8 Tips to Speed Up Your Joomla 3.x Website
I bet you know this icon. I hate this, you hate this, and your visitors hate this.
Waiting for a website to load may be the most irritating thing. 2 or 3 seconds may be a small amount of time for anything but when come to website loading. It is a huge deal. It's profoundly affected to your search ranking, traffic, user experiences, and even your revenue.
In this article, we will go through 8 tips to speed up your Joomla 3.x website easily.
Why you need to optimize page speed?
Look at this picture:
Impressive right. If your business is 1/1000 big like Amazon, your revenue is still affected significantly.
According to kissmetrics report, 47% of users expect your web page to load in under two seconds, and 57% of visitors will abandon your page if it takes 3 seconds or more time to load.
Less visitor, less revenue. It’s simple as that. After all, your revenue is still the most important index you need to look for.
Back from 2010, Page Speed is already official count as one of the ranking factors, but only for desktop. Till then, the value of this factor is only increasing through time.
In the latest update related to page speed, Google has put even more weight in its importance when announcing Mobile page speed update, which affects ranking in mobile SERPs.
In short, the faster your site load, the better your revenue and ranking your site will get.
The above 2 reasons are more than enough for you to better check up your Joomla Page Speed right away. And we will show you how.
1. Choose the Right Hosting from a Reputable Provider
Your site was probably put on the same server as hundreds or thousands of other sites. It could lead to slow speeds when many clients try to access this server at the same time.
Therefore, ensure that you choose the right hosting from a reputable provider – one who can meet all of Joomla’s hosting requirements: a limited number of sites per server, server hardware support, server caching support, Joomla expert support… Some popular and well-known hosting providers recommended by Joomla users are Bluehost, Inmotion, HostGator, Arxiv, Cloud Access,...
This list will provide you with better information.
2. Enable Gzip Compression
Using the Gzip Compression feature, you can compress your website pages before sending them to the user. After that, they will be uncompressed by the user’s browser. And this process takes less time than transferring uncompressed pages.
By default, Gzip Compression is disabled in Joomla 3.x. Therefore, you have to enable it manually by following these steps:
On the Top Menu, select Site > Global Configuration > Server tab, and switch the Gzip Page Compression to YES option.
3. Enable Caching System
Most websites have contents that are not changed frequently. Therefore, the theory of caching is very simple: the Cache system takes a copy of the whole page in its first load. When the user revisit it, this copy will be displayed instead of fetching the data from the database on each request.
Just make sure that you enable Joomla Cache system. This is a simple step but it can increase the loading speed of your website a lot. There are 2 types of caching that you need to pay attention to:
3.1 Module caching
This setting will only cache the module data. If your content is often changed, like news site, you should only enable this feature.
To enable module caching, go to Global Configuration > System > Cache setting, and switch Cache to “ON – Conservative caching” or “ON - Progressive caching".
In ‘Cache time’, choose 30 (minutes) for a cache file to be stored before it is refreshed.
Note: choosing “Conservative caching” will use the caching setting of each module, whereas “Progressive caching” will override the caching setting whether you set it or not.
3.2 Page caching
Page caching will copy the data of a whole page including content and modules. Enabling this configuration is the best fit when you don't change the website content usually. For example: business site, portfolio.
To enable, in the control panel, go to Extensions/ Plugins/ Find “System - Page cache” and switch the Use Browser setting to “Yes”.
4. Reduce redirect links
Redirect technique is useful in some situations. However, it will make your site takes a longer time to load. Imagine you go to a store and find out it relocated to another location, so you will have to take more time to get there. Same with redirect technique, usually, for a one-time redirect, it takes 2-3 seconds longer.
In some situations, you can optimize the use of redirect links for better loading speed. For example:
+ Use a responsive layout design instead of m.yourdomain.com
Anyone who want to develop a mobile version of your website should take note of this case. Instead of making users redirect from yourdomain.com to m.yourdomain.com, use responsive. This way ensure your visitor not only have the best experiences in multiple devices but also reduce the loading time.
+ Keep your redirect chain at 1
If you have to keep redirect link, remember it should not be more than 1 chain of redirects.
For example, in a situation when you try to redirect user from non www to www but it keeps going to https//www instead.
In this situation, make sure it goes all the way from non www to https//www in the first place. It helps your site significantly reduce the loading time. Apply this example to your actual situation.
Another note, from time to time, check back your redirect link across your website to make sure both external and internal link doesn’t have this issue. You can check with Google Webmaster Tool.
Render-blocking is keeping your site load as quickly as it could. You can imagine that you are on the way to your destination but you have to stop somewhere to pick up a parcel, and that action will slow you down. That is similar to how Render-blocking JS and CSS work.
Google Page Speed Insight is a ideal tool to show precisely what file is causing render-blocking.
Optimized this will greatly increase the score in first contentful paint (FCP) and first meaningful paint (FMT) which priority your website to load the most important part for the user first: text, image, etc.
Solving this problem could be difficult for non-technical users in Joomla. However, with the help of some extensions, you could done it easily. JCH Optimize is one of those. You could check it out.
If you still prefer to do it manually , I think these guides could lead you the way
6. Using CDN
CDN is short for content delivery network. For those who don’t know what it is, it can speed up your page speed significantly by minimizing the distance between your visitor and your content caching server using the caching server network.
See the image below and you will understand.
The practice of this method is widespread. 50% of the traffic in the net come from CDN. Therefore, choosing an appropriate CDN service could save you up a ton of money.
There are some notable suggestions for Joomla CDN service that you could use.
Note: CDN is not for every website. If you have visitors in all over the world or multiple locations, then CDN is a must. However, if your visitor mainly come from one place or in your local area, you may not harness all of the CDN power. Therefore, please consider carefully before using one.
7. Using Joomla page speed optimized extensions
Page speed is an important factor for a website. Many Joomla developer has come up with powerful extensions to help webmaster have an easy life.
- jQuery Easy (Call jQuery from Google CDN or locally)
- LLFJ - Lazy load your images, prevent additional HTTP requests until the user scrolls down
- ScriptsDown - Move your scripts down to the bottom of the page
- JCH Optimize - Optimize your page speed in many different areas.
8. Other Optimization Settings (Images, CSS, Java Scripts…)
Here is the optimization that needs to be used to speed up your website:
- Optimized Images. Don’t try to upload big scale pictures, optimized them to best fit with your website before uploading. There are many free tools and easy to use all over the internet.
- Use an optimized template. If you are going to use a Joomla template to build your site, try to have an optimized template. You can tell by the size of each template, how their code is simplified.
- Minify HTML file. This will remove all space, tabs, comments, white space characters in page content. You can archive it by using this extension.
- Clean up Joomla often and remove anything that you don’t need: unused components, modules, plugins, “Not Found” queries….because it will make your JS/ CSS file bigger, even when you have disabled it.
- Up to date with Joomla extension, template and Joomla version. Normally, a new updated version will optimize the code for better load speed and performance.
- You can install some Joomla SEO extensions that come with the optimizing page speed feature like Route 66.
Check Your Joomla Website Speed
Don’t forget the final step – check your website speed. You should do it before and after following all of these guidelines. And don’t be surprised when you see how much faster your website can be. You can do it by using one of these tools or services: YSlow Chrome plugin, Pingdom tools, Google PageSpeed or GTmetrix…
You can make the most out of these tools by reading their suggestion methods after examining your site.
Page Speed is an essential factor for any website and online business. Get your site optimized in speed as soon as possible to see the positive change in term of traffic and revenue. We hope with this 8 helpful tips, your site can get the perfect score as JoomlaShine.com
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