Nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again. Even a one-second delay can drastically reduce page views, customer satisfaction and drop conversions. The website performance, or more specifically, the load time of your website, is essential to providing a great user experience. Here are 6 ways to improve the load time of your website:

1. Avoid the extensions: Every extension added to the system has the potential to impact performance and introduce errors. Before an extension is installed, it should be determined that it can’t be done in native Magento in a creative way and a leaner custom approach isn’t financially feasible.

2. Merge JS/CSS: By going to System -> Developer you can enable merging of JavaScript and CSS. This will reduce the number of requests each page load has to make back to the server and can often make the page “feel” faster as there is less to download.

3. Enable caching: Make sure caching is enabled on your site. This reduces the amount of processing a page has to do on subsequent page loads and lowers the strain on the server.

4. Lightweight pages: It is tempting to put many sliders on the homepage to display products, and this can be a good thing. But studies show if it isn’t above the fold chances are they will never be viewed. Get your customers from the homepage to the products quickly, but don’t put all your products on the homepage. Instead, have a section to feature a product or two and generate content around that.

5. Invest in a CDN: A CDN offloads the static resources (JS, CSS, and Images) from your server to their network that is often times spread out over the entire world. This not only reduces the load on your server but also gets the content to the customer quicker resulting in a page that feels (and measures) faster.

6. Bonus profiling: Target a page or two that needs work and hire a developer to focus his attention on that to identify blocks of code that are inefficient. Many times custom extensions (or customizations) will load far more data than what is needed and slow down the site measurably. Consider hiring a professional to look over and help identify these issues.

The health and performance of your Magento site are critical to growing your online presence and business. We invite you to learn more about the Magento Health & Performance Assessment with one of our Magento certified professionals.

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