Five Tips to Speed Up Your Magento 2 Store

by TOPS Infosolutions September 4, 2018
Magento 2 development services

Magento 2 (M2) marks a new era of e-commerce innovation and accounts for over a decade of ecommerce software development that was started with the original Magento release in 2008. Magento 2 can perform a lot of functions without the need to install a third-party extension.

Magento 1 was always an uphill battle to try, streamline loading times and overall operating performance due to its heavy demands. In juxtapose, Magento 2.0 performs extremely well with faster page load times and quicker performance on the backend thanks to the inbuilt one page caching and optimizations to the base code.

Magento 2, indeed, has more features, complex functionalities, and lines of code in comparison to the original Magento. These levels of advancements come at a cost; Magento 2 can be slower at times. Poor performance is the one issue store managers have been repeatedly complaining about.

In this article, I will share the expertise of our team on making Magento 2 faster, and provide five actionable methods to improve performance.

1. Time To First Byte (TTFB) Audit

Time to first byte is how long Magento takes to generate HTML. This is your main performance metric. Good TTFB time is around half a second. In fact, half a second is the TTFB of a fresh copy of Magento 2. Things that could give effective TTFB are customizations, custom themes, and third-party extensions.

If you struggle with a slow Magento 2 store, a TTFB audit is the first step you should take to speed things up. To help yourself with TTFB audit, I would suggest you use XHProf. XHProf is a free PHP extension that profiles and outputs a trace like this.

Time To First Byte (TTFB) Audit

To find an abusive function, you just sort by “Excl. Wall Time” and analyze the first couple of entries to see which one is taking long and why.

2. Third Party Extension Audit

One of the reasons your Magento is slow is because of third-party extensions. Experts wrote Magento 2 Core. Magento custom plugins, on the other hand, are written by average programmers with average skills and in most cases no appreciation for performance benchmarks.

So an extension you bought from marketplace could slow down your Magento store. You must find all those abusive plugins and eliminate them.

To do that, go to Magento 2 Backend→Stores→Configuration→Advanced→Advanced and you will get a list of custom extensions. Go through the list and disable plugins one-by-one and benchmark speed with the help of webpagetest.org.

ThirdParty Extension AuditA gentle reminder, do not mess around plugins that come preinstalled with the copy of Magento 2. They are core plugins and are fundamental to the working of Magento 2.

If you disable an extension and notice a significant difference in speed, the extension is something your Magento 2 store must get rid of. You should contact its vendor and ask for help or find an alternative. Meanwhile, uninstall this extension and wait for an updated version or alternative.

3. Choose The Right Hosting

A hosting plan is the foundation of a fast ecommerce website. Magento 2 will give poor performance when paired with poor hardware. How do you know you need to change or upgrade your housing plan? Here’s a simple test to help you decide. Install a fresh copy of Magento 2 on the very same server your Magento store is. This fresh install should be the same version as your live Magento store. Then benchmark the fresh copy against your live Magento 2 store. If this fresh copy is significantly faster than your e-store, then your hosting is all right and you don’t need to change anything.

If the fresh copy is as slow as your live Magento store, then your hosting resources are simply not enough to power your Magento 2 store. Evidently, it is the time to upgrade the hosting plan. Alternatively, you can subscribe to Magento Go.

Magento Go

Magento Go is a hosted, SaaS service designed for small and emerging merchants who want the benefits of selling online.

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4. Go With Production Mode

This is the easiest of the steps I mentioned above, but from my experience, many people are just completely skipping the step. Magento 2 has three running modes: default, developer, and production.

If you want maximum performance and speed, you need to switch on production mode. To find out what mode you are running in now, run this command.

php bin/magento deploy:mode:show

To switch on production mode, run this command:

php bin/magento deploy:mode:set production

You should run above commands in secure shell or SSH.

5. Full-Page Cache And Varnish

Magento 2 comes with full-page cache functionality. This means Magento 2 can cache whole pages and hide your performance issues on the paid caching layer. You should take advantage of it.

Go to the Backend→System→Cache Management and double check if full-page cache is on.

Full-Page CacheAnd Varnish

Fullpage cache supports varnish as a caching application. Varnish is a special program that could cache and serve web resources efficiently.

To set up one Varnish with Magento 2, go to Admin→Stores→Configuration→Advanced→Full-page Cache and set varnish as a caching application.Full-Page CacheAnd Varnish2

Then you need to install and configure Varnish yourself.

Full-Page CacheAnd Varnish1

You might take help from a system administrator if you’re not familiar with Linux terminal and secure shell (SSH). You can simply ask your hosting support team.

Takeaway

Magento 2 comes with numerous performance optimization features. Your job, as a store manager, is to make most out of them.

Make sure you switch on all Magento 2 caching methods, CSS/JS minification and always run it in production mode. Avoid JS bundling as this does more harm than good.

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