Why is Extendware Full Page Cache Better than Varnish Caching Services?

Full-Page-Cache-(Web)We get the question quite often in our Extendware Support channel, “Why can’t I just use Varnish* caching services instead of the Extendware FPC solution?”

The simple answer is, the Extendware Full Page Cache does not need or use Varnish because Varnish is not well implemented for the Magento platform. In fact, there are two specific reasons that FPC is a much better solution for a Magento store than using the Varnish caching solution.

Reason 1: Few Database Requests and a Higher Cache Hit Rate

One of the reasons that Extendware’s Full Page Cache (FPC) is a better solution than Varnish is that – like Varnish – FPC does not use the database for most requests, so it reduces load on the database.

However, unlike varnish, FPC has a high cache hit rate (percent of requests served by cache) that Varnish can not match, due to the design of FPC and its native use of Magento’s platform.

Not-integrated

 

Since Varnish is a general caching solution – and not built for specifically for Magento – it is not well integrated into the Magento platform. This allows Extendware’s FPC – a Magento customized solution – to outperform Varnish in almost every caching scenario.

Reason 2: Varnish Flushing Limitations

In addition, Varnish has severe limitations with flushing. For example, the whole varnish layer cache needs to be flushed when there are any changes on your store. On the contrary, our FPC can flush selectively and not affect the cache of your entire store for when only one category or page needs to be changed.

As a result of these Magento specific capabilities that come out-of-the-box with Full Page Cache that are unavailable in Varnish, customers using FPB on their Magento stores generally have better overall speed and experience.

These two simple limitations with the Varnish solution make a custom made Magento-specific Full Page Cache solution a no-brainer.

* Varnish is a cache server technology: https://www.varnish-cache.org/

Quick Overview

Full-Page-CacheExtendware’s Full Page Cache reduces your Magento store’s First Byte Time, Increases your web server request rate, reduces database load, and makes your store much more responsive. Extendware’s Caching solution is the best Magento Caching Performance Extension you can buy to speed up your store and easily pays for itself by saving you money rather than buying expensive hardware solutions to increase your Magento store optimization rates.


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Starting a Store on Magento: Time-Saving Tips

For businesses looking to establish an e-commerce store, Magento is an indispensable tool. As an open-source platform, Magento can be adapted to meet the needs of individual businesses. Big brands and small businesses alike can use Magento to create a profitable and user-friendly online storefront.

But while anyone can go to Magento’s website and set up a basic store, creating a successful e-commerce business can be considerably harder.

Magento offers so many different options for customization that many new users feel overwhelmed and intimated. So many different tasks go into running a successful online store:  SEO, web design, marketing, and many more. Magento extensions help online business owners to complete necessary tasks on time and without hassle. Here are some common problems that Magento users encounter—and how extensions can help solve them:

Lagging Loading Times

All research suggests that today’s web users are more impatient than ever. If an online store takes too long to load, visitors to your site won’t buy. While you can’t always control the speed with which users browse your site, there are ways to lower your load times. An extension such as the Full Page Cache will speed up your site by caching it whenever a user visits. This extension serves as a replacement to expensive investments in hardware.

Google Analytics Overload

Traffic is essential to the success of your business, so it can be tempting to visit Google Analytics constantly. But this is an inefficient use of time. With the Google Analytics Dashboard extension, you can see your Google Analytics data right from your dashboard.

Spam, Spam, and More Spam!

There are bots looking to spam your inbox. If you have a contact page on your website, you may be vulnerable to spam. The Anti-Spam Captcha prevents this annoyance, requiring users to enter a short string of characters before their message goes through.

Conversion Confusion

E-commerce is a global phenomenon, but international customers may be turned off if they can’t easily figure out how much they will need to pay for a particular item. Customers also may be unaware that you have separate storefronts for buyers from different countries. The Store/ Currency Switcher extension will enable your Magento store to redirect to the correct storefront.

Abandoned Carts

The bane of every online retailer, abandoned carts can seriously reduce your profits. In 2015, the average rate of cart abandonment was a whopping 68%, meaning that more than two-thirds of online orders were never completed. For e-commerce business owners, few things can be more frustrating. But with the Abandoned Cart Email extension, you can send a friendly reminder e-mail to customers who abandon their carts on your store. The e-mail sequence can be completely customized. You can even include a coupon for customers to incentivize them to complete their purchase.

 

Running an online store is already difficult. By making strategic use of Magento extensions, you can make better use of your resources and increase the profits of your online store.

All ExtendWare extensions come with the option to return within return within 30 days and receive a full refund —making this investment risk-free.

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Why So Slow, Magento? Speed Up Magento With Extendware Full Page Cache Extension

What is “Full Page Cache” for Magento?

We all know that patience is a virtue; unfortunately we all know that many customers do not care about waiting around for your store to load, they want it NOW! Even the smallest bug or delay causes decreased conversions and lower sales.

It is funny to think that the average customer will wait 10 minutes in line at a store, but more than 12 seconds waiting on a search online? Forget it! Frustration is at its peak!

If increasing Magento page speed is a concern to you and your business, than optimizing your Magento store with Extendware Full Page Cache can help lower your customer wait time and speed up your store loading times significantly.

This video helps explain Full Page Cache and how the Extendware Full Page Cache extension is different, more capable, and more powerful than the other competitor Full Page Cache extensions available.

Just click below to play.

Benefits of Using Extendware Full Page Cache for Magento Site Optimization

Very Limited Database Usage – Extendware’s FPC uses a super fast primary cache so that it does not have to touch the database for over 90% of all actions.

Why does that matter? Because every time your application or store makes a call to the database, it slows down your page processing because your system has to wait for the database to respond. One call won’t make much of a difference, but a few hundred database calls every transaction can really slow down your page response time.

Our Full Page Cache gets around this by handling 90% of your requests in memory, not by calling your database, so it is much faster than how Magento’s default caching settings work. This translates into a speed similar to a Varnish caching solution, yet with a better cache hit rate, form key support, and our Full Page Cache is much easier to configure.

High Page Cache Hit Rate – Your store will not be fast – even with a good page caching extension – if no one actually uses the cache. That is why a high cache hit rate (the percent of requests that load directly from page cache instead of the database) is important. Our cache has an excellent hit rate that far surpasses the current and previous Varnish caching solutions.
Ability to Flush Multiple Modified Pages – Our extension gives you the ability to flush the entire page cache, flush groups of pages (all product pages, all cms pages), or flush only specific pages of an affected product. Having multiple flushing choices ensures that you don’t flush what you don’t need to, which increases your cache hit rate.
Easy to Configure – Most stores only need to install it and enable it and it will auto-configure! It couldn’t be easier. Only more advanced use-cases or extreme customization require more involved configuration.
Supports Product Catalog Sorting – Extendware Full Page Cache has full support for catalog sorting. Other page caches do not support changing the sort order in the catalog the way Magento does by default. As a result, it is possible for the default category sort order to be cached incorrectly when you are using other full page cache solutions. Our solution won’t incorrectly cache the default category sort order.
• Highly Configurable – The out-of-the-box solution page cache is extremely easy to configure and is very simple to just plug and play. However, that does not mean it cannot be configured to operate in different ways for many different environments. The FPC extension includes lots of configuration options so it can fit every use case and grow as your store grows!

As you can see, Extendware’s Full Page Cache increases the page load speed for your Magento website, reduces the load on the server and database and improves the ranking in search engines.

Take action and save your customers (and your wallet) valuable time. You can make your Magento website the fastest on the market and drastically improve your conversion rate and overall sales!


Full-Page-CacheFull Page Cache reduces your Magento store’s First Byte Time, Increases your web server request rate, reduces database load, and makes your store much more responsive. Extendware’s Caching solution is the best Magento Caching Performance Extension you can buy to speed up your store and easily pays for itself by saving you money rather than buying expensive hardware solutions to increase your Magento store optimization rates.


 

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Improving Magento Store Speed

Let me guess. You were browsing your own Magento store and found the experience frustrating. You thought to yourself “should I be worried about this?” and started Googling and landed on this page. Well, let me tell you, you should be worried about your store speed and how to increasing Magneto store optimization. If you are frustrated with the speed of your store, imagine how much frustration your customers are feeling. Unfortunately, Magento performance is not good without tweaks, configuration, and testing.

Why is a Fast Store Important?

The answer is simple: Money. Yes, I said it. You are in business to make a living as well as provide a valuable service to people. Both of those things are helped by having a faster Magento store. Here, let me explain:

  1. Increase conversion rates – There has been a lot of research into store speed and conversion rates from Amazon, Walmart, and other big retailers. It has been discovered that there is a direct correlation between speed and sales. Conceptually it is easy to understand… If you provide a better experience, then people will order more.
  2. Increase search engine rankings – Google caught onto the whole Speed == Quality. If customers purchase more and have a better experience on faster stores, then it only makes sense that Google will be providing a better service by to its customers by redirecting them to higher quality stores. As a result, Google now makes store speed as a ranking faster. The math is simple: The faster your store, the higher your search engine rankings.
  3. Provide a better experience – Ultimately, it comes down to the experience and value you want to provide your customers. If you provide a fast experience they will be less irritated and find you store easier to use. This builds loyalty and reduces friction to order from your store.

What are the Components of Store Speed?

It’s really quite. There are only two aspects of Magento speed that are relevant:

Generation time

This is how fast your server can put together your page and serve it up to the user. There are some other factors that can influence this such as network latency, but in general, the dominant factor is your servers ability to serve pages. This aspect of store performance is crucial as it affects every page and it is very important for SEO.

Download time

Once your base HTML page is generated and served, then the client browser must begin to download all the resources it references. This is your Javascript, CSS, and Images. The process of downloading these resources can take a while depending on their size and structure.

The Solution

I get it. You have a business to run. You don’t want to know about all this technical stuff. What you want is an awesome solution to speed up your Magento store in an easy way. The solution is very simple and it will speed up both generation time and download time:

Generation Time Enhancers

  1. Full Page Cache – Cache your HTML pages so they can generate very, very fast.
  2. Cache Warmer – Crawler your store to ensure the pages are cached.

Download time enhancers

  1. Minify Javascript / Css – Make your javascript / css/ HTML smaller and faster to download.
  2. Image Optimization – Optimize store images so they can be downloaded faster and reduce bandwidth.

It’s that simple. Speed up both aspects of slowdowns and have the fastest store possible. Contact us for any questions!

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Magento “Can’t get filling percentage” memcached issue

Some Magento store admins report that Magento is returning this exception when using memcached as a backend for either the Magento cache or the Magento Full Page Cache. This issue has its roots in the Zend Framework which returns this exception if memcache fails to return its extended stats.

To resolve this is fairly simple. All you need to do is edit the file [Magento root]/lib/Zend/Cache/Backend/Memcached.php and replace the getFillingPercentage() method with the below:

What exactly does this do?

It will make an additional attempt to get the filling percentage and if it cannot determine the filling percentage then 100 is returned which indicates it is full. In this way there will not be an exception thrown during the temporary periods when filling percentage cannot be determined.


Quick Extension Overview

Full-Page-CacheFull Page Cache reduces your Magento store’s First Byte Time, Increases your web server request rate, reduces database load, and makes your store much more responsive. Extendware’s Caching solution is the best Magento Caching Performance Extension you can buy to speed up your store and easily pays for itself by saving you money rather than buying expensive hardware solutions to increase your Magento store optimization rates.


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Improving First Byte Time in Magento

Full-Page-CacheFirst Byte Time is very important for a stores usability and search engine ranking. Improving the First Byte Time can improve customer satisfication and rankings in search engines. The end result is more revenue for the store.

What exactly is First Byte Time (FBT)?

First Byte Time is one aspect of load time. Load time = First Byte Time + Download Time. In general, a First Byte Time is dependent on how fast your hosting platform is and the size of your Magento store. In addition, some extensions can slow First Byte Time. As bottlenecks increase the First Byte Time will also increase. In Magento the primary bottleneck is the database and in general waiting for the database is what causes most of the slow speed.

How can First Byte Time be improved?

The easiest way to improve First Byte Time is to use our Magento Full Page Cache. With our extension, the FBT can be drastically reduced. In some cases by as much as 100x. The page cache works by reducing load on the database and reducing processing of the page generation. The end result is a faster site and reduced server load.

Features of Extendware Page Cache?

The Extendware Full Page Cache is the fastest and most flexible page cache available for Magento. It even outperforms the Magento Enterprise Cache. It does this because it is multi-leveled. The primary cache does not even require sessions or database. The secondary cache supports advanced hole punches for dynamic content. The end result is the fastest store possible. Review the product page for a full list of features.

Extendware offers an array of performance extensions that affect different aspects of performance. Review all our Magento extensions to improve your store even more.


Quick Extension Overview

Full Page Cache reduces your Magento store’s First Byte Time, Increases your web server request rate, reduces database load, and makes your store much more responsive. Extendware’s Caching solution is the best Magento Caching Performance Extension you can buy to speed up your store and easily pays for itself by saving you money rather than buying expensive hardware solutions to increase your Magento store optimization rates.


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Magento Full Page Cache Improvements

Extendware’s Magento Full Page Cache for Magento has made many, many improvements recently. We have made small changes such as increased form key support and secure cookie support and large changes such as multi-level cache backends and faster secondary cache. Here is a run down of the two most important changes:

Multi-Level Cache Backends – Do you want to use a fast memory based cache such as memcached / apc / xcache but you do not have enough memory to store the whole site in memory? Or, perhaps you need tagging support? Multi-level cache backends will come to your rescue. It allows hybrid caches such as a Memcached / File hybrid that gives you the benefit of a memory based backend with the large storage capabilities of the File backend. In addition, it will give Tagging support for memcached / apc / xcache.

Faster Secondary Cache – The secondary cache is the cache-level that displays dynamic content such as cart contents when using the full page cache. The latest page cache includes important changes to the secondary cache that allows it to be 2-3 times faster than it was before and further reduces database queries.


Quick Overview

Extendware’s Full Page Cache reduces your Magento store’s First Byte Time, Increases your web server request rate, reduces database load, and makes your store much more responsive. Extendware’s Caching solution is the best Magento Caching Performance Extension you can buy to speed up your store and easily pays for itself by saving you money rather than buying expensive hardware solutions to increase your Magento store optimization rates.


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Magento Full Page Cache Auto-flushing / Tagging

Extendware’s Magento Full Page Cache has an exciting new addon feature – Auto-flushing / tagging. The problem with many full page cache systems is that you must flush the entire cache after changing a product / category. This reduces the usefulness of the cache for quickly changing stores. Our Magento cache warmer / crawler extension alleviates this problem by periodically crawling your store to ensure pages are re-cached.

However, crawling is not a complete solution because it is not sufficiently real-time. Auto-flushing / tagging is the complete solution as it will delete affected pages after a product / category changes. With our tagging addon you can select the tagging level and auto-flushing events that will trigger the flushing of specific pages. This provides maximum flexibility and ensures content freshness for your store. Refer to the Extendware Magento Full Page Cache (FPC) product page for more information.

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Magento Full Page Cache – Cache Sharing

A new version of the best-in-class Magento Page Cache has been released today. This is our 32nd version of the Full Page Cache and it includes two important new features.

Information Sharing – In previous versions of the page cache the primary and secondary cache were essentially in their own walled garden. The consequence of this meant that unless you had a very busy site the secondary cache was not very useful because it would never be warmed (90%+ of requests are served by the faster primary cache). Now, the primary and secondary cache share information, so as items are added to the primary cache they will also be usable to the secondary cache if applicable. The end result of this is a much higher cache rate for the secondary cache.

Footer Widget – The footer widget is an informational feature for power users that want to see which cache level is being used to serve a request. In previous versions you could use an HTTP header viewer to view this information, but many store owners found this to be complicated. The footer widget is a good alternative to using an HTTP header viewer. It will add a black bar at the very bottom of your site that tells such information as cache level, time to live, and the cache key.

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