We Asked a Magento SEO Company How to Optimize a Magento Store for Speed [and Why It’s So Difficult]. Here’s What We Learned.


Magento, arguably the most popular open-source eCommerce platform on the market, truly removes all ceilings, glass and otherwise, from fully customizing an online store.

Since the licensing is open source and anyone can access it, there is literally no limit to the sorts of customizations that eCommerce web designers and developers can make. With the right experience, any UI or UX can be developed, and any tool coded, configured, and integrated.

It is flexible, immensely scalable, and entirely open-ended. However, that flexibility in general and that capability in specific come at a price. Here’s what you need to know about optimizing a Magento website for speed, straight from a Magento SEO company.

Why Is Magento So Difficult to Optimize for Speed in the First Place?

All that flexibility comes at a cost. Since Magento is open-source, users need to host their own websites and perform their own updates.

Insufficient data center capacity to handle website visits, improperly integrated tools, bugs, and outdated software can all take a disastrous toll on speed (not to mention security).

And, considering the fact that website speed is one of the most important ranking signals in SEO, alongside the fact that most users will bounce if a website fails to load within 3 seconds, suffice it to say, a fast Magento website is in your eCommerce business’s best interest.

Here’s what we learned about how to optimize a Magento website for speed.

Tips for Success

  1. Take Steps to Reduce Server Initial Response Time

Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights, check up on a metric known as TTFB, otherwise known as Time to First Byte. TTFB tells you how long it takes your server to establish a connection and serve up the first “byte” of information.

If it’s more than 600ms, it’s too long. So what can you do about it?

There are two options. If you run your own data center, you can consider virtualization, web caching, or implementing a CDN.

On that latter note, if you “rent” your server space, consider migrating to a platform that offers a CDN which will ultimately lower your server response times.

  1. Optimize Store Theme and Images

Excess coding on a Magento theme can massively compromise website speeds, which will adversely affect your user experience as well as your SEO strategy. Minimize coding or switch to a Magento theme created by experienced Magento developers.

Large image files also increase webpage size which will slow down loading speeds and can hurt search engine rankings. Either use compressed images or use a free image resize tool to help speed up your web pages.

  1. Minimize Your Use of Plugins

We get it, some Magento plugins are vital to the user experience, but others just eat up space and increase the overall load on your website. The more there are, the slower the page will be, all things considered.

The best advice most SEO consultants can offer is only to use expertly coded Magento plugins that have been around a while and are well-vetted. Poor coding can throw a serious wrench into website loading speeds.

  1. Use Magento Varnish Caching

Finally, Varnish Caching (available for full-page caching for Magento 2 users) is an HTTP accelerator that caches static content that slows down web speeds.

Install Varnish for Magento 2 and your server response time should drop substantially – although, of course, if you are not familiar with this sort of project, the help of an experienced Magento web developer might come in handy.

Learn More from a Qualified Magento SEO Company

These tips, straight from a Magento SEO company (GeniusEcommerce.com) will help speed up your eCommerce website which can increase the efficacy of your Magento SEO campaign.

But speed is not the only ranking factor that impacts the success of Magento SEO. There are also keyword research, on and off-page SEO, technical SEO, and content, among others. Many Magento SEO experts agree that starting with an SEO audit can help uncover the flaws that are hampering rankings.

If you want to learn more about how Magento SEO agencies go about improving web page speeds as we did, as well as what other website work Magento SEO services entail, visit Genius eCommerce’s website via the link above.


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