Magento 2 (M2) comes as a new era of e-commerce innovation. It has more features and is more complex, and has more lines of code, compared to the first generation of this popular platform. Such a level of flexibility comes at a price, M2 can be slow. Poor performance is the number one complaint from store owners and developers.

 
In this article I will share my expertise on how to make Magento 2 faster, and provide 7 practical tips to optimize the performance of any M2 site.
 
7 Tips to Speed up Magento 2
1. Inspect every installed 3rd-party extension
Magento 2 core is written by programming experts. There is not much room for improvement in the core code. That is normally not the case for extensions you can buy, or download for free. Some of them could really slow the site down.
 
You should perform a 3rd-party extensions audit. Turn every module on and off, clear caches, and see if it changes the site’s speed. Test all important page types, front page, category pages, product pages and checkout. If you turn off an extension and the site becomes faster – you have found an abuser. Contact this plugin’s vendor and let them know about the performance problem. Ask for a refund, write a review, and find an alternative if they don’t respond.
 
To turn off the extension you will need SSH access. Most hosting companies will allow you to access the server via SSH and will provide you with necessary credentials.
 
2. Choose the fastest hosting you can afford
The hosting plan you choose plays an important role in overall website’s performance. You can’t have a fast M2 store on a cheap VPS.
 
Magento 2 has specific technology requirements. You can have a look at them here. I would mention only two: 2G of RAM at minimum and SSD (solid state disk). You can not expect decent speed if you don’t meet either one of those two criteria. 
 
Choose any Net World's Magento 2 plan, or as much RAM, CPU and SSD space as you can afford on other hosts. Do not go cheap on hosting.
 
3. Turn Caching On
You would be surprised how many times I fixed a client’s slow-M2 problem simply by enabling cache. “Of course it is slow” – I tell them, “Your cache is off!”.
 
Go to backend menu System > Cache Management and double check the settings. It should all be green.
 
4. Turn Production Mode On
Magento 2 has three modes of operation: default, developer and production. The fastest one is production. Default and developer modes are used for debugging purposes and should never be used for a live site.
 
You will need to get SSH access details from your hosting provider to find out what mode you are running in now. 
 
5. Never Use JS Bundling
JS bundling is a special feature of Magento 2. It is supposed to cut down a number of HTTP requests required to load a page by grouping JavaScript files.
 
It is supposed to be good for performance but it is actually not. If you activate JS bundling it would create a huge 5-10Mb file with all the Javascript code. The file that big would negatively impact page load time.
 
Many elements on web page was a problem a few years back, but all decent M2 web hosts should now run SSL and HTTP2.
 
You can double check JS bundling is off by going to backend menu Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Developer:
 
6. Enable CSS/JS Minification
This is another special Magento 2 feature that was absent in Magento 1. You now can minify JS/CSS files with no need for 3rd-party extension.
 
Go to Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Developer and set minification on
 
7. Use Built-in Cache, Skip Varnish
Magento 2 has two options for Full Page Cache: built-in application and Varnish. You can choose between the two at Stores > Configuration > Advanced > System ( on M2.2.2 you need to be in developer mode to make a switch ):
 
My advice – do not use Varnish. I will name you three reasons why you should avoid it:
 
Additional point of failure
  • Varnish is a 3rd-party software that a. Would break b. needs maintenance and upgrades.
  • Not so easy with SSL traffic
  • Secure traffic is a must-have nowadays but you might face serious difficulties trying to setup Varnish over SSL. There are workarounds but they don’t always work.
  • Random access
  • Site visitors access random pages which are not always cached. 
 
 
 

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