Here are some steps to speed up your Magento!

What will you find in this article?

What to do if your Magento is slow?
The situation of most Luma-based Magento e-commerce (including themes)
How to speed up your store on Magento
Summary – what to do if your Magento is slow

What to do if your Magento is slow

There are several ways to speed up Magento.

If you are using Luma, changing the frontend to Hyva may be the best solution. However, if you don’t want to change the frontend and still want to use the old front-end, there are 7 actions you can take to speed it up.

In addition, you can:

  • update the PHP
  • remove unnecessary modules
  • focus on optimizing your hostin

If you are interested in the details, I encourage you to read the rest of the article, where I elaborate on this simple answer.

The situation of most Luma-based Magento e-commerce (including themes)

I will start with the story of my recent meeting with an ecommerce director from the fashion industry who managed a Magento-based online store.

About 2 years ago, this director decided to create an online store using Magento. The technology used for the frontend is a modified Luma (this is the basic front end, along with the graphic design used in Magento since 2015). Of course, visually, Luma can be heavily modified (so that it will not resemble Luma at all). However, this does not change the fact that from the technical side, it is simply Luma all the time.

Let’s go back to the ecommerce director’s story. The graphic designs of the store did not resemble the old Luma at all. It was incredibly changed.

It costs several hundred thousand EUR/USD to code this store. It took 1300 hours to create this frontend on heavily modified Luma. This is an enormous amount.
The ecommerce director expected the store to start generating huge profits after such an investment (thanks to conversion rate optimization). He expected a lot of transactions. It didn’t happen.

He started getting regular requests from a marketing agency, indicating a problem with the store’s speed. Its low rating in Google PageSpeed results was negatively affecting the site’s optimization for organic results or SEO.

This leads to a problem with the rising cost of traffic acquisition. The cost of ads on Google Ads and paid traffic is steadily rising, and the trend is not changing. As a result, the company’s profitability is declining.

To improve ecommerce profitability, you can start by changing the proportion of traffic sources. You need to attract more free traffic from organic results. To achieve this, the site must be optimized for SEO.

One important parameter determining whether a store is ranked well by Google is its speed. This is where we encountered a major problem. Magento, which cost several hundred thousand EUR/USD, was running too slowly. In Google PageSpeed results, it only reached about 20 points on mobile and about 37 on desktop. This was too low, especially since the competition achieved much higher results.

To compete with the best stores in the fashion industry, we should aim for scores of about 80 on mobile and about 90 on desktop.

So, I prepared a plan to make the store run faster and achieve higher results in Google PageSpeed.

The plan consisted of 5 points, but for this post, I decided to add additional one. Suppose you are experiencing problems similar to those faced by this ecommerce director, i.e., declining business profitability due to rising advertising costs, and would like to generate more free organic traffic. In that case, this plan will be very helpful.

How to speed up your store on Magento

If the front-end of your store is based on Luma (or is built on a ready-made template, which in turn is built on Luma), then I would suggest two different concepts:

Changing the frontend to Hyva

The first concept is to replace the Luma-based frontend with a Hyva-based frontend.

I wrote a separate article on this topic. If you want to learn what Hyva is, I invite you to read it.

For this article, a short note – Hyva is a type of Magento frontend that stands out for its remarkable speed. In Google PageSpeed, you can achieve 90 on mobile and 95 on desktop.

On the other hand, implementing Hyva will require several hundred hours of work from a programmer, project coordinator, tester, and graphic designer. Nevertheless, this will give you a huge competitive advantage in the market.

In addition, with the implementation of Hyva, you should take 2 additional steps:

  • verify each module for full page cache = false
  • implement the module for WebP images

The goal is to change the format of images from heavy jpg, png, or similar to WebP. This is an image format that is very lightweight and promoted by Google.

Optimizing Luma in 7 steps

I understand that implementing a new front end is not always feasible, as it requires a pretty high budget (although probably 2x less than a PWA implementation anyway).

So, I have an alternate suggestion for the Hyva implementation. You can try to optimize Luma. Here, I’ll just throw in a little asterisk-even after optimization, achieve results in Google PageSpeed no higher than about 85 for the desktop version and about 45 for the mobile version. These are the limitations of the now-old Luma.

So, one step at a time:
1. Enabling Critical Path.
2. Enabling moving JS to the bottom of the page so as not to block the head.
3. Enabling minification of HTML, JS, and CSS.
4. Bundling of JS.
5. Excluding unnecessary packages from Magento that overload the system, for example, GraphQL packages.
6. Verify each module for full page cache = false.
7. Implementing a module for images in WebP format.

Implementing this checklist will take 80 or so, maybe even 110 hours of developer and tester work.

It will raise your Google PageSpeed scores to 85 points on desktop and 45 for mobile.

If you are not ready to change the frontend to Hyva, then optimizing Luma provides a fairly quick speed improvement, and it is a more economical solution.

PWA optimization

Now we come to a little bonus. You might as well have a PWA that is slow.

I have one little tip: use server-side rendering. The idea is to render the pages on the server side.

Upgrade PHP to a higher version

The next step I suggest is to upgrade PHP to a newer version. Usually, such a change brings a small speed improvement, but any optimization is valuable.

Remove unnecessary modules

Often, Magento projects that have existed for some time have modules that are no longer used. Even though they are not used, they burden the Magento system, slowing its performance. If this is the case, we recommend that you conduct a thorough audit and clean Magento of unnecessary modules.

Not only will you speed up Magento, but it also reduces future maintenance costs. For example, if you plan to upgrade Magento to a higher version, you won’t have to pay for modules you don’t use, which will bring savings when migrating to a new version of Magento.

Module review should be done at least once a year.

Good hosting

It is crucial to keep in mind several aspects of hosting. Even if you are not technical, ask the company you work with about these three points and the cost of implementing them.

  1. The focus should be on easily scaling the machines that support the frontend. The frontend-related machines are key to achieving high scores on Google PageSpeed.
  2. Other important issues include optimizing the architecture related to databases.
  3. Dedicating a separate machine for the administration panel.

These 3 elements in terms of hosting should accelerate your Google PageSpeed results.

Summary – what to do if your Magento is slow

In conclusion, if you want to speed up Magento and achieve higher Google PageSpeed results, which translates into better organic search results and more free traffic, I have worked out a specific action plan for you.

If you use Luma and have a frontend based on this technology, you can change it to Hyva.

However, if you are already on Luma, I have presented 7 main points that can be implemented to optimize Luma. Implementing these points will require about 80-110 hours but will allow you to optimize Luma.

In addition, it is worth upgrading PHP to a higher version, removing unnecessary modules, and optimizing the hosting.

If you use PWA and notice that it runs slowly, you should be interested in server-side rendering.

If the problem of slow Magento is valid in your case and you feel that paid traffic is costing you more and more, hey, why not contact me? We will discuss your situation in detail and propose an action plan, which, in your case, would most likely lead to an improvement in Google PageSpeed results.

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