20+ second load times to under one second

The Problem

Active Life Store was previously hosted by a company that specializes in Magento hosting and claims to offer optimized solutions. Active Life Store would routinely see page load times that exceeded 20 seconds. Their database had more than 50 million rows of data, and they had log files that were 5+ Gigabytes in size. Scheduled cron jobs would often fail to complete.

They were on the highest Virtual Private Server plan the company offered, that was optimized for Magento.

They came to us looking for faster page load times and better support

What LexiConn Provided

We provided Active Life Store with a managed dedicated server, using hardware RAID-10 drives, 16 GB of RAM, and a top end 8 core CPU.

RAID-10 was used for superior I/O (disk) performance, 16 GB of RAM was used for proper caching (APC and MySQL) and Redis.

  • We set up a Full Page Cache system (FPC) through Extendware's FPC extension (using Redis for fast memory storage)
  • We set up our Content Delivery Network (CDN) for images, css, and JavaScript files
  • We optimized caching for APC and MySQL for their store set up
  • Their database and settings were analyzed and adjusted for proper log and data rotation

Sean From ActiveLifeStore stated - "Besides the exceptional server speed, their support team especially stood out to us. The whole migration process in general was explained very well to help us understand what exactly was happening. They kept us updated with each step, as well as answered any questions we had..."

The Results

We were able to reduce their page load times from 20+ seconds to under one second with proper use of caching and optimizations.

Here is a screenshot showing the old hosting 20+ second load time for a category page in developer mode:

old host 20 second load time
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Here is their under one second load time for the same page, once hosted with us:

under one second load time with LexiConn
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Even without Full Page Caching, we were able to reduce page load times by more than 3 times. Here is a search on their old host, showing a 12+ second wait:

12+ second load time at old host for search results
(click image to enlarge)

Here is the same search with us, without Full Page Caching:

3 second load time with us uncached
(click image to enlarge)

Cached search result with us, under one second:

under one second load time with us cached
(click image to enlarge)

The following two screenshots show the before and after results testing the same page with

Old host test results showing 14+ second Time To First Byte (TTFB): results at old host, 14+ Time to First Byte (TTFB)
(click image to enlarge) results with us, showing Time To First Byte (TTFB) under 0.2 seconds (even without CDN and browser caching rules): results with us, 0.1 second Time to First Byte (TTFB)
(click image to enlarge)

In addition to speeding up their website by more than 20 times, we also improved the following:

  • Reduced their database size from 7,000 MB to under 1,000 MB by removing 45+ million rows that were not needed. This helps greatly improve database performance by eliminating Gigabytes of data from being stored in memory.
  • Removed Gigabytes of log files, and set up proper log rotation to keep file sizes small.
  • Crons were set up properly and now complete quickly and without error.
  • Implemented CDN for even faster page loads for customers across the globe.
  • Loaded caching into Redis for even faster page loads that reside fully in memory.
  • Applied patches to Magento for increased performance under php-fpm.