Performance is a concern that any website owner should have, and e-commerce is no different. In fact, it may even be more important for most e-commerce sites. This article will help you make some simple configuration updates to ensure that your site see a quick and easy performance increase.
The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:
- Have a superuser account
There are no prerequisites for you to worry about before getting started with this article.
Suggested Configuration Settings for Performance
Please note that every website will not only be different, but every site ends up being implemented differently. While the suggestions here should generally work well for all websites, you should try them first on a local or staging instance of your site to ensure that they don't cause any issues.
Also, it's worth noting that not every suggestion here will have a noticeable impact on page load performance on its own - but together, all of these suggestions should give you a higher performing site.
Finally, this article focuses on changes that are necessary to be made to a default instance of your site. It doesn't go over configuration options you shouldn't use. If you're enabling a setting you're not familiar with, you should always test your site to ensure that performance and functionality are not adversely impacted.
The first area we'll look at is the Host Settings. You can get there by choosing it from the Host menu in the control panel.
Basic Settings > Appearance
In Appearance section, you find the Show Copyright Credits setting. Uncheck this. Doing so will remove some unnecessary HTML from your web pages.
Advanced Settings > SMTP
The SMTP server setting has two things you should be aware of. First, you should have an SMTP server specified. Not having one could result in some page loads waiting for the SMTP server that doesn't exist. Second, make sure that your SMTP server is active and the response and communication time between your SMTP server and your web server are acceptable.
Advanced Settings > Performance Settings
The performance settings you see below will be optimal on most sites. The changes you see from most default installations will generally be the Cache Setting and Authenticated Cacheability. "Heavy" will cache site information for longer periods of time. "Public" will send a header to caching servers that more of your site content can be cached by the servers.
Advanced Settings > CDN Settings
The highlighted settings have been changed from the default. This will tell the site to specify known CDN URL's instead of your own URL when asking for the related files. The advantage here is that your visitors may have visited other sites that also specify these URL's which will require that many less files to be requested from your server. The visitor will already have them cached in their web browser.
In this instance, the Telerik CDN isn't enabled because it often causes errors on sites.
Advanced Settings > Client Resource Management
It would be ideal if you could also check the minify settings, but it's very common that they break sites. Checking these settings will remove unnecessary white space from the respective files.
You should enable the event log buffer. When you check this setting, you will tell the site to save up log entries and save them in batches. The alternative will have the site logging entries on every single page load.
The Auto-Sync File System setting is only useful if you're regularly uploading files outside of the web pages on a regular basis. An example of doing this would be using FTP. Even if you do this occasionally, you can synchronize your files on-demand in the File Manager.
The online help setting will only impact those who edit content on your site. Unchecking this setting will remove a little bit or a lot of HTML from your page, depending on how many modules are loaded on the page.
You'll find the Extensions page in the Host menu of the control panel.
First, you should review all of the extensions to see if there are any that you're not using. The reason you might do this is because each extension adds code to your site. The more extensions you have installed, the slower your site will be. Uninstall extensions any that you're not using, with the exception of any that are prefixed with "Hotcakes."
You should get your technical team or our support team involved in this step if you're not sure which extensions can be safely removed.
You'll see which ones are in use in the grid, and you'll know which ones can be uninstalled because they'll have a trash can icon next to them.
You'll find the Schedule feature in the Host menu of the control panel.
In general, you shouldn't modify any of these settings without involving your technical team to ensure that the scheduled jobs you're modifying are being modified in a way that won't impact the usability for your site visitors.
When you look at the scheduled jobs, you'll want to review the purpose and frequency for each enabled job. No matter how optimized these jobs are, they generate database activity each time they run (and sometimes file system activity too). This activity will contribute to a perceived performance issue on the site.
As an example, unless your site content changes very frequently, there's no reason to have your site content indexed every minute.
You'll find the Site Settings in the Content (or Admin) menu of the control panel.
You'll want to switch to the Stylesheet Editor tab. If you see anything in the resulting textbox, it should be deleted. You can even delete the Portal.css file from your file system. However, you should check with your design team that manages your CSS before you do either of these things. Even though it's not a best practice, they may be using this file.