Tips to Speed Up a Joomla Site

Joomla is one of the most popular free content management systems (CMS) in the world that allows you to easily create and manage a dynamic website. It has an intuitive management interface to control all the features and functionality this powerful CMS possesses. Furthermore, there are hundreds of free extensions written for Joomla that allows users to extend its functionality and customize it to their own objectives. Joomla Content Management System is supported by a large and friendly community where newbies could really rely on assistance from more experienced members. Joomla counted more than 30 million downloads in 2012 and is growing.

ENABLE JOOMLA CACHE

If you enable the cache in your site, it will be more responsive. Luckily, Joomla is capable of serving 3 types of cache: Component views, Module views and Page views.

The first 2 settings are determined by one setting in your Systems > Global Configuration and set it as Conservative. Optionally you can also set the time different than the default of 15 minutes.

If globally, cache is switched on, you can switch it off again for specific modules from the Advanced tab in selected modules. Page views are only cached if you switch on the System - Cache plugin in the Extensions> Plugin. Just set it to Enabled, and leave default parameters.

USE G-ZIP

In Systems > Global Configuration, on the Server tab, you will find the setting to turn on Gzip.

By this way, your pages are compressed in a zip-file, sent to the browser on your PC, and unpacked there. Except for really ancient versions of IE, it is supported in all browsers, and should be safe to turn on.

To use this function, please make sure that your host supports mod_gzip.

REMOVE UNNECESSARY EXTENSIONS

It’s true that any Joomla site needs extensions. However it’s really important for us to choose the good ones. Some extensions need additional Javascripts, connect to the remote network, or take time to be loaded can surely slow you down terribly.

Also, any unneeded extensions should be removed even they are not in use.

BROWSER CACHING IN .HTACCESS

After renaming your htaccess.txt file into .htaccess, you can add some code to prevent browser to request specific image types from the server if they are already present on your PC.

By this way, you can reduce the loading time.

OPTIMIZE YOUR IMAGES

We can’t deny the important role of the images in a website. However, images account for for more KB's than the rest of your web page and that’s why they need optimizing.

Firstly, you should use the image with correct size. Secondly, you can use the compression tools to further reduce the size by stripping the unnecessary data.

OPTIMIZE CSS + JAVASCRIPT

Most Joomla sites now have many CSS and Javascript files which will all add up in size AND number of HTTP-requests. Also they will take lots of time for loading the site while they are executing.

Luckily, you can over this issue by:

  • Compressing these files.
  • Combining multiple files into one.
  • Using a defer or a sync attribute in the scripts to execution.

If you’re an amateur, you can use the extension for this optimization.

USE SPEED OPTIMIZATION EXTENSIONS

One of the easiest ways to optimize your site is to use the speed up extensions. Just after installation and some configuration steps, your site will be significantly speeded up!

JCH-Optimize and JBetolo are ones of them.

OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE DEVICES

“Mobile device” is one essential point that decides the rank of your site on search engine. Your site may not perform well on mobile device even though it works great on desktops.

Therefore, we need to optimize the site for mobile devices too. The key here is to load only what is really needed in the site. You can use user-agent detection to check if you are on a mobile device, not just on a resized browser window and then you can then selectively disable module positions.

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