Ease of use, a plethora of templates and extensions, supportive community, and timely upgrades have converged to make Joomla the Content Management System (CMS) of choice for millions of users worldwide.
One of the factors affecting website or blog popularity is the speed of the site. Website speed influences factors such as traffic, conversion rates, and organic search rankings. Consequently, optimizing your site for speed is something that should be kept in mind at all times.
As Joomla is an open source CMS solution similar to other CMS solutions, there are generic tips that can be done to speed up a Joomla site as well as tips that are Joomla specific. Following is a list of tips and tricks for speeding up your Joomla site.
Less is More
The plethora of features, templates, and extensions available to Joomla users is mind boggling and continues to grow on a daily basis. Even out of the box Joomla packs so much functionality that’s like a kid in a candy store we may be tempted to utilize as much of this as possible, however sometimes restraint really is the better part of valor.
Using all these features comes at a cost when it comes to the speed of your site. Obviously you want your site to stand out but you have to be objective and realize that beyond a certain point there will be a trade-off between site features and site speed. To paraphrase the words of the Grail Knight to Indiana Jones, “But choose wisely, for while a speedy Joomla site will bring you traffic, too many extensions may take it from you.”
Templates can be stunning but they can also be stunningly slow. Templates are often the major cause of site speed loss. Joomla has a stunning array of templates, many of which have not been optimized for speed – especially the images on the template. Once again, “choose wisely.”
If you are not using Gzip to encode your pages than in the vast majority of cases it will lead to a slower site. Gzip reduces the size of the HTTP response thereby reducing response times by up to 70%. Similarly, deleting unnecessary CSS commands and organizing a more efficient CSS command file structure. The less is more concept has no end of benefits in the speed of websites.
Joomla Inbuilt Caching
Joomla inbuilt caching substantially increases page load speed so remember to activate it. Cache type is configured in the Global Configuration.
Keep it Pure
Under no circumstances should you bridge Joomla with another program to enhance functionality. This will result in two programs having to load simultaneously compromising speed. With the number of extensions available for Joomla, it is doubtful that you will not find what you are seeking within Joomla compatible extensions.
Keep it Current
Ensuring that you have the most recent version of Joomla is not only good for security purposes but also for speed purposes as changes to the core often affect the Joomla load time.
Turn Joomla into Zoomla
Although speed of loading is a generic problem that affects organic search ranking and conversion, websites built with Joomla do have a solution.
There is nothing worse than performing a Web search and having to wait an eternity for the website to load. If you haven’t paid for high speed Internet that’s one thing but when you have paid for a fast connection then you know for sure that it is the site that is loading slowly and that is rather disconcerting.
The jomCDN plugin for Joomla sites substantially speeds up loading time with a positive flow-on effect for your SEO performance. Additional benefits include comprehensive cloud functionality and image optimization to name but a few.
To SEF or Not to SEF, That is the Question
Although the Joomla core automatically helps to make URLs more search engine and user friendly, webmasters may want further control over this process; however, the component to achieve this is often compromises site speed. Is this control worth the trade-off?
To Extend or Not to Extend, That is the Question
Joomla is renowned for its extensions and there tends to be an extension for virtually everything. However, all these extensions come at a cost – speed. Many extensions are very inefficient and compromise site performance.
To monitor how extensions influence performance, enable Joomla’s core content cache and check the number of database queries being executed – the lower the number, the better. Then search for recurring queries and find the component causing them. Unless the component is essential to your site, delete it. If I is essential, either optimize itself or have it done for you by an expert. Similarly, installing a page caching component but not enabling the caching enables you to weed out the slow component/s by deduction. Monitor the load time for each URL and analyze which are the slowest, then check to see if they have a common component – that component is the culprit and should be deleted or optimized.
Read more about the jomCDN product here: http://www.corephp.com/joomla-products/jomcdn.html
Article was written by Jove Welner, head of App Champ – a viral App community.
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