Joomla is a wonderful Content Management System (CMS), but sometimes websites created in Joomla can be slow. At times the graphics won't even render.

Computers have always had a trade-off between cost, speed, and space. If you have enough money, you can buy all the speed and storage you need, but generally, people and business must perform a three-way balancing act between cost, speed, and space. The trick to speeding up your site is to figure out where the problem is in the balancing act and fix it.

Here's a list of the most important things to do to get your website moving along faster-and rendering.

Compression

Generally, when you host your site with a hosting company, the problem you'll run into is transfer rate This is not always true, but often is. It is so often the case, that I generally assume the transfer rate is the problem and work from there. By default, Joomla does not have server-side compression turned on. Turn it on and try your site out. Chances are it will help.

Turn on compression

Log into the back-end of Joomla, website.com/administrator. Go to Global Configuration. Go to the Server tab (and skip over Site and System). Turn on Gzip Page Compression in the Server Settings Group.

How compression helps

Before sending out a bunch of data to Joe Public in his living room, Joomla compresses all that information in gzip and sends our the compressed data. The browser in Joe Public's living room un-compresses the data and displays the site. This will speed up your site if the transfer rate is the problem and not the speed of any of the computers.

Cacheing

I have a lot of books. Some of my books are reference books. The majority of my books are organized across bookshelves in my house. A couple of books, however, I use a lot, and I don't bother to put them away. I keep them on my desk because of the frequent use. These books form my reference book cache.

Like my reference book cache, Joomla can be set up to use a cache.

Turn on cacheing

Log into the Joomla back-end at website.com/administrator. Go to Global Configuration and then go to the System tab. Check the radio box for Cache in the Cache Settings group from No to Yes. Set the minutes to something, or leave it at the default of 15 minutes.

How does cacheing help?

What this tells Joomla to do is if it needs a file, and it has used that same file within the last fifteen minutes, it will use the one it already pulled from disk and not pull it again. This can speed up your system if the same files tend to be used repeatedly.

Graphics

The next most important thing to do to speed up your Joomla site is to make sure your graphics are the correct size. If this wasn't done correctly in the beginning of your website, this can be an arduous process to fix. How to fix the graphics: Look at the pictures on your website. If a graphic is displayed at 200 by 200 but it is saved on disk as 1,000 by 1,000, then you need to fix this.

Fix the graphics

The first step is to download your graphics and pull them into Photoshop, Picaso, or some kind of graphics editing program. Next, change the size of the image to the size you actually display it as. So, if you want an imaged displayed at 200 by 200, save it this way. Then, re-upload your files. Keep the same file names to make your life a bit easier. At this point you can "clean" up your code, if you want, by going into the articles that display those images and clearing out the width and height fields. Or, you can just leave those fields alone.

How does this help?

It is faster to read a small file from disk than a larger file. It is faster to compress and transfer out to the user's system when the file is small. It is faster to un-compress a smaller file.

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