How to optimize Joomla! for better performance

There are a number of techniques to improve the performance of your Joomla! site. Some are easy and some are more suitable for experienced Joomla! administrators.

Gzip compression

  • Log in to the back end of your site
  • Go to System > Global Configuration > Server
  • Enable Gzip page compression

This is easy and will compress all assets as they leave your server, and smaller file sizes mean faster downloads from your site to your visitors.

CDN or Content Delivery Network

CDNs speed up your site by caching your content at numerous global data centres, then serving content from the data centre closest to each of your visitors. Two well known CDN services are CloudFlare and Amazon CloudFront, and there are many others.

If you have purchased SiteLock Perform or SiteLock Shield, a CDN is already included in your plan and there is no need to enable or sign up for another CDN product.

CloudFlare offers a free level of service, has added security and performance benefits, and you can activate it directly from your HostPapa control panel.

Remove Unused Extensions

Over time, adding additional extensions may slow down your site. If you’ve installed an extension that you no longer use, remove it.

Browser Caching

Static assets like images, CSS and JavaScript files can be cached in your browser. If you’ve downloaded an image once, caching means that subsequent views of the same image will come directly from your browser’s cache as opposed to the web server.

You can use the .htaccess file in the root of your Joomla! installation to configure this.

  • If you haven’t already done so, rename htaccess.txt .htaccess and save a backup
  • Add the following at the end of the .htaccess file

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/css text/javascript application/javascript
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 600 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 604800 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 216000 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/xhtml+xml "access plus 600 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 2592000 seconds"
</IfModule>

Joomla! Performance Extensions

The Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED) has a number of performance extensions, two popular ones are:

  • JCH Optimize, which combines multiple CSS and JavaScript files, and
  • JotCache, which is a replacement for the native Joomla! page caching

Joomla! Caching

This is recommended for more experienced Joomla! Admins; see our HostPapa help doc for more details about this.

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