Slow load in prestashop

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Slow load in prestashop

This is my second article I’m writing about this Ecommerce script, the old article was specifically written for prestashop slow speed in version 1.5 that just launched, but I’ve seen that a lot of users are accessing the old link and still having issues. Why am I doing this? I figured is best to have it nicely as a step by step guide using images and also I found a nice little trick to rely on browser cache to speed this even more, this will reduce the page load to your visitors when they will access the same page in, say 600 seconds or so (you an choose the timeout). I’ve seen a lot of issues so far with prestashop, site being slow, or just slow load on prestashop frontend. It is true that it needs to parse the php page, however, since it has a caching mechanism, you would think it would cache the pages? Nope, these are still parsed it seems … indeed its wrong, but can’t help it …

Anyway, lets get started. Compared to last time, I’ll try to explain step by step how to optimize your website.

1. SEO & URLs

Although this doesn’t really falls in the optimization part, it does help when caching the pages. Compared to using page names with lots variables which are hard to cache, it is better to cache .html or .htm pages for example.

This can be done directly from section Preferences / SEO & URLs

SEO & URLs

Preferences / SEO & URLs

You will need to check the Friendly URL and, if using special characters, Accented URL. The rest can be left as they are and click the Save button. Now some of you will see there an error that mod_rewrite is not active on the server, that’s really a bug in the script, mod_rewrites works nicely and without errors, even prestashop is rewriting the URLs normally. So just ignore that message, unless for you it really doesn’t work. At that point, check to see if you have the .htaccess file on your account or contact your hosting provider.

2. Smarty cache

We can now start with the exact settings for properly caching the pages. First go to Advanced Parameters / Performance

First we have Smarty Cache, check the following options:

  • Never recompile template files
  • Check Cache
  • Do not open console
Smarty cache

Smarty cache

3.  CCC (Combine, Compress and Cache)

This is also important, since we no longer use smarty compile as it was before deactivated, we only need to check:

  • Use CCC for CSS
  • Use CCC for JavaScript.
  • Keep HTML as original
  • Keep inline JavaScript in HTML as original
  • Check Apache optimization
CCC - Combine Compress Cache

CCC – Combine Compress Cache

4. Ciphering

This I usually leave it by default:

  • Use Rijndael with mcrypt lib.
Ciphering

Ciphering

5. Caching

Lastly we have the caching mechanism, if possible, try using memcached, APC or Xcache, if your hosting service does not offers this, you can use the normal File System cache.

  • Check Use cache
  • Caching system : File System
Caching Prestashop

Caching Prestashop

Of course, next is the CDN option, you can also use a CDN for speeding up and caching even more, I found MaxCDN and Cloudflare to be really great and cheap (Cloudflare free).

6. Implementing browser static cached file for prestashop

Its a fancy name, but its really just some .htaccess rules with some expire and caching headers. Se bellow:

Open the .htaccess file inside your document root of your website and add the above lines just under your existing .htaccess rules.
With this you set a timeout of 3600 seconds on each resource request from your website, on next request of the same page, the user will use the pages from their browser cache and he will also be happy that the page is loading faster.

More information on these tweaks can be found on this page were I wrote more how you can cache your pages using browser cache, you can play even more with this if you wish.

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  • Hey,

    Actually after doing this my site became even slower! Both the page itself and the console is pretty slow.

    • I can assure you that all these settings would not cause a slow down, especially in your admin console. The only issue with prestashop is the frontpage since they have a variable that won’t allow direct browser caching. So if you have issues on your admin side also, then you should probably change hosts.

      What you can also do besides the above settings I already mentioned is to:
      * In Optional features, disable “Features
      * In CCC (Combine, Compress and Cache), enable Apache Optimization

      You should then see improvements but will remove the features there like tabs on products or product value.

      Check here a demo, it loads really fast for me!

      http://www.presta.yourhowto.net/presta/

  • I can see the difference, already. The .htaccess bit was the icing on the cake. Thanks!

    • Thanks for checking, and you’re welcome.

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