Magento is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in this world. However, it is not the technology itself that assures you of the quality and performance. A lot of different factors involved in the development of the eCommerce site decide the fate of your business and how users are going to interact with your website.
Another reason for giving more attention to the performance of your eCommerce site is Google’s Page Experience Update. In April 2021, Google changed its website ranks based on the page experience. This made the performance of the website even more important than it was ever.
If Magento performance optimization is on your to-do list, then you can certainly do a few things that would help you keep up the Google ranking and improve the user experience on your site. Here are some common issues and solutions that can be defining factors in your website performance.
How will these solutions help you?
Magento performance optimization is necessary for several reasons. According to a study, 42% of consumers abandon the site if it’s longer than 3 seconds to load. If you go anywhere above that range, it means the chances of abandonment rise by a significant percentage.
Ecommerce businesses cannot afford to lose it. It makes Magento speed optimization all more important. To minimize the risk of the page loading slowly, you need to work on different factors that can lead to slowing down. This starts with configuring of Magento website.
Before you start with the development work, make sure you have got a strategy that can help you in the course. This strategy helps you lay a scalable foundation to build your business. Conducting regular speed tests and performance checks also is necessary.
Some of the basic tools that you must know of are gtmetric.com, Google’s page speed tool. These tools are widely trusted in the domain and have been giving away some amazing results. Another way to get useful insights about the performance of the Magento website includes adding extensions or tools that give you the necessary information to work on factors that are causing the bad experience.
Factors that may cause the Magento performance issues
1. Choosing the wrong theme
When the merchants compete to provide their customers with an engaging experience, they often forget about the performance factor. If you are using a non-customized, off-the-shelf theme, you are might be making a mistake.
Ready-made themes are not always of the best quality. They are poorly coded, and they are packed with general-purpose features. In general, they are built to just appear good and may hurt your website performance.
One of the ways you can avoid making this mistake is to go for custom theme development services. They would be designed to meet your business needs. These themes would be designed from scratch keeping the navigation, customer expectation, and industry in mind.
If you don’t have the budget to go for custom theme development, consider going for a good quality code theme and customize the design and functionality easily. Check out some good Magento 2 themes here.
2. Excessive Third-Party Extensions
Magento has a modular architecture that renders you the scope to make the website feature-rich. The official Magento Marketplace offers you over 3,800 extensions. This is a boon and a problem for the people that don’t plan their websites correctly. With so many available options, it is easy for you to get overboard and install extensions that increase the website’s functionality. However, the functionality of the website should be customer-centric, and you must make a choice correctly.
In a report by Adobe, the review report on the extensions on the Magento marketplace was a little disappointing. The extensions available through third-party vendor websites might not be of top quality and may hinder the experience of the website.
Going forward with the extension offered by reliable development companies would hedge you from the performance issues. Companies like Solwin Infotech offer you some of the most quality-driven 3rd party extensions that can help you stay on-point in your sales strategy while improving the performance and experience on your website. Check out the list of extensions offered here.
3. Incorrect database configurations
Magento is known for data storage, flexibility, and performance, and this comes from its Entity-Attribute-Value data model. Meanwhile, it is not usually seen as a major factor that affects the performance of the website; if it is misconfigured, it can affect the website to a great extent.
Starting with Magento 2.4, Adobe support for MySQL 8. If you are using Magento version 2.4 or above. It is essential to upgrade your database to MySQL 8 as it can take your performance game to the next level. According to a report, it can improve the performance of the website twice as its previous versions.
To always keep up the performance of the website, you can set the indexers to “Update on Schedule” rather than keeping it one “Update on Save.” This would help you in eliminating the Magento performance issues in case of large volumes of website traffic.
4. Slow Server
Another problem faced by enterprises of slow performance can be due to misconfigured web servers. Server-side problems that can lead to slowed performance include slow CPU, inadequate RAM, and misconfigured PHP settings.
Magento is a CPU-bound platform, and it needs a lot of processing power to ensure it can process the incoming requests without queuing them, which would require you to increase your infrastructural capabilities too.
A report by Adobe shares a formula to calculate the number of CPU cores you require to build a high-performance website.
N [Core] = (N [Expected Requests] / 2) + N [Expected Cron Processes]
You can optimize your PHP setting for a performance by:
- Setting the PHP memory limit based on deployment
- Setting value for realpath_cache_size to 10M and realpath_cache_ttl to 7200
- Enabling OPcache
5. Incorrect Operation Mode
In Magento, you have the following operation modes – default, developer, production, maintenance. Improve Magento’s performance by choosing the right operations mode. Here is some information you can use.
The default mode helps you operate when no other mode is specified. It enables deploying a Magento store without changing the settings. The mode is optimized for production websites with static filed generating dynamically. This can impact the store performance significantly.
In developer mode, when the platform is being extended or customized, it does not cache static view files and displays uncaught exceptions in the browser for easier troubleshooting.
In maintenance mode, it allows taking the site offline while the store is getting updated or upgraded. Visitors are shown a message saying, “Service is Temporarily Unavailable.”
In production mode, the only mode that is intended to serve live traffic. It generates static files, caches them, logs errors to the file system, and does not allow enabling and disabling cache from the admin panel of the Magento site.
When running a live website, you should use the production mode; it would ensure high performance.
6. Misconfigured Caching
Magento is highly focused on performance. This makes it the first choice for the companies that experience huge traffic. But if the traffic is huge, there would be a huge cache too and a chance of misconfigured cache.
Magento is designed to work with Varnish and Redis for caching. They work well in the development environment, but in the production environment, they might not be as good. You are required to configure Redis and Varnish correctly to increase the performance of the website. It allows you to achieve page load speed as low as 1-2 seconds.
7. Flat Catalogs
Flat catalogs can help you in improving the website performance to a great extent. A lot of developers rely on this technique to make the website speedy. This setting helps you in reducing the number of calls made by Magento to fetch the data from the database. It also improves the indexing efficiencies.
For years this has been a good trick, but with the release of Magento 2.1.x Adobe suggested against the use of flat catalogs, indicating it may lead to indexation issues and performance degradation.
This can be a huge reason not to use a flat catalog. But before you disable it, make sure our extensions are not using a flat catalog.
8. Excessive and unoptimized media
Images and videos are important aspects of the Magento website. It is the best way to feature your products and promote the top sellers. But this can also easily lead to increased page size and hence reduced page load speed.
There are a number of ways to optimize the images and improve the performance of the website. This includes using new formats such as WebP. It would reduce the file size, and along with some tools such as LazyLoad, you can improve the browsing experience to a great extent.
Additionally, you can use a CDN like Fastly or CloudFare; this would help you to store and serve website media from the distributed data center, and hence the load time on the website would be much less.
9. Using database search
If you are using a Magento version below 2.4, then you are using the default database search functionality. It would use the ElasticSearch, which can hurt the website performance significantly.
It is good for the websites with low traffic, but in the case of high-traffic sites, when several users perform concurrent searches while others browse the website and place orders, your database will overload and slow down.
You can use ElasticSearch for raw data processing and indexing. It can help you provide the customers with real-time search results on the site while freeing up the database to perform other essential tasks.
Website performance improvement is one of the most vital things to ensure a good experience and to reduce site abandonment. You must have a systematic approach to identify and optimize the performance issues and fix them. You are also required to deal with the technical aspects such as regular store maintenance.
Consider having a technology partner that understands your needs and provides you with the right solutions. Timely measures and improved performance would help you to stay in the top search results and ensure a better return on investments.