Anyone who has used Magento for an extended period of time knows that although it is packed with features and functionality, it all comes at a cost – performance. With a large database and even larger code base even small stores with less than 100 products can find their Magento site running painfully slow if set up incorrectly. With your sites performance affecting your customers and sales, it is a no brainer to spend the time to optimise your site.
One of the first things to look at when optimising a Magento site is the hosting. The system is very resource heavy and will simply not perform on standard shared hosting packages, so should only be hosted on Magento specific hosting. Shared Magento hosting can work fine for smaller stores with bigger stores needing dedicated boxes to really be able to stretch their legs.
Front-end Magento optimisations
Another thing that page speed or yslow will pick up on in minification of JS and CSS. Minification removes all comments and empty space between the code so compressing it to a smaller size. Magento offers no standard functionality to do this, but you can use a module like UI Optimisation by Diglin to minify all your CSS and JS files. It creates new minified versions so you can still edit the original files when you need to make changes. Combining this minification with the merging functionality in Magento can cut the number of HTTP requests dramatically and improve your page load times.