analyze and optimize performance during development? Try out our Developer Toolbar. It’s completely free to use.

MGT Developer Toolbar is a must-have for all Magento 2 backend and frontend developers. It allows you to analyze and optimize the site’s performance during development.

The toolbar provides general information about:

  • Magento Version
  • Cache Storage
  • PHP and MYSQL settings

Additionally, it provides you many benefits like

  • powerful profiler
  • database queries viewer
  • nested block rendering
  • more useful functionalities

If you are a developer and want to learn more, understanding Magento’s two-level caching and developing the right Magento cache strategy for best performance is useful.

Tip 6: Enable gzip compression

Compressing is not only an appropriate solution when it comes to images.

With gzip, you can compress web pages and stylesheets as well. This happens at the server level before sending them to the user browser.

Gzip compression works for text files like:

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • JavaScript (JS)
  • JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)
  • Fonts
  • Text
  • and more

You can check to see whether gzip is enabled with this simple testing tool.

If gzip is not enabled, you have to follow the instructions for your web server to enable gzip compression on the server-side. This can be complicated and take much effort.

We would like to help you. Contact us for a free consultation!

Tip 7: Don’t use JavaScript (JS) Bundling

JS bundling is grouping JavaScript files. But instead of improving the performance, which this feature of Magento 2 is intended to do, it sometimes does the opposite.

An activated JS bundling can create a big 10 MB or larger files containing the JavaScript code. Files being this huge negatively influence the performance of your site.

This is why you should better turn JS bundling off.

Simply follow these steps:

  • Go to Stores → Configuration → Advanced → Developer
  • Under JavaScript Settings → Enable JavaScript Bundling choose No
deactivate JavaScript bundling Magento 2

How to deactivate JS bundling in Magento 2.

Tip 8: Minimize modules

Many modules are unnecessary. They introduce extra processing with a negative impact on performance and speed.

We recommend reducing the number of modules. Inspect every third-party module installed and use as few modules as possible.

To do so, just start with turning off one module after another and check if this has an impact on the speed of your site.

After turning off one module is turned, you should test:

  • front page
  • category and product pages
  • checkout

When determining that your site gets faster after turning off a special module, you have found one reason that is slowing down your site.

For turning off modules you need Secure Shell (SSH) access.

Simply follow these steps:

  • Get SSH access from your hosting provider and log in.
  • To to the document root of your Magento installation and enter the following command: php bin/magento module:disable VendorName_PluginName
  • To turn an module on again, type: php bin/magento module:enable VendorName_PluginName
Disable Magento 2 Module

Disabling a Magento 2 Module

Tip 9: Turn on production mode

Another action improving your site speed is to turn on production mode.

In Magento 2 there are three operation modes:

  • default
  • developer
  • production

Whereas default and developer mode is normally exclusively used while developing and debugging, it is not suitable for your e-commerce shop’s site at all.

Better use production mode which is the fastest one.

To turn it on you need, like in Tip 8, Secure Shell (SSH) access.

Simply follow these steps:

  • Get SSH access from your hosting provider and log in.
  • Type: php bin/magento deploy:mode:show
  • To turn production mode on, type: php bin/magento deploy:mode:set production
Magento 2 operation modes

How to configure operation modes in Magento 2

Tip 10: Use Vanish Cache to make your Magento 2 store fly

Do you want Magento to load up to 250x faster? Make your store fly with MGT Varnish Cache for Magento.

Varnish Cache is a web accelerator. Using Vanish Chace will significantly enhance your web performance.

It speeds up your Magento shop by storing a copy of the page in RAM the first time a user visits your page.

The result is that you are able to handle much more traffic and the performance of your Magento site goes through the roof.

We naturally would like to consult you about how to implement Vanish and the many benefits MGT Varnish Cache for Magento 2 provides you. Contact us now!

Tip 11: Use a built-in feature to merge and minify CSS and JavaScript files

One built-in feature of Magento 2 allows you to reduce the number of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) requests. It is another useful way to speed up Magento and page loading.

This feature enables you to merge your CSS and JavaScript files into one.

Important: With Magento 2.2+ these settings are only visible in developer mode!

Simply follow these steps:

  • Navigate to System → Advanced → Developer.
  • First, under JavaScript Settings → Merge JavaScript Files and → Minify JavaScript Files, choose Yes.
  • Second, under CSS Settings → Merge CSS Files and → Minify CSS Files, choose Yes.
  • Then click Save Config. After doing so, clear the cache.
merge and minify CSS and JavaScript files

How to merge and minify CSS and JavaScript files in Magento 2.

Pro-tip 12: Pay attention on Magento 2 system requirements and use fast Magento hosting with MGT-COMMERCE

All previous tips are important in Magento performance optimization. The decisive factor for improving the speed of Magento is reliable and fast hosting.

As it is all about the quality of the server, all the tips given so far can be worthless if you have a badly functioning server.

Finding a hosting provider that fulfills all of these and the more detailed technical requirements not listed as well can be tough. But the best solution is right here.

With MGT-Commerce, you get high performance Magento hosting that is fully managed on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

We not only meet the technical requirements. We exceed them like no other. You’ll see a drastic improvement in your page loading times. This can lead to more customers and sales.

The MGT High-Performance Stack brings you the highest performance and customer satisfaction possible for your business.

We know exactly what you need to succeed and guarantee you the experience of the best Magento hosting.

Contact us now for a free consultation on our hosting plans!

When you work with us, you don’t need to worry about how to improve website speed, because we take care of it all for you.

Conclusion: High speed with Magento is essential for your e-commerce shop’s success

Fast loading pages, short loading times, and overall high speed and performance are key factors for a successful e-commerce shop.

As customers tend to leave pages that load too slow, you have to take action to ensure that your page always runs fast.

Our top 12 tips on how to increase the speed of a Magento 2 website are a good starting point for speed and performance optimization.

Nevertheless, the best way to make sure your customers always browse on an incredibly fast-working e-commerce platform is our high performing hosting solutions.

Contact us now, and we will consult with you which solution is best for you!

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