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magento & ecommerce

Optimizing Your Magento 2 Store

eCommerce is an immensely popular way of buying things. Many people are browsing items to buy online almost all the time. Speed and reliability are crucial aspects of every eCommerce platform. Magento has been the primary choice of many retail websites and webstores for a while now.

Magento 2 has improved upon the original in all aspects, streamlining the online retail process of all webstores that use this software platform.

Knowing how to work it and optimize it, however, is critical to eCommerce success.

Optimization Tips

As mentioned, speed and reliability are vital in eCommerce. If a webstore is slow and causes users to go back through the purchase process, many of them will turn away, maybe even never to come back. This cannot happen if you want your webstore to turn a profit.

With this in mind, here are some optimization tips that will help your Magento 2 store.

Get the Latest Version of Magento

If you are still using Magento 1, you probably know that the support for this platform ends at the end of June. Sure, you may be reluctant to upgrade to Magento 2 because Magento 1 seems to work great for your business, but it won’t for much longer.

Plus, Magento 2 brings a lot of cool new things, without taking away any key feature.

Even if you’ve already upgraded to Magento 2, you can expect frequent updates. You don’t have to update the moment an update becomes available. Maybe choose a low-traffic day based on site analytics.

Oh, and bear in mind that migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 isn’t straightforward. You may actually need some outside technical help. It’s worth it, though – upgrading to Magento 2 is the pillar of Magento optimization.

Update Extensions

Besides migrating to Magento 2, the reason why your platform is underperforming may be because the extensions aren’t updated. Make sure that you scroll through your extensions and third-party add-ons every now and again. Although these should update automatically, sometimes this doesn’t happen.

Enable Magento Compilation

The updated compilation is a brilliant feature on Magento 2. It can actually give you a speed boost of up to 50%.

The compiler will create an index of all application files. This allows the website to skip looking through the data, which speeds things up. The best part: The compiler will cache the files that aren’t used often.

To enable this tool, navigate to System on the platform, select Tools, click Compilation, and then Run Compilation Process.

Revamp JavaScript and CSS

Consider merging your CSS and Javascript file into a single one. This will help reduce HTTP requests, which further improves your page loading times. Speeding things is vital for any webstore.

Fortunately, Magento 2 has a feature that allows you to merge the two files into one. Here’s how to do it.

On your Magento interface, navigate to the Stores tab and then click Configuration. Then, select Advanced and go to Developer. Under CSS Settings and JavaScript Settings, change the dropdown menu settings to Yes. Confirm by clicking Save Config.

You’re not done just yet. You’re going to need to clear the cache if you want the changes to go into effect. To do this, go to your Magento root directory and run these two commands: “php bin/magento cache:clean” and “php bin/magento cache:flush.”

Enable Full-Page Cache with Varnish

Instead of allowing files to handle full-page cache, use Varnish for this. You could also use integrated caching, but that’s a much slower method. Varnish, on the other hand, has been designed for this purpose – to boost HTTP traffic.

To use Varnish to configure Magento, you’ll need to first log into Magento as an administrator. Then, navigate to Stores, followed by Configuration. From this menu, go to Advanced and click System. Finally, navigate to Full Page Cache.

Then, from the Caching Application list, select Varnish Caching. Select the TTL for public content field and enter a value. Now, expand Varnish Configuration and enter your information for the Varnish configuration.

Find Bottlenecks in Third-Party Modules

Like with most platforms, third-party modules and add-ons may not be fully agreeable with Magento 2. Third-party modules may turn into bottlenecks and do more harm than good for your webstore.

Identifying problematic modules and getting rid of them is crucial to optimizing your Magento 2 store.

Using a profiler is the best way to go here. This tool will help you catch up with the number of MySQL queries on a page. Take a look at the identical queries and you can compact them into one, thereby significantly speeding up Magento.

Some third-party modules can ravage the performance of your webstore. Therefore, you’ll want to identify and remove them, if any.

Optimize Images

Every website is impacted by the size of the images used. The higher the resolutions, the slower the load times will be. For example, if there are 30 products on a page and each of them features a 1 MB image, 30 MB needs to be downloaded. This number can go much higher, depending on image sizes and resolutions.

You need to think about a multitude of platforms, as well. For instance, the average desktop internet connection may not have a hard time downloading 30Mb of data. However, try opening this page on a smartphone with limited data available, and it’s a whole other story.

This is why you need to check whether your images are optimized. There has to be a good ratio of image size and quality. If you’re using a small image with a huge resolution, it’s not going to look any different at a lower resolution and the file will be way smaller.

Alternatively (although you can use these two optimization methods in combination), you can resort to the “lazy loading” technique. You’ve probably seen it countless times on various webstores. It means instructing Magento to load your images after the page is loaded. In other words, as a user is scrolling through the catalog.

Applying both of these techniques will help you optimize the images and improve user experience.

Making the Most Out of Your Magento 2 Store

There are many things that you can do to improve the user experience of your Magento 2 store. Always keep in mind that the attention span of the typical buyer is very low – they will give up on a purchase if things aren’t going smoothly. No one likes to spend more time than necessary on online purchases.

Fortunately, Magento 2 is fully equipped to handle the optimization of your webstore. All you need to do is look into the details. And, check for potential bottlenecks every so often.

By interactivated • on June 15, 2020

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