Optimizing Your Joomla Site

Posted at October 23, 2015 at 8:28 am by InterServer Staff

Optimizing Your Joomla Site

Joomla is one of the most popular content management systems available today, and is used for millions of websites around the world. It is an easy to use CMS, and has a the ability to be customized using software extensions and plugins. While there are certainly many advantages to running a site using Joomla, this CMS can have issues with slow load times if not managed properly.

When any type of website has slow load times, site owners often think it is a problem with the hosting. While that may be possible, it is far more likely that the software running the site is to blame. If you’ve found that your Joomla powered website is not operating as quickly as you’d like, try the following optimization strategies first to see that solves the problem. Of course, you are always welcome to contact our customer support team for assistance if these tips don’t help.

Enable Caching

One of the easiest things you can do to improve the loading time for your website is to enable caching from within the Joomla admin panel. Caching websites offers many benefits to the efficiency of your site, as well as the loading speed, and has no real downside, so even if your site is not running slow, it makes sense to enable this feature. The following simple instructions will allow you to quickly enable cashing:

  1. Log into your Joomla Admin Panel
  2. Scroll down to the Global Configuration section
  3. Select the System Menu Tab
  4. Scroll down and to the right until you see the Cache Settings
  5. Change the drop down menu to “ON” for Cache
  6. Adjust the Cache Time to 30 minutes
  7. Scroll back up to the top, and click the Save & Close button

The cache is now enabled on your site, which should have a positive effect on the loading times. If, after a few hours, you still feel your site is loading slowly, move on to the next suggestions for further improvement.

Choose an Efficient Template

There are thousands of different Joomla templates available to choose from, with a wide range of different looks and features associated with them. Most people choose a template based strictly on how it looks, or the features it includes. Unfortunately, some of these templates are not coded very efficiently, or they contain a high number of images on each page.

Consider finding a template that looks great, but was coded specifically for fast load times and efficient operations. This typically means having fewer images per page, and a ‘cleaner’ appearance. Fortunately, this also tends to make the site look better for viewers as well.

Disable Unnecessary Components, Modules and Plugins

One of the biggest attractions to Joomla is that you can customize the site using any of the thousands of available components, modules and plugins. These options are a great resource, and allow you to create a powerful website; however, they also consume a lot of system resources. If your site is running slowly, go through each component you have installed, and disable any of them that are not absolutely essential. Disabling these features is very simple, and if you find that you need them enabled again, it only takes a moment. To disable any of these options, follow these simple instructions:

  • Log into your Joomla Admin Panel
  • Click the ‘Extensions’ tab at the top
  • Click ‘Components’
  • Find any components in the list that you want to disable, and click the green check under the enabled column. This should turn the green check into a red X.

Repeat this process for modules and plugins (the tab for each of these items is right next to the components tab).

Once completed, reload your site and see if it is loading faster. In many cases, simply removing unwanted components or other features can have a significant impact on the loading speed. In some cases, it is one specific component that is causing problems, so consider disabling them one at a time until you notice the site loading more quickly.

Don’t Display Statistics

One specific feature that can cause a site to load slowly is the displaying of live statistics. Showing, for example, how many people are currently online or logged in can take a significant amount of system resources. If you are showing any real time statistics on your site, consider disabling that feature to see if it fixes the problem.

Contact Us for Help

If you’ve gone through and properly optimized your Joomla site, but you’re still experiencing slow load times, you may need to upgrade to a more powerful hosting solution. This happens when a site begins receiving a lot of traffic on a consistent basis (congratulations!). The support staff here at InterServer can analyze your specific situation and recommend solutions for upgrading to a more powerful hosting solution. If you decide to go this route, we will move your site to its new server to ensure there is little to no downtime experienced.

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