Before Optimizing Your Joomla Website

At itoctopus, we have optimized many, many Joomla sites and we have written many articles on optimizing Joomla sites. But, before optimizing any Joomla website, we do check/ask about the server powering the website. If we think the server is too weak for our beloved CMS, then we recommend that the client upgrade to a better server before even hiring us. In fact, recommend is such a weak word – we insist!

Let us give you a quick example: yesterday, we got a call from a very nice client telling us that his server comes to a crawl when they send out newsletters. He told us that his peak traffic is 5K to 7K visitors, and that peak traffic happens once every one or two month (when they send out the newsletters). On normal days they get only a few hundred visitors. He told us that he thinks that there is something from within Joomla causing this issue, but he also told us that the CMS was powered by a server with 2GB of RAM. Yes, you read that right, that’s two gigs of RAM (by the way, is it gig as in garage or jig as in giraffe?), which was really odd. We immediately stated that we can’t work on such server, and that they must upgrade to a server with at least 16GB of RAM in order for us to work on the server.

So, why did we do that?

First, we know what Joomla is and we know that 2GB of RAM is not nearly enough, even for a small website. Keep in mind that the 2GB of RAM are not solely dedicated to the web server and the database server, but there are many other resources sharing it. In our opinion, a small Joomla website must run on a 16GB server, and a large Joomla site must run on a 256GB server.

Second, in most of these cases, upgrading to a better server typically solves the problem. This will of course save the client money on the short run and on the long run, despite the additional monthly overhead for the hosting company.

Third, debugging and working on slow servers and/or servers with low memory (typically a slow server is also a server with low memory) is not very efficient, as we will also be fighting the restricted environment (and not just some rogue plugin on the Joomla website).

So, before asking a company to optimize your Joomla website, make sure that your environment provides ample power for your Joomla website to run properly. If it doesn’t, then you should upgrade to a more powerful server before asking for a costly optimization. If you need help with the process, then please contact us. We are efficient, we are affordable, and we are excellent developers!

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