In this article we will show you some helpful choices and tips to effectively speed up your e-commerce site based on the free, open source and powerful e-commerce solution Prestashop.
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The loading speed of a website is a complex subject that involves a large number of factors that can be grouped into 3 groups: Hosting, Back office and Database, Front office.
Before reading, we wanto to advice a great free tool to test the loading speed of your site e-commerce: Page Speed Insights powered by Google.
You can repeat this test before and after following these tips.
It is often the most neglected element but, on the contrary, using a Good Hosting is one of the most important aspects. A slow web site, not only alienate users – potential buyers – but also damages the location of the site within the search engine results.
Essential elements are: the reliability of the hosting provider and the power of server on which the ecommerce site is hosted.
Google, the most important and influential search engine, has shown that the speed of the site (ie, the page load speed) is one of the elements used in its algorithm to rank web pages.
So the speed of loading pages affects the position of your site in the search engine results.
- Improves the user experience of your customers
- Improve your site’s position in search engines
- Makes you lose customers and money
- Worsens the position of your site in search engines
Disconnect all unused modules from their locations (hook)
- Prestashop 1.7: go to Improve > Design > Positions (click on the arrow of Edit and unhook each module).
- Prestashop 1.6: go to Modules > Positions (click on the arrow of Edit and unhook each module).
Disable and uninstall
Once the previous operation has been performed, disable and uninstall all unused modules:
- Prestashop 1.7: go to Improve > Modules > Modules & Services.
- Prestashop 1.6: go to Modules > Modules.
Back Office and Database
Prestashop allows you to adjust some simple settings to improve the speed of your ecommerce directly from the admin panel.
Smarty: Template Compilation
Once logged in to your administration panel , use the main menu and select Advanced Settings & gt ; performances
Prestashop design is mostly based on dynamic elements and structure: each module fits into the structure of the site dynamically . Prestashop is able to detect whether there have been changes and update the various elements of the template.
This feature provides three options : Never recompile template files (faster), Recompile templates if the files have been updated (fast), Force compilation (slow) .
The last one option involves a significant slowdown of the site.
Never recompile template files: this option is to be chosen for maximum performance . Activate it when the design your e-commerce should not be changed .
Recompile templates if the files have been updated: this option is useful for who modify design or elements often. The option is activated only if the template files have been modified.
Force compilation: this option is to be used only if you are performing checks on your ecommerce .
In computing environment, cache indicates any system that allows the temporary storage of something .
Prestashop has its native system to store files to enhance the performance of a site.
Cache enabled (YES): makes pages fastes. Activate it when the design of your e-commerce should not be changed .
Cache disabled(NO): makes pages slower. Useful for those who change the design or elements : if this option is turned off, you can not immediately see the changes made.
As for the Caching type, the choice depends on the hosting service you choose to use for your ecommerce, on the database and its optimization, the physical space that you have available, maximum number of storable files . We suggest you to ask your hosting provider.
Clear cache, comes with these options:
Never clear cache files: to be selected only if you will make changes to your web pages (images and text too).
Clear cache everytime something has been modified: he Web site cache will be deleted as soon as you make a change . In this way customers can access the most current version of your ecommerce.
CCC: Combine, Compress and Cache
In this section are grouped a number of useful tools developed to decrease the time required for a web page to be loaded completely.
However useful and powerful , these options should be activated one by one and only after checking the pages of your ecommerce as the theme you are using, if not properly developed, may not be compatible.
If you are using one of our Prestashop themes, you can activate these options without problem. The last 3 options are available for Prestashop 1.6 only.
- Smart cache for CSS (YES): brings together in a single file, compresses and caches CSS files.
- Apache Optimization (YES): allows to further increase site performance.
- Minify HTML (YES): removes all the white space from the HTML code.
Always check your site after you enable this option as it will modify the .htaccess file
This feature has two options: the Rijndael algorithm, faster, but it will work only if your hosting has enabled mcrypt module (if necessary contact your hosting provider); BlowFish, less fast, but not need for additional modules.
At the bottom of this page you can activate the Cache module that offers several option .
It’s better asking your hosting provider to find out what is the best option for your ecommerce.
Statistics and Connections
Prestashop allows you to use its own internal system of statistics to collect all sorts of data about visitors, pages, catalog…
If you are using your statistics system, you can think to disable and uninstalling some of these modules.
Prestashop, for example, saves all incoming connections and this can cause extensive delays.
To avoid this situation, you can perform some operations directly on your database.
This is a simple but delicate task.
We recommend you to make a backup of your data (database) before proceeding further.
You have to empty the contents of 4 tables of your database
PS_CONNECTIONS_SOURCE, PS_CONNECTIONS, PS_GUEST e PS_PAGE_NOT_FOUND
We advise you to ask your hosting provider which Client has been enabled for you to do operations on your database.
It’s better if you use beautifully designed and well coded themes.
- Disable and uninstall unused modules
- Limit the use of the modules
- Use themes not overly feature-rich
- Use optimized images fot categories and products