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How to Optimize Prestashop for Maximum Performance How to Optimize Prestashop for Maximum Performance Tutorial

published 3 years ago

Prestashop is one of the leading open-source eCommerce platform. If you ask anyone in SEO industry or generally what is important for a website and specially a eCommerce site - Its the speed of website. This guide will show you tips and tricks to Optimizing your Prestashop in eight easy steps:

This guide is specially applicable for Prestashop 1.6.x since it has many new options and also, Prestashop is tuned for Performance. 

1. Smarty Configuration 

Smarty is a templating engine used by Prestashop. Its important to keep the following configuration for optimal performance.

Enabled by Default : Yes

Advance Parameters > Performance

2. Enable CCC (Compress, Combine, Cache) and Apache Optimization

This option in very important and should be enabled. Here is why:

Compress Combine and Cache - As the name suggests it compresses CSS, JS and HTML, combines CSS and JS and lastly caches CSS and JS. Thereby reducing size for the browser to download.

Apache Optimization - It modifies the .htaccess file to add Expires header for many file types, unsets Etag header and adds deflate compression for many file types. All good stuff.

Enabled by Default : No

Advance Parameters > Performance

3. Prestashop Cache

This is a very wast topic, you need to learn about Memcached, APC and Xcache (see comparison here). TL;DR : Use APC or Xcache if you are have just one shop since Memcached is used to distribute the cache among multiple systems and it shines there. 

Ask your hosting provider about enabling APC / Xcache.

Enabled by Default : No

Advance Parameters > Performance

4. Third-party caching modules

You can go even a step further and install following caching modules. They are well tried and tested

Disclaimer: Both come with a price tag.

Express Cache $49

This module caches every request in a static HTML file "smartly" and then the subsequent requests get served from the "smart" cache. "Smart" here refers to the Dynamic Hooks functionality of Express Cache which changes a part of cached pages based on the your shop modules. For example - "blockviewed" output is different for every visitor based on their browsing history but Express Cache takes care of it and serves the dynamic content even for cached page.

Presta Speed $50

This module optimizes your Prestashop database, images and configuration to increase the front office and back office access speed. This module helps on top of what Express Cache can do. 

5. Tune your MySQL Settings

Here are few quick settings you can optimize using Query Caching.

  • query_cache_size – This is the size of the cache in bytes. Setting this value to 0 will effectively disable caching.
  • query_cache_type – This value must be ON or 1 for query caching to be enabled by default.
  • query_cache_limit – This is the maximum size query (in bytes) that will be cached.

So basically, increaseing "query_cache_size" and "query_cache_limit" will help. 

You can get fine tune your my.cnf file from this tool - https://tools.percona.com/wizard

This topic is also a vast area to learn and explore. Read up on MySQL Performance Tuning.

6. Image Optimization

Even though Prestashop is optimized for responsive images for various sizes, its important to know that the images can still be compressed. Smushit! is a great service for this precious requirement. 

You can optionally use this module for better integration. How to set it up.

7. CDN

Setting up CDN is totally an optional setting, but it can help you get speed boost since the assets will be served via CDN thus reducing the time browser will use to load your site. 

You can use services like MetaCDN or MaxCDN and fill in your media service information in Prestashop. 

Enabled by Default : No

Advance Parameters > Performance

8. Reverse Proxy

You can use some reverse proxy like Varnish or Squid HTTP reverse proxy or HTTP accelerator. You can read more about installing Varnish at dh42's blog. It has some more amazing stuff there. 

9. Check your performance

You can use YSlow by Yahoo or PageSpeed by Google to test if all or any of the above is working for you or not. Alternatively, try GTMetrix, which tests your site from both YSlow and PageSpeed angles.

10. Use VPS

This is more of generic suggestions rather than specific to Prestashop. VPS is Virtual Private Server which gives few distinct advantages over Shared hosting like (virtually) dedicated RAM and storage space, playing with Apache/ngix/MySQL instance configuration and complete control on all aspects of your installation. 


We hope the guide helps you to speed up your Prestashop webshop. Comment below if you have any more ideas to improve speed.

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