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Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

We have had speed issues since launching our magento site.







4 CPUs
100 GB SSD Storage
1 TB Monthly Transfer
cPanel+WHM Support




Running a GTmetrix the score on a category page is - Pagespeed score 56%, Page Load Time 30.3secs


 GTMEtrix highlights a number of areas of improvement however our developer has said (developer comments in italics):


specify image dimensions – Most of the time we don’t want to specify the image dimensions because it would stop the images from scaling for mobiles.

Defer parsing of javascripts – This is a feature of the theme unfortunately, and there’s not much we can do with it

server scaled images – This just means making sure the images are the right size when uploaded.

minify css – we have combined the CSS in Magento but I don’t think its worth minifying

optimize images – this is for whoever is preparing the images. They need to be saved as low resolution as possible without losing quality. I usually choose Save for Web and “High” for Jpeg in Photoshop. 



I would appreciate any suggestions / advice based on the above. Is the primary issue hosting? Is the theme a primary cause of the speed issue? Any other comments / suggestions.




Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

Besides the theme, there are a few other points to take note of:-


1. Are you using any extensions that can slow things down (this is very normal and happens all the time)? Use the Magento profiler to identify any problematic extensions. 


2. Are your Magento logs regularly cleaned? Make sure that Log Cleaning is enabled (and the Cron Job is running) as the logs can make your database bloated which will slow things down. 


3. Are all application level optimizations already performed? Things like enabling Magento cache, GZip compression, etc. 



As for the server or hosting level, is the server properly optimized for Magento? Is the MySQL properly tweaked to match your store? 


I also can't help but noticed that you run CloudLinux in your VPS. Why would you do that? CloudLinux is only useful for shared hosting and unless you are hosting others in your VPS, it is not something useful and may even cause slowdown. 

James Lee | Moderator • Magento Master
See My Recommended Magento Hosting & Security Tips

Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

Thanks James


To follow up:


1 - Improvements have been made to the server which has improved the speed HOWEVER when I do a speedtest on GTmetrix the waterfall shows the primary issue - - fetching our url!


I would be grateful if you could look at this link prvided and tell me what you think when you see the waterfall particularly the issue around the first step.


2 - The hosting company's response is:


 These are all issues I have raised with (developers name) on the phone and he has advised that due to running Magento that there will be significant load times, as that's how the application performs. For us, the load time of 3 seconds is not acceptable, but this is a constraint of how the site is built. For example if you were to move the code from the header to the footer, the TTFB would significantly reduce and the page would appear to load faster, which I understand is what you want.

You would need to speak to him about these modifications to reduce TTFB, as its not something that can be fixed by the server or its resources.


Thank you for your assistance

Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

Just a quick update. My developers response to the hosting company's suggestion of :


For example if you were to move the code from the header to the footer, the TTFB would significantly reduce and the page would appear to load faster, which I understand is what you want.




"It's governed by the template theme and Magento. There is mod expires already on the server so these static Js and CSS gets cached at client browser."

Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

Did you go through the three points that I stated previously? 


Looking at the GTmetrix report, it only shows that the page itself is taking 5+ seconds to load but it doesn't show why, which is normal as these frontend based performance testing system cannot see beyond the frontend. 


I suspect that your issue is a combination of rougue extensions, lack of application level optimizations and a server which is not properly optimized and tweak for Magento. 

James Lee | Moderator • Magento Master
See My Recommended Magento Hosting & Security Tips

Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting



1) With regards to the extensions this is where I am not sure how to monitor this, I know that since we installed the porto theme the site has slowed down considerably.  But the theme developer says this should not be the case and that it is something else?  How do we figure out which is which, as there always seems to be this conflict between Magento developers!

The other topic related to 


I have switched profiler on.  


2) I am not sure where to clean the logs I can see that they can be switch on or off, is there a way to clean them from Admin? With regards to Cron jobs we have a issue with this as our helpdesk extension is always throwing up alerts that cron is not working.  I have asked the developer to look at this but they only look at it related to their extension and I need a more holistic view.  On a budget, as we are a start up and so far have had no sales as the site is so slow.


3) I have enabled all caches except:

Varnish PagesFull pages cached in Varnish (will also flush ESI blocks)TURPENTINE_FAKE_PAGE_TAGDISABLED
Varnish ESI BlocksESI blocks cached in Varnish (this should not be disabled except for debugging)BLOCK_HTMLDISABLED


Because I am told that we do not have varnish.  I have tried to read up on this but it is not so easy to understand.


I host with TSO Host and they state that they are magento optimised but how do I check that?  Because whenever I state the site is slow they say it is down to Magento being so resource hungry and that they have me on the best hosting for my budget!

So I am not too sure why I we are on a CloudLinux, We are on shared hosting as far as I know.


Please any other help is appreciated to get this resolved.


Thanks so far,



Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

first - there is no such host that is optimized for Magento, this is simply nonsense and speculation (marketing, if you want), having SSD and "Percona" installed doesnt make you optimized... etc...

then cPanel /CloudLinux configurations are usually not configured at all, we have seen 100x of cPanel /CloudLinux servers and none of them was even close to some proper configuration. all was running as default.


second - Magento resource hungry, speculation again. If you have bad code and server is not configured, even one single php file will crash your server.


gzip, css/js merge and images optimization - wont help you to speedup your php application.


about "slow"  - you have to run Aoe_Profiler - it shows you everything.

dont go for cache until you fix all issues before.


we do quick reviews, but if you have shared/managed hosting  -  then you need kick your support butt.




MagenX - Magento and Server optimization

Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting



Thanks again for the messages: this is the response from our hosting support:

"Regarding the MySQL configuration optimization, unfortunately we cannot make this change on our shared hosting platform. To edit the my.cnf file for you, you will need a VPS." and "

Upgrading to a higher hosting package won't improve the loading speed, because this is a heavy website, which require optimization by the developer of the front end/back end of the site."


So it seems we are paying above the odds and are not getting the speed.


Is there someone on here that is willing to help us to find a way out of this dark hole, because if we don't we will need to shut down within a month.  No sales = No business.  Sorry to be dramatic but I have been negotiating with 'Magento Specialists' and 'Magento Hosters' for over 6 months and all I have done is spend my entire budget and have nothing to show for it.


Is there a list of reasonably priced vetted specialists we can approach, who can help?





Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

We have also tried to reduce the size of the front page as it was 19.3 mb and we have successfully reduced it to 4.6mb we know we need to get this below 2 mb.


However we have a number of scripts that are loading too... how do we identify which once can be changed?


Any help is appreciated.

Re: Speed: Theme / Design vs Hosting

Sorry for the delayed reply as I was caught up with many projects at the end of last year so I have not been checking the forum until now. 


May I know if you are still facing this issue? 


Besides using the profiler to identify the scripts or extensions which are slowing down your website, you can also disable each script or extension one-by-one and test the loading speed in order to identify which of them are the culprit. 

James Lee | Moderator • Magento Master
See My Recommended Magento Hosting & Security Tips