Magento site a bit slow?

First thing to do is run your site through an online checker, we recommend  and
 these sites will tell you how your Magento site is performing.

For most non web developers the information may be difficult to understand but it will give you an idea of your performance grade.

First things first.

Some of the things that will immediately slow down your site loading are javascript errors and not found resources. Browsers will load slowly if there isn't something it can't find i.e missing images, javascript and css files.
Remove these not found errors for an immediate increase in performance.

Make sure cache is enabled, system/configuration/cache management, if cache is not enabled go ahead and enable it, you'll see a giant increase in load speed.

Cache should always be enabled except when site is being developed or new code is being added.
If you make changes to your CMS , catalog etc you may see a message saying you need to clear cache, go ahead and do this, it won't hurt anything and you front end users will see the very latest content on your site.

Content Delivery Network.

Commonly referred to as CDN, these sites will serve your site files including images , javascript and css. By using their servers which are optimized for delivery this takes the pressure off your site and hosting. Once linked up no technical knowledge is required, as you update your site the CDN automatically updates. Sometimes in the case of development you may need to clear your CDN cache, this is usually a case of logging in and clicking clear cache.

Amazon offers a CDN but many others are available, we highly recommned

Combine JS and CSS.

You may never have noticed it but under system/configuration/developer there is a setting for Merge Javascript and CSS files.
By merging these Magento will combine all css files into one and the same for js (javascript). This will make the files load as a single element and cut down on loading time.

Sounds great but if your css files aren't formatted correctly you will see display errors. All CSS files should be run through an online checker and any errors corrected. With javascript the same procedure should be followed, a badly combined js file can stop all kinds of things from working. Not to worry though this can be reversed by changing the settings back and clear cache and combined js/cache.

That's just a few pointers to help your Magento site to load quickly. There are dozens more options and tweaks including leveraging browser caching, enabling Gzip, minifying CSS and much more.
Contact us today for more information.