Invariably, once you've mastered using Joomla, one of the next subjects you will at least spend some time on, is Joomla Performance. Why? Well, these days, even Google says that site performance may have an impact on your SEO results. So, this becomes quite an important subject now.

Now, here's the challenge. I'm going to outline some basic rudimentary steps that you can take to optimize your sites performance, and I'd like to hear any other suggestions that you may have ... here's the kicker though, steps users can take WITHOUT making addons to Joomla. I feel very strongly that too many times, when it comes to security and performance, some users miss focussing on the fundamentals and instead look into more complex solutions when in fact, they could perhaps have achieved a reasonable performance improvement without any great efforts or cost. I also think the majority of Joomla users are running Joomla in a shared hosting environment, so talking about too many server side optimisations could also overwhelm them with steps they are unable to take anyway.

So, here are a few basic suggestions I have, and after that I'd look forward to hearing yours, keeping in mind the challenge I mentioned above.

  • Enable Joomla's inbuilt caching. At worst, you can even set it to the file method if your server doesn't have any php caching installed.
  • Keep Joomla up to date, performance is continually being improved with each new version/update.
  • Keep all Joomla Extensions up to date. Not only is this essential for security, but many performance problems can be traced back to Joomla Extensions.
  • Is your host running up to date versions of php, mysql and apache etc? Again, essential for security. php5, mysql5 and Apache 2 are bare minimums in my mind at the moment.
  • Is the host you run your server on known for performance, reliability and security? Have you spoken to your host and established their knowledge or and experience with Joomla? If you're paying $2 a month for an unlimited space and bandwidth host, don't expect good performance.
  • Have you considered your images, css and javascript size as important to the performance of your website? What about using a CDN (content distribution network) to help speed things up in this area? These days, there are very affordable CDN solutions available.
.. well.. there's a start.. now it's over to you. What other basic, fundamental steps can users of Joomla take to improve performance, without any additional Joomla Extensions?