My Magento 1.9 based store currently has more than 500 SKUs. I am expecting an increase in traffic because I'll launch a campaign in upcoming weeks. The current load time is 15 seconds. Since I am expecting an increase in traffic, this load time could be a problem for me. What should I do to improve it? Any suggestions.
> The current load time is 15 seconds....
> this load time could be a problem for me.
15 second page load time is already a problem for you. A well-optimized store should not take more than 5-8 seconds for full page load and you also have to watch your first byte load time because Google is using it for ranking. First-byte time has to be under 0.5 seconds and with 15 seconds page load time, I think yours is well over that number.
You can find some speed tests to run and recommendations on our page here: https://www.finestshops.com/ecommerce_scans.html
As for the actual optimization, you can start by sending a link to speed test result to your current host and ask to fix the problems. This forum has multiple threads for Magento 1.9 speed optimization, I do not want to repeat the details but the main point is: you already have a problem and with more traffic, it will only get worse.
With every extra second of page load time, you are losing 7-15% of your conversion rate and looks like your pages already take 10x more than they should to load.
@Gwyn_michelle15 second load time is really high. 500 SKU is very less. Not sure if you are doing development by yourself or have a development team for the same.
For instant help do basic Magento tuning as well as coordinate with the Hosting provider to optimize the server setting. You should also start looking into slow query logs. However, if you have a development team than they should be able to take care of all this with tons of more optimization options.
Quick and dirty approach.
1. Increase CPU and RAM. Sign up for better hosting at least for a period of your campaign.
2. Install Full Page Cache extension if you are not using one. Google for it. There are some free ones out there.
Long term approach.
1. Perform time to first byte (TTFB) audit. Use magento default profiler or AOE profiler. Use xhprof profiler if you are able to set it up. Study profiler trace and optimize code blocks that take most time.
2. Perform extension's audit. Disable extensions one by one and benchmark speed. Find an abuser. Replace it or contact its vendor for a patch.
3. Go to Google PageSpeed insights ( https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ ) . Scan your site and follow suggestions.