Speed up your Joomla website

In this tutorial we will show you how to speed up Joomla website. Usability of your website is extremely depends on the site speed. It is true, if your website is downloading very slow, the visitor wouldn't stay along on it, he will prefer faster website, that ultimately will affect on conversion.

Besides, you shouldn't forget the important fact, that a considerable number of Internet users now use smartphones and tablets, internet connection of which is generally slower. You can check the number of visitors from what gadgets is coming to your Joomla website, just go to Google analytics and check “Mobile devices” section, there you will see how many visitors comes from desktops, tablets and smartphones.

One more thing, the speed of page uploading influence on SEO promotion of your website.Yes it is true, almost all search engines take into account the downloading speed of pages. Therefore the question about the speed of your Joomla website directly affects on conversion. Speed up websites get more visitors from search engines, as well as visitors stay satisfied, because they don’t need to waste a lot of time on waiting while the page is uploading.

In this article we want to consider the factors that influence on working speed of Joomla and methods that will help you to speed up your Joomla website, and be understandable for common Joomla users. It should be noted that Joomla 2.5 and 3.x works quite optimally, we can’t say it is fast and can’t say it is slow. Download and set clear Joomla and you will be sure of that.

First you have to understand what is the condition of your Joomla website. We recommend you to use online speed optimization tool from Pingdom website, it is comfortable and truly tool for website speed analyzing.

So let’s start from main features that may affect on speed of your Joomla website:

  • slow hosting
  • Joomla cache
  • GZIP Compression
  • Joomla extensions(components, modules and templates on frameworks)
  • Browser caching
  • Optimize images
  • CSS optimization
  • Java Script optimization

Slow Hosting

Never, never skimp on hosting, remember once and forever, if your website is on slow hosting, then, whatever you do, you don’t achieve normal results in Joomla website speed up process.

If you are using cheap hosting you must understand, that near with your website on the server there are a huge number of other websites. If you are a webmaster, and you want to speed up Joomla website, first of all pay attention to hosting, but if the client don’t want to move on another faster hosting, discard the project, because you will get nothing, except headache and bad review of course.

Joomla Cache

If the Cache is disable, every time when the page is loading Joomla extracts content from the database, download all plugins, components and modules, template files and gather all this in one page. Because all of this it is waste a lot of time on page loading. But actually the problem is solving easily, Joomla has an built-in cache system, and to enable it you have to:

Enter the admin area=>System=>Global configuration=>Cache Settings=> choose ON - Conservative caching=>Save and Close

Also it is needed to enable Joomla Cache plugin, for this purpose you go to Extensions=>Plugin Manager=>Search plugin with name System - Cache, and enable it.

Speed up Joomla website Cache

Gzip compression

Enabling of GZIP Compression is one of the most important methods when you want to speed up your Joomla website. We named it the most important because after its enabling you can feel the significant differences in your website page speed downloading.

To enable GZIP you need to:

On the Top Menu select System=>Global Configuration and click on Server(tab)=>GZIP Page compression and set the the option to Yes.

Speed up Joomla website Gzip

Joomla Extensions

Number and quality of Joomla extension has a great impact on website speed. We often see a huge number of Joomla Extensions on the clients websites, was the case even that we not be able to view a full list of components in Extensions menu.

First of all clear your Joomla website from unused Joomla extensions, delete all trash, leave only what it is needed for correct working of the website. Do the same with Joomla templates.

We recommend to use only qualitative Joomla extensions such as ours. We are confident that they are fast and reliable, and it will tell you each of our customer.

Browser caching

In modern browsers there a built in cache mechanism, browsers download all javascript, css files and images of your Joomla website.In other words browser make a copy of your website and place it locally on the computer of the visitor, and next time, when visitor would return to your website, browser wouldn't need to download all data from the server, the page will be download from the cache, that is all the sense of browser cache optimization.

You can enable browser caching by adding the following code to your .htaccess file

########## Begin - Optimal default expiration time
## Note: this might cause problems and you might have to comment it out by
## placing a hash in front of this section's lines
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
# Enable expiration control
ExpiresActive On

# Default expiration: 1 hour after request
ExpiresDefault "now plus 1 hour"
# CSS and JS expiration: 1 week after request
ExpiresByType text/css "now plus 1 week"
ExpiresByType application/javascript "now plus 1 week"
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "now plus 1 week"
# Image files expiration: 1 month after request
ExpiresByType image/bmp "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/gif "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/jp2 "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/pipeg "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/png "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/svg+xml "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/tiff "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/vnd.microsoft.icon "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/ico "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/icon "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/ico "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/ico "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/vnd.wap.wbmp "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/vnd.wap.wbxml "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/smil "now plus 1 month"

# Audio files expiration: 1 month after request
ExpiresByType audio/basic "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType audio/mid "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType audio/midi "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType audio/mpeg "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType audio/x-aiff "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType audio/x-mpegurl "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType audio/x-pn-realaudio "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType audio/x-wav "now plus 1 month"

# Movie files expiration: 1 month after request
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType x-world/x-vrml "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/x-msvideo "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/mpeg "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/mp4 "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/quicktime "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/x-la-asf "now plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/x-ms-asf "now plus 1 month"
########## End - Optimal expiration time

Optimize Images

Images plays an important role when the it comes website usability, images makes the website bright and pleasant for the visitor. But experience shows that clients are neglecting images optimization, and it is a big mistake when you want to speed up Joomla website.

Images are very scrupulous question, because when you are optimizing images it is needed to find the middle between quality and size.

Generally we are optimizing images with a help of Photoshop and tool in it “Save for Web”.

For common users, that don’t have much knowledge about how to work with this Software we want to recommend online tool JPEGmini, with a help of what you can make an image smaller 6 times without losing of quality.

CSS files optimization

Optimized CSS code one of the most important thing when you want to speed up your Joomla website.
There 2 methods of css code optimization:

  • optimize css code manually;
  • optimize css code with a help of online tools.

If you decide to optimize CSS manually, you will need to hire a professional developer, who will help you to optimize css files on your Joomla website. Disadvantage of this method is that this process will takes a lot of time and money in addition to that something can be missed.

Online tools optimization will help you to optimize your css files in a seconds, but there are a disadvantage too, in online optimization the main css code lines may be deleted, that ultimately will affects on the design.

We can recommend to use CleancCSS with a standard options, the result is a quite good, for example main css file was compressed at 96 percents.

NOTE! Before starting optimizing CSS file, be sure that you have an original file.

JavaScripts optimization

In Javascript optimization question the methods that can help are quite the same, you can optimize your CSS files manually or online. Advantages and Disadvantages are the same, but the price of hiring Javascript developer is much higher.

For speed optimization of Javascript files on you Joomla website we can recommend online tool Javascriptcompressor

NOTE! Before starting optimizing Javascript file, be sure that you have an original file.

The questions about Joomla website optimization is very important, if your site loading more than 2-3 seconds, you definitely can say “Goodbye” to your potential client. In this article we have discussed the main postulates when you want to speed up Joomla website. But we want to notice, that speed optimization is an endless process just like a website creating. You have to make a speed optimization of your Joomla website in parallel with all other deals, because every day website is growing, new components, modules, pages with images, everything of this list can make an affect on speed or functionality of your website, so it is necessary to test everything, every time it is uploading.

At the same time we want to notice that there is no limit to the ideal, and don’t chase the grail, above mentioned methods will be enough for website with 2000 visitors per day to achieve a great results in loading speed of the Joomla website. Find more interesting information in Joomla tutorials section