Performance Check List
- Global Cache
- System Cache Plugin
First thing to look at is to compress the delivery of files on your website. Most servers these days allow you to deliver content via compression.
To enable GZip in your Joomla website, navigate from the site menu:
Site -> Global Configuration
Click on the SERVER sub menu on the page and you will be presented with the server orientated configuration options.
Choose YES for the radio button next to GZip Page compression and then hit SAVE in the top right corner of the screen.
If you server allows for GZip delivery of content then you pages will be just that little bit smaller now.
Global cache will start caching certain parts of your Joomla website such as the modules and menus that appear on your website. To turn on the global cache, navigate to the Global Configuration via the main administrator menu
Site -> Global Configuration and select the System sub menu item on the screen.
On the side of this screen you will see the caching options.
Basic settings would be to have:
- Cache ON - Progressive caching
- Cache handler: File
- Cache Time: 15 minutes
In Joomla 1.6 we have a few new caching options available to us.
- ON - progressive,
- ON - Conservative and
The progressive settings are the default cache settings. If provides faster caching and takes up the most space in terms of system caching. It isn't recommended for very large websites. It will cache modules.
Conservative cache will only cache certain elements of your website
Cache OFF will obviously disable the caching system on the website.
This option allows you to switch between the different types of caching methods available on your server. File handler is the default and sometimes the only option in many cases. Other server configurations may allow for MEMCACHE and other caching methods. It is best to talk to your hosting providers to get other caching methods enabled on your server.
For websites that update often it would be a good idea to keep this cache time low. For sites that don't update often, e.g. once a week, you can increase this cache time to a few hours.
The system cache or page cache will cache all of the pages on your site for visitors. It also gives you the option to cache the pages on the user's computers/browsers.
To enable the system cache, navigate via the administrator menu to:
Extensions -> Plug-in manager
Here you will be given a list of all the current plugins in your website. Navigate to the System plugin called, System - Cache and select it.
On this screen, choose enable from the drop down menu and then choose YES for Use Browser Caching. This will enable the page caching for the website.
On the default install of Joomla 1.6 the changes are very minimal but you can see how the caching effects the website slightly.
Doing a test over websiteoptimization.com we can see the differences in page size and download speeds over a 56k modem.
|Object Type||Size (bytes)||Download @ 56K (seconds)||Download @ T1 (seconds)|
|Object type||Size (bytes)||Download @ 56K (seconds)||Download @ T1 (seconds)|
The main differences here that you can see is the file size of the HTML page. Before being 14.270 kb is now reduced to 3.641 kb reducing the page load time over a 56k modem from 3.04 seconds to 0.93 seconds.
This reduces the file size down to 25% of the original size which is quite a large decrease in file size.