Improve Joomla Page Speed Service

Joomla Page Speed Optimization Services

Ideally, a website should serve page data within 2 to 3 seconds per click -- more than 5 seconds leads to frustrated users, and damage to your search ranking.

I can optimize your website for speed by sculpting the configurations of both Joomla and your hosting account and by optimizing your website's images. These Joomla speed optimization services are available a la carte, as a Full Service, and as maintenance. 

At the Full Service level, Joomla page speed optimization service consists of a collection of tasks to improve performance by operating on four different levels: 1. make sure your site's images don't clog up the experience; 2. improve Joomla's performance wherever possible; 3. reduce unnecessary transfers and requests, and 4. be efficient in use of client-side resources.

  • I'll optimize your images. I hand-process every image to reduce file size without ruining the look.
  • I'll install and configure extensions to streamline delivery of your website, to speed-up rendering to screen.
  • After consultation on your web-related work patterns, I'll deploy gambits to prevent data transfer waste.
  • I'll deploy the most sensible and compatible mix of the many kinds and layers of cache for your site.

Not every aspect of this service is possible on every site. However, in some instances, I may help you get access to hidden speed optimization features you're already paying for, but which the hosting company has chosen to enable only after you ask for them by name!

Why You Need Help with Page Speed

Even websites made of flat HTML need about half of the optimization steps covered in this service.

Meanwhile Joomla is like any other CMS: without speed optimization, it puts its whole app's-worth of weight on your server with every click. Joomla is a heavy app. 

Things to Know

Why Your Site Isn't Already Optimized

Web hosts, and apps like Joomla, come to you with virtually no optimization enabled. This is actually good news if you need to build your site before launch.

Imagine your website as a physical product you'd ship. You don't package it and then build it; you build it and then package it. Likewise with optimizing for speed.

Why It's Risky to Do It Yourself

The wrong optimization setup can interfere with your site. Consultation and testing are essential steps to ensure, for example, that your interactive features aren't broken, or that admin-only information isn't someday shown to the public. 

Read These Before you Buy!

Operating a CMS that's been optimized for speed means you're responsible to know a few new things. Some of these caveats are a little counter-intuitive; others are need-to-know items about how this service affects your website. Please be aware of these five bold-faced items:

Warning about Migrations: Anyone performing ✈ host migrations (moving to a new web host) or ✹ version migrations (updating to a new series of Joomla) will need to do a few extra steps when working on sites where speed optimizations have been performed. You sometimes need to undo some of the speed optimizations, and then re-do them after the migration is complete.

  • With ✈ host migrations, the new host may lack features or may enable them differently. This may cause the new host to reject the optimized configuration. In these cases, server errors may arise; they are non-damaging and can be cleared by maintenance. 
  • With ✹ version migrations, most of the Joomla-specific speed optimization steps conflict with the software update process. This means a significant fraction of the speed optimization service will need undoing before the ✹ version migration and re-doing after.

Low Traffic Disclaimer: Your site will briefly get reduced benefit from speed optimizations after each change to your site -- but only the first time each page is loaded after each change. Periods of low traffic likewise reduce the practical benefit of speed optimizations -- if your 24-hour blog only serves 12 visitors a day, then your cache is probably being rebuilt for every visitor, which also means it's likely no visitors ever benefit from that cache.

(Therefore, the best time to buy this service is immediately before your push for a more visible web presence.)

Low-Rent Disclaimer: Joomla is a heavy app when run on a low-cost web host. Low-cost hosts have low capacity; hosts with low capacity are bottlenecks which reduce the potential of any speed optimization service. If your web hosting account allocates only 512MB of RAM or less to your site, this service can result in only marginal improvements. For maximum speed boost, upgrade your web host to at least 1GB of RAM the instant it fits your budget.

(You can buy this service before or after a RAM upgrade; you effectively get a dual speed boost from doing so, either way!)

Speed Optimization Maintenance: If you only occasionally update your sites, this may be a one-time service you'll never -- or rarely -- need to repeat. You might need repeat service after:

  • You've switched to a new front-end template.
  • You've newly activated some interactive, user-facing features.
  • New photos and images have been added to the site without optimization.
  • Your web hosting provider has changed something affecting your site.
  • See also "Warning about Migrations" above.

State of the Product Disclaimer: Joomla sites tailoring front-end content for each user or group are sometimes unable to use one or more layers of cache. Owners of sites with certain features, such as forums, social networks, messaging sites, content sharing sites, and clubs, may find some or all of the website can't readily be covered by any server-side cache. This is because some piece of software (e.g. Joomla or an extension) didn't account for different cache for different users of the same URL. Workarounds to this problem are sometimes beyond the scope of this service; other times, it's solved using a third-party cache extension for Joomla and simply excluding that part of the site from the server-side cache.

© 2019 Nathan Hawks