Selling in e-commerce domain is all about delivering amazing shopping experiences and even a mild glitch in the checkout process can drive the customer away to your competitor’s online store. Loading speed is a key parameter used to measure the performance of an e-commerce store. It directly influences the ability to bring in and retain visitors as well as to generate revenues for the business. The choice of the right e-commerce development platform is vital in this regard.
Magento is a platform that promises high-performance e-commerce stores yet loading speed can still be a significant issue for these stores. Over a period of time, Magento developers have come up with several ways to resolve this issue. Varnish Cache is one of the most reliable amongst these. An in-depth analysis of Varnish would give a clear idea about the efficacy of its integration into a Magento e-commerce website.
The Problem: What compromises the speed of a Magento store?
E-commerce stores have to handle huge volumes of traffic, particularly during peak times such as holiday seasons. Multiple visitors click on the website pages at the same time and the visit requests are directly sent to the back-end or server. It is the server’s job to process the requests and send them back to the users who are then able to see the page they have requested.
The process can proceed in a streamlined way in limited traffic periods but things can go haywire during peak loads. The page loading times are likely to increase and the site may even crash because Magento is equipped to handle only a limited number of visits at a time. Such circumstances translate into problems for the e-commerce retailer as these can lead to loss of conversions, customers, and even reputation.
The Solution: Varnish cache resolves the speed issue
The entire issues related to performance and speed of a Magento store can be effectively resolved by including a Varnish cache. It is a powerful open-source HTTP reverse proxy that has the ability to accelerate the website manifold. It serves the purpose of storing a copy of the web page the first time a visitor accesses the store. It caches the page the first time and then serves all the subsequent requests for the same page.
In this way, Varnish speeds up the content delivery process and reduces the requirements of back-end server resources. As a result, the loading speed becomes lightning-fast even when there is an unlimited number of simultaneous users on the site. An additional benefit of Varnish caching is that it continues serving cached content in case the server fails.
The Risk: Possibility of site crash
Installing Varnish caching definitely makes a great strategy for performance optimization of a Magento store, yet it is not 100% reliable. There is a possibility of the site crashing down, something which many e-commerce stores using the Varnish 4.1 version have faced in the recent time.
Such events have been baffling Magento store developers who are constantly trying to diagnose the exact cause. The most probable reason of such crashes is the automatic reset of Varnish files. Developers are still working on a tangible diagnosis so that they can resolve the issue for good. Once they are able to do so, the performance issues related to Magento e-commerce store will be settled to a considerable extent.