The next site on our series of Magento site speed case studies is www.NBLtextiles.com. We created a staging / development environment for making changes and configuring the site for optimum Magento site speed performance. Working in a development environment is best practice as it takes the risk out of potentially ruining a live site due to any accidental misconfigurations.
We took a copy of the Magento speed test case study site from its live environment to the staging environment prior to starting our speed optimization process. Once the speed configurations were successfully deployed in the staging environment, we launched them into the live environment seamlessly.
STEP 1. Magento Site Speed Optimization Case Study Diagnosis
To properly diagnose the site, we need to understand its performance based on various speed parameters. Based on several tests from GTmetrix, Pingdom, Google Page Insights, and Webpagetest to name a few, we discovered that the time to first byte for www.NBLtextiles.com was very high (between 4 to 12 seconds) and the pages took anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds to load. Here is a product page that was taking over 18 seconds to load:
The site has several thousand products and hundreds of product configurations per item (color, size, etc.) Each time a visitor views any product details page, the database needs to be accessed to pull all of the different configurations for the product. This creates a bottleneck when a site of this nature is hosted in a shared environment with no specific Magento optimizations.
STEP 2. Creating A Development Environment
Based on the specific results and website traffic patterns in our speed test analysis, we put the site on a Microcloud blade running Xeon E3-1230 V3 CPU, 16GB of RAM, with Samsung SSD hard drives in RAID 1. Additionally, Nginx was added for static content serving to run along with Apache 2.2. Varnish was also installed and configured for super fast caching. Here are the results once placed on an optimized Magento platform with eBoundHost:
The home page and details pages now load in under 2.8 seconds and the time to 1st byte is under 165 milliseconds.
Product page results load 3.8 to 11.5 times faster with sub 147ms TTFB.
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