LiteMage Cache Drastically Improves Page Load Times

The Challenge

  • Extendware's Cache Warmer severely impacted site performance.
  • Extendware's Full page Cache had no form of selective cache flushing.
  • Magento's heavy backend architecture meant no page caching was not an option.

The LiteMage Solution

  • Built-in crawler for cache warmup.
  • Tag flushing is standard.
  • ESI hole-punching and user-specific private caches to completely avoid Magento backend.
  • User-defined cache rules for a quick and easy-to-configure set up.

Izy Shoes is a Greece-based business specializing in women and children's shoe sales. In 2013 Izy Shoes decided to take their business online with Magento Community Edition and hosting provider ProperHost, launching the first version of their current site izyshoes.gr. Since then, Izy Shoes has grown to sell over 3,000 different products with 40,000 unique visitors/month resulting in around 230,000 page views/month.

Magento Configuration
  • Version: 1.9.2.2
  • Store Config: Multi-store installation w/ 3 views
  • # Of Products: 3,000
  • Avg Traffic: 40,000 unique visitors/month and 230,000 page views/month
  • 3rd Party Extensions: LiteMage Cache, IWD One Page Checkout, Extendware Minifier & Image Optimizer, and a variety of backend extensions for product and order management
Response Time Graph

Initially, Izy Shoes had been using Extendware's Full Page Cache and Cache Warmup extensions. This provided them with the speed gains of implementing a full page cache, but did not come without it's limitations. The cache warmer needed to crawl their site for 4 hours every cycle, during which their CPU usage would spike to 99% of their plan's usage limit severely impacting their ability to handle incoming traffic. In an attempt to mitigate this, they would crawl their site once a day during low traffic periods at night. Also a problem was the lack of selective tag flushing -- the ability to automatically purge recently modified pages. This is not much of an issue for CMS pages but product pages would also not be updated when changes in stock or availability occurred . Either the entire cache was purged or they would have to wait for the next nightly site crawl or TTL expiration time to be (temporarily) up-to-date. Despite these limitations, it was out of the question to run the site without a full page cache as it would become far too slow.

Reaching out to ProperHost for help, a quick decision was made to implement LiteMage Cache on Izy Shoes' store. For every problem faced, LiteMage presented a solution. A built-in crawler for cache warmup simplifies things by eliminating the need for a separate crawling extension. Automatic tag flushing purges all related pages and categories whenever a product change occurs to keep your page cache up to date. ESI hole-punching and per-user private caches work together to allow pages containing user-specific information to be quickly assembled entirely from cache, completely avoiding Magento's heavy backend architecture. User-defined cache rules provide a quick and easy-to-configure set up.

Despite all of the benefits mentioned, they wouldn't matter much if LiteMage wasn't also fast. Benchmarks were performed by ProperHost measuring the page load times of Izy Shoes site before and after implementing LiteMage. With a server-level optimized configuration and no page cache, Izy Shoes site averaged a respectable response time of 1.85 seconds per transaction during these benchmarks. The shortest transaction time was 0.68 seconds and the longest 5.95 seconds. With the same configuration and LiteMage active, the average response time dropped to an incredible 0.12 seconds with the shortest transaction coming in at 0.06 seconds and the longest at 5.26 seconds (likely a page that was not cacheable). That is a 93.5% reduction in response time, over 15x's faster than before! Also not shown in the benchmark is a significant drop in CPU and memory usage, not only improving overall server health and resource usage but also enabling Izy Shoes to serve more users without having to compromise on response time or spend more on new hardware.

When Izy Shoes needed a feature rich full page caching solution that could still provide them with the speed they needed, LiteMage simply could not be beat. After a quick and painless setup by ProperHost, Izy Shoes is now enjoying a fast, more efficient, and always up-to-date site courtesy of LiteMage and backed by the excellent support team at LiteSpeed Tech.