General Guidance for Speeding Up Your Joomla Site - HotThemes

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Speeding Up Your Joomla Site

By now, you must know that site speed is important for SEO and keeping users on your site. In order to avoid affecting your search rankings negatively and getting high bounce rates, it is important to know exactly what is making your website slow and how to optimise for speed.

Why is your website slow?

These are some of the most common reasons why your Joomla site is slow:

Too many plugins

Joomla is a popular CMS and one of its many perks is the tens of thousands of extensions made specially for it. While plugins are excellent for achieving all sorts of results to create a functional and dynamic website, they will be loaded and executed at various stages of the page rendering process. Problems arise when it becomes difficult to track what plugin controls what. Having too many plugins installed will slow down your website, especially if many of them are not properly developed. If you're not a programmer, you likely won't be able to tell if a plugin is coded well.

Components and modules

Components and modules can offer great functionality for your website but like plugins, they should not be overused. Keep in mind that too many components and modules will result in less efficiency and performance of your pages, ultimately affecting user experience and revenue.

Your template

There are countless Joomla templates out there providing options for everyone, whether it's a simple template or an extensive one, a poorly programmed one or a properly programmed one. We take extra care when creating every single one of our templates so our customers don’t have to deal with any of these problems. If you have bought a template from us and find that it runs slowly after you have installed and configured it, this is likely due to the high level of functionality that comes with it, and any speed issues you may be having can be easily fixed.

How to speed up your Joomla site

While the aforementioned are some of the most common reasons for slow load time, they are not the only reasons your website may be loading slowly, and as we discuss how to improve your site speed, we’ll also cover other reasons why your website might be slow.

Get rid of extensions you don't need

As mentioned earlier, plugins, components and modules can hurt your site load speed if they are too many. Keep your site light by deleting extensions you don't need; a good place to start will be extensions that affect your site speed the most. Social media scripts such as counters for tweets and likes would normally need additional JavaScript and will have to connect to the remote network, ultimately slowing you down. Image shows and large sliders, as well as scripts such as Google Webfonts and Google Analytics, among others, can significantly slow you down. Even if you decide you need these features, you might be able to upload them to a different page instead of leaving them on your homepage.

Get rid of extensions you don't need

As mentioned earlier, plugins, components and modules can hurt your site load speed if they are too many. Keep your site light by deleting extensions you don't need; a good place to start will be extensions that affect your site speed the most. Social media scripts such as counters for tweets and likes would normally need additional JavaScript and will have to connect to the remote network, ultimately slowing you down. Image shows and large sliders, as well as scripts such as Google Webfonts and Google Analytics, among others, can significantly slow you down. Even if you decide you need these features, you might be able to upload them to a different page instead of leaving them on your homepage.

Change your host or hosting plan

Using a cheap, low-quality host will usually mean you have to share an old and ridiculously slow server. Using the right host is important because even after doing all you can to enhance your site’s performance, a bad host can still make your website slow despite all your efforts. There are a number of good hosts out there that offer excellent basic hosting services for businesses that are just starting out and enable them upgrade to a better plan once they are ready to scale. One of such web hosts is the New Zealand Giant, Umbrellar Cloud Hosting. With a fast, reliable host, you'll be able to see the difference your other optimization efforts have made to your site speed.

Update to the latest version of everything

Due to the nature of technology, Joomla will never cease to develop and improve its system and its extensions. Ensure you keep track and are always up-to-date with the newest versions of their extensions as well as the latest releases of Joomla. It’s also important that your host uses the newest versions of MySQL and PHP in addition to ensuring that the server is properly set up and maintained. Not only will staying up to date help keep your website fast, but you’ll also be protected from known security issues. Even when it seems that there is no clear performance benefit, upgrading to the latest version should be your first point of call if you notice any issues.

While these are the major steps you can take to improve your site speed, there are other things you can do such as cleaning up your database, enabling cashing, using a CDN, performing Gzip compression, and optimizing images.

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