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• Last Updated: 01/09/2020
• ( 16 minutes reading )

How to Optimize the loading speed of your Prestashop 1.7 Online Store


Having a successful online business depends on many factors and one of the most important is the loading speed of your Online Store. There might be a time when the installed products become too many, so they can affect the loading speed. If you face such an issue, then it is time for optimizations. Today, you are going to learn different optimization techniques, that PrestaShop provides for you, for optimizing the loading speed of your store.


Step 1: Accessing the “Performance” page

In order to optimize the loading speed of your Online Store, you will have to log in to the Admin area of Prestashop and from the left vertical navigation menu to look for the “Advanced Parameters” option. When you find it, please, click on it. A drop-down menu will appear with several options.


Accessing the Performance page


Out of all these options, please, click the “Performance” one. 


Step 2: Optimization of the “Smarty” features

You will be redirected to a page called “Performance”. There you will find features related to the management of the loading speed and static caches for the themes supported by your Online Store.

On that page, you will be presented with several sections.

Let’s start with the first section - the “Smarty” section. The configuration of the “Smarty” section helps you manage the caches easily and with no need of making code modifications.


Configuring the Smarty features


In the “Smarty” section there are few options, so let’s go through each one of them as they follow:

Template Compilation” - the “Template Compilation” feature has a drop-down menu with three options:

  • Never recompile template files” - having that option set, allows PrestaShop to normally compile and cache the HTML code of the pages. Once that process is ready the HTML code will be delivered to the end-user much faster. Please, bear in mind, that setting that option is recommended when you are sure that you are done editing the look of your website.
  • Recompile templates if the files have been updated” - Selecting this option allows PrestaShop to be able to see if a theme file has changed. In case there are changes, PrestaShop will recompile the cached files generating new cache.
  • Force compilation” - the “Force compilation” option is only recommended to be used when you are making some edits on a theme and you want to see the changes every time you reload the page.

Cache” - Enabling that option enhances performance and optimizes the loading speed once you are done customizing the frontend theme of your Online Store. You can disable the “Cache” option when you are cleaning the bugs of a theme or a module for PrestaShop.

Multi-front Optimizations” - Enabling the “Multi-front Optimizations” option is recommended if you have several web servers for faster static content delivery. Having that option enabled will help you synchronize the caches between all those.

Caching type” - By default, you are provided with a file-based caching mechanism which in most cases is sufficient enough to provide a good level of optimization. In case you find the loading speed of your Online Store poor even with the optimizations described in this tutorial, you can always change the Caching Type to the “MySQL” option. MySQL is a known Database engine that is used even by PrestaShop for the storage of the variable data. By activating this cache type you will instruct the application to store the caches in the database directly, avoiding the filesystem. Please note, that storing the caches in the Database of your Online Store is not a recommended option since this might result in larger database size.

Clear cache” - clearing the cache helps the customers to see the latest changes made on your website. It is recommended to leave the option as it is set by default “Clear cache every time something has been modified”.

Once done setting the options, please, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the section.

This way you guarantee yourself that you will have the changes updated.


Step 3: Configuration of the “Optional Features” section

The next section you are going to learn about is called “Optional Features”.


Configuring the Optional features


There might be a chance some of the features in this section to actually slow down the loading speed of your shop. With the “Optional Features” section you can disable them. Please, bear in mind, that if your catalog currently has products that are utilizing these features, you will first have to delete some data and after that, you can turn off the option.

The features you can configure in that section are as follow:

  • Combinations” - enabling the “Combinations” option allows you to have a whole product line out of a single product such as varying sizes, colors, capacity and so on.
  • Features” - with that option you can enable/disable the features or your products.
  • Customer groups” - enabling that option allows you to group customers by giving them certain privileges or restrictions such as discounts, sales and so on.

Once done configuring the options in the “Optional Features” section, please, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the section.

This way you will save the changes that you just made.


Step 4: Optimization of the “CCC (Combine, Compress and Cache)” section

The next section you are going to go through is called “CCC (Combine, Compress and Cache)”.


Configuring CCC (Combine, Compress, and Cache) features


The options in that section do exactly as the name of the section says: combines textual features of the same type into a bigger file. That helps a few files to be downloaded at once. After that, it compresses the file with the common Zip algorithm. Then it caches the compressed file, which eases the burden on the server’s processor. And finally, it makes the download of static content much faster since the content is combined, compressed and cached. 

This way the server does not have to do that process on each reload of the page. Enabling these three options will dramatically boost the performance and the loading speed of your Online Store. Please, bear in mind, to activate these options only when you are done setting up the design of the store, otherwise, if enabled earlier, the design changes you keep making will not be displayed on your Store.

Let’s start with the options as they follow:

  • Smart cache for CSS” - CSS, or also known as Cascading Style Sheets, represents small files with rules about the design of the website. Those files can be safely and easily combined and compressed by PrestaShop.
  • Smart cache for JavaScript” - JavaScript files are also text-based. However, instead of rules for the design of your website, those containing programming logic that is meant to be executed in the client’s web browser. It is recommended to test everything when it comes to JavaScript, before enabling that option because sometimes it can cause design or UX issues for your visitors.
  • Apache optimization” - Enabling the “Apache optimization” option will activate optimization directives for your Online Store that are based on the famous Apache web service. Having that feature enabled will make the website more efficient for CCC.

Once ready with the configuration of these options, please, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the section.

When your changes are saved you can move to the next section.


Step 5: Configure the “Media servers (Use only with CCC)” section

The next section is called “Media servers (Use only with CCC)”.


Configuring the Media Servers features


If there is huge traffic to your Online Store, thanks to the “Media servers” section you can offload part of the traffic to other domains or subdomains that are part of your business. The purpose of that is to allow for the simultaneous download of static resources across multiple domains/subdomains.

Please, bear in mind, that by default, PrestaShop hosts only one media server. And having multiple of these will require you to specify each one of those. Once you type the domains or the subdomains of the servers, please, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the section.


That is it!

Congratulations! Today you learned how important for the success of your business are the loading speed and how to configure different features to achieve that.



Content Marketing Specialist

Sebahat is a young and bright woman who has become an invaluable part of our team. She started as a Customer Care Representative, mastering that role and, along the way, growing into a tech-savvy individual who is well acquainted with every support layer of the company. Driven by her aim to improve our customers’ experience constantly, she is committed to enhancing the extraordinary support we deliver.