How to increase website speed in a slow Joomla site

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How to increase website speed in a slow Joomla site

Recently I had to work overtime for a client which had some issues with speed on a normal shared account. My first thought would be to obviously check what he has installed. My really first impression was ‘WOW, that’s a lot …’.

Even though he’s website didn’t had a lot of visitors or perhaps none at all, installing a lot of plugins and components will use a great deal of resources on a normal shared account, thus the site will begin to slow down.

I think this is also happening on almost all versions of Joomla, while its true that Joomla is one of the best CMS out there and allows for an unlimited ways of using it, it can cause issues if your account can not handle the resources it needs.

Ok, now back to our stuff, as I was saying, he had a lot of plugins and components. True though that the website was really nice. Lots of functionality there to play with.

But what can you do to increase your slow Joomla website speed? Well as I’m always saying to all users, cache your mysql queries and serve them as static content, this is true for all scripts, not just joomla. Mysql queries are usually the slowest on a website. Of course this does not exclude the possibility of having a bad coded script that could just mess up everything …

For caching functionality, Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.0 now has 2 options by default that you can use.

These cache settings are:

  • Progressive
  • Conservative

Progressive Joomla cache settings

This options allows you to progressively cache everything, including plugins, components and modules. This is probably the best one I’ve tested, but haven’t really used it a lot (don’t have a joomla website myself). The option will cache each section individually, each plugin, component or module will have its own cache.

Conservative Joomla cache settings

This is probably used when you’re still doing testing, this will cache your page as a whole, like creating a quick snapshot of your page and saves it as a static page. And from what I understand, it disables the components, modules and plugin caching

You also have the option to change the time for how long to cache your pages/sections, you can increase this if your site is just a simple static page, but don’t lower it from default else you defeat the purpose of the cache section.

Well that’s about it, I haven’t really seen the client since I made the changes for him and setting the apropiate cache, but he was actually happy that I helped him even though he had some really big issues with his site.

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