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Useful tips to speed up your PrestaShop store

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2012-06-21 15:45:37

Speeding up a site is often very complicated & technical. Fortunately, with PrestaShop, you can do most of the job yourself! Following these below tips to be successful!

1. Be sure that your Template Engine Smarty is configured properly

- Go to Admin Panel, click on “Preferences” -> “Performance” & look at “Smarty”

- Check that “Force Compile” is set to false & “Cache” to true

2. Enable Compress, Combine & Cache (CCC)

- Go to Admin Panel, click on “Preferences” -> “Performance” & look at “CCC”

- Enable all except “High Risk HTML Compression”

3. Select Ridjnael rather than Blowfish to code your cookies

- Go to Admin Panel, click on “Preferences” -> “Performance” & look at “Ciphering”

- Select “Ridjnael” rather than “Blowfish”

Note: It is obligatory that you have mcrypt PHP extension installed on your server, or you will get an error message.

4. Change to the storage architecture for Pictures

In PrestaShop 1.4, a new storage architecture for pictures is offered to avoid having 100,000 pictures in the same “/img/p” folder. With this, the pictures will be spread into subfolders. If you upgrade your store from a PrestaShop previous version, you should follow these to take advantage of this improvement:

- Go to Admin Panel, click on “Preferences” -> “Images” & look at “Move images”

- Make sure that your server can run PHP scripts for more than 30 seconds because the process can take a while. Ask your hosting provider if you are not sure.

- Click on “Move Images”

5. Create sub-domains for Java-script & CSS files

- Create sub-domains including,, & and ask your hosting provider to direct them to /js/, /theme/mytheme/js/, /css/ & /theme/mytheme/css/ respectively.

Commonly, a web-browser is limited to 8 parallel downloads. With each sub-domain, 8 new parallel downloads are added, so the total would be 40. In this way, your visitors are allowed to load more files at the same time.

6. Install aContent Delivery Network (CDN)

Using a CDN is the most effective way to shorten the distance between your server & your visitors. It means that your site can be loaded quickly from everywhere worldwide.  PrestaShop has co-operated with the best CDN in the market - CloudCache. The CloudCache module is set for free and PrestaShop’s users have special rates to use the “PRESTA25″ coupon on their website.

7. Merge all small pictures into a bigger one using CSS Sprites

Their web-browser has to load about 75 to 100 pictures each time your visitors load a page from your store. However, most of these small decorative pictures can be easily merged into one bigger picture called “CSS Sprite”. Main benefits of this technique are: Faster page loading, less server usage, smaller HTML code. Nevertheless, there is one drawback which is the maintainability over time; in fact, it can take more time to add new pictures to your sprite.

8. Enable either MemCached, XCache, APC or the default PrestaShop caching system

Memcached is a free distributed memory object caching system which is very simple, powerful & easy to deploy and can resolve many problems facing large data caches. PrestaShop is already ready to be used with MemCached and can be enabled in one second:

- Ask your hosting provider to enable MemCached for your store

- Go to Admin Panel, click on “Preferences” -> “Performance” & look at “Caching”

- Select MemCached in “Caching system” dropdown menu

Instead, you can also use XCache available in PrestaShop v1.5 or the PrestaShop default caching system from the same dropdown menu which does not require any server-side extension.

9. Setup an OP-Code caching tool like e-Accelerator or APC

E-Accelerator is a free PHP code accelerator & optimizer which helps increase the performance of PHP scripts by caching them in their compiled state. In this way, the overhead of compiling is almost completely eliminated. Besides, it also optimizes scripts to speed up their execution. E-Accelerator typically decreases server load and raises the speed of your PHP code by 1-10 times. There’s no specific needed configuration to be done with PrestaShop to work with e-Accelerator. Just ask your hosting provider to enable e-Accelerator & be sure your store is still working properly.

10. Tune your MySQL configuration & check your SQL query cache value

Ask your hosting provider to dig into the MySQL configuration & check the query cache value. This value should be at the very least “512M”.

In conclusion, above are some of the tips for speeding up your PrestaShop store. Hope that these are helpful to you!

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