How to Make Your eStore Load 2x-3x Faster With Just One Fix?
Magento is a complex system where there is always something to do to make it faster, better, or more reliable.
It’s no wonder there are hundreds of guides out there that help Magento store owners speed up their platform.
But let’s say you don’t have the time to investigate or implement dozens of fixes that make rounds on the web.
You need a quick solution. Something that just works.
We all want to believe in magic and cure-alls. It is human nature, after all.
But what if I tell you that for developing your online store, there’s a single fix that can speed up your webpages 2x-3x over and all you have to do is set it and forget it.
Interested? Let’s dive in.
So what’s the knee-jerk reaction when you hear there’s a magic fix that can on its own make your store two times faster?
You ask, what’s the catch because there’s always a catch.
And I’ll be honest with you. This one is no different.
The catch is the price.
You have to invest money to boost your speed.
With this one out of the way, let’s move to the solution we offer.
Content Delivery Network - One Fix to Change Everything?
A content delivery network deals with static assets optimization – getting them in order can take up to two-thirds of all frontend optimization efforts.
That’s why we think a CDN is the one most significant upgrade every Magento store should invest in: it gets the job done automatically, effectively, and seamlessly.
Which means you configure and integrate it once, then forget it even exists.
Bear in mind that a CDN is the first, and the most impactful, step in Magento optimization but in case you want to get more involved in the optimization process, you can take a look at PageSpeed insights.
After all, even the Magento dev team recommends using PageSpeed Insights in order to get more guidance and improve your store speed.
8 Reasons a CDN Is the Best Choice for Magento Optimization
Reduced Latency for a Distributed Audience
A CDN will automatically cache images into servers in multiple locations and serve them to the users from a place closest to them - the primary function of a CDN.
But, in 2019, they can do so much more.
Streamlined File Compression
Most CDNs know how to deal with other crucial assets besides media.
They will compress CSS/JS/HTML files automatically, which significantly speeds up asset delivery to the users and reduces their bandwidth consumption.
It is a critical part of optimization directed towards mobile devices and slower networks (EDGE, 3G, and weaker rural xDSL that is still prevalent outside the metropolitan areas of most cities).
Conversion to Modern Image Formats
JPEG (created in 1994) and other older formats are no longer capable of delivering top performance and quality suitable for modern web standards.
A content delivery network can transform old files into new formats and deliver them to customers with browsers that support it.
For example, most modern browsers support Google’s WebP format. It’s lighter and more flexible than the century-old JPEG. For those browsers that don’t support WebP, a CDN can still offer the original JPEG version.
Minification of Crucial Assets
In addition to compression, minification works towards lowering the amount of data you need to deliver. It’s an essential upgrade for sophisticated Magento stores and users browsing your site on mobile Internet.
While individual gains might look like bean-counting, the accumulated effect of smaller file sizes can get you data savings in the dozens of megabytes per session, saving both valuable bandwidth and making the store faster for ordinary users.
Magento does have a built-in minification feature. But a right CDN will surpass it using its smart algorithms – so it’s a good idea to rely on a third-party solution here.
Switching to progressive image loading is an excellent step to improve perceived performance. How so?
Traditionally, images either load from top to bottom, creating a certain holdup in the mind of the user or load fully inside the browser and then get displayed in the layout.
Both approaches are not taking into account the psychology of the user who expects to see something in place of blank space as soon as possible.
Progressive images load in steps. They start blurry, and step by step, refine the image until the whole photo is crispy clean and intelligible. It creates an effect of urgency and communicates to the user that the store is more responsive and quick than they initially expected.
A right CDN will offer progressive image features as a part of the deal.
Optimal Cache Age
With a bit of experimentation, you can set the optimal cache age yourself, but a right CDN will be able to take care of all cache configuration all by itself.
It is a small but essential feature that will help you create a better browsing experience for your repeat customers as well as improve your Google PageSpeed Insights score.
Deferred Asset Loading
Most Magento frontend optimization efforts revolve around defining crucial and non-crucial assets and manually separating them into two distinct groups.
The first group consists of mission-critical files that need to be loaded ASAP to make sure the store looks and functions exactly as it should.
The second group consists of non-critical items that can be loaded with an inevitable delay.
And what’s essential, this delay will not break user experience since these assets don’t participate in crucial store functions or they are needed for functionality that’s way below the first screen (and which users won’t see for a while, so the delay doesn’t matter).
A right CDN will also keep multiple image sizes for situations when giving the browser the original image is counterproductive.
There’s No Silver Bullet for Magento Optimization, But...
A CDN has come close. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive frontend optimization solution that can improve your Magento performance in so many ways.
Sure, you’ll still have to do some manual debugging, backend fixes, and integrate a few crucial optimization tools yourself. However, a useful CDN can be one of the best investments in Magento performance you’ll ever make.
We hope this quick overview made you more confident in your decision to find a feature-rich CDN solution for your store and maybe even consider upgrading your hosting to a dedicated Magento provider.