7 Tips to Speed Up your PrestaShop Hosting

Posted on 03 December, 2012 by PJ Taei

With the Internet growing so rapidly everyday, its important to capture your visitors attention immediately. Many different aspects of your website will help capture your users attention, but there is no question that a slow website is one of the key reasons why users immediately leave a website and won?t return. This all comes down to the setup of your PrestaShop Hosting account as well as the setup of your PrestaShop storefront itself. Speeding up your PrestaShop store is not easy and can get technical but we are more than happy to help our PrestaShop hosting customers. Here are some tips below to help you speed up your store.

1. Switch to the new directory free for Pictures

In PrestaShop v1.4, a new storage architecture is setup for pictures. The main goal is to avoid having 10,000 pictures in the same /img/p folder. Rather, the pictures will be spread into subfolders (ex: ?/img/p/1/2/?, etc.).
If you upgraded your shop from a previous version of PrestaShop, you need to do the following to take advantage of this improvement:
a. Go to your admin panel and click on the ?Preferences? tab, then ?Images?, look at the ?Move images? section
b. As the process can take a while, make sure that your server can run PHP scripts for more than 30 seconds. If you are not sure, ask your hosting provider.
c. Click on ?Move images?

2. Make sure your template engine Smarty is configured properly

d. Go to your admin panel and click on the ?Preferences? tab, then ?Performance?, look at the ?Smarty? section
e. Check that ?Force compile? is set to false
f. Check that ?Cache? is set to true

3. Enable CCC (Combine, Compress, Cache)

a. In your admin panel and click on the ?Preferences? tab, then ?Performance?, look at the ?CCC (Combine, Compress and Cache)? section
b. Enable everything except the ?High risk HTML compression?

4. Create sub-domains for Javascript files and CSS files

g. Create a sub-domain js1.mystore.com and ask your hosting provider to direct it to /js/
h. Create a sub-domain js2.mystore.com and ask your hosting provider to direct it to /theme/mytheme/js/
i. Create a sub-domain css1.mystore.com and ask your hosting provider to direct it to /css/
j. Create a sub-domain css2.mystore.com and ask your hosting provider to direct it to /theme/mytheme/css/
These 4 sub-domains will allow your visitors to load more files at the same time. Basically, a web-browser is limited to 8 parallel downloads. Each sub-domain is adding 8 new parallel downloads, so the total would be 40 (Main domain + 4 sub-domains).

5. Setup a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

We offer CloudFare to our customers as a free tool. CloudFare is an amazing tool and takes your website and saves it in different locations all around the world. So when users access your website from locations far away from your server, the heavy images are localized and everything else is loaded from the server as it would normally. This significantly speeds up your website.

6. Contact your web host and see if they offer Nginx.

Nginx can help speed up your web server and is much faster than Apache. Although we recommend Apache, this is a last resort step that can also help speed up your website.

7. Make sure your web host offers a fast high quality network and server environment

This is something often overlooked. Simply said if your web host is packing servers with lots of customers, it will simply slow down your website. So make sure you are hosting on a fast Cloud VPS or Dedicated server for a PrestaShop store. Cloud VPS is your best option as its easily scalable and offers incredible speed and uptime.

I hope that these tips have given you some valuable information as to ways to speed up your PrestaShop store. Feel free to contact us if you need help with speeding up your website.

About the Author

Posted on 03 December, 2012 by PJ Taei

PJ is the founder and CEO of WebNet Hosting.