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SocialEngine Speed-Up Tips

June 4th, 2010 / by Eugene Sutula

After numerous projects targeted at the optimization of SocialEngine we have gathered some generic methods that might be interesting if you are looking to speed up your community.

Although the following tips were tested on SocialEngine version 3, they are valuable for all versions.

In this article I want to put emphasis on html/css optimization rather than on php/mysql. But some of these tips will reduce server load as well.

  1. Choose plugins carefully. Less plugins you have -> faster your website works.
  2. Unite all css files in one. That will reduce total number of separate requests to server. I’ve seen more than 25 separate css files for a single page. Minimization of css is a good idea as well.
  3. Unite javascript files and move them to the bottom where it’s possible. Pages will load up faster because all html/css will load at first.
  4. Unite small images, for example icons, in bigger images and output them using css sprites, the way it is done in a lot in WordPress themes. Again this will reduce number of separate http requests to server.
  5. Try to use a static page for home. Since it will be the most popular page of your website it should load up as fast as possible.
    A good workaround for dynamic home pages is to make a page that will be updated once every 20 minutes.
  6. Minimize what you load from outside servers. Place widgets and gadgets from outside sources (eg twitter widgets) lower in the page or in the right-hand column, so that most of the page can load before the widget. Use images from your own server for ads where possible.

If you are seriously working on speed-up best practices from Yahoo is a good starting point.

Thanks to Clare for proof-reading.

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  • Carminejg3

    Where can we find the css files and js files to unite? Also is there a standard file name you suggest? Test have shown that have 20 – 5k files equaling 100k takes longer to load then 1 – 300k file, due to the Http request.

  • karen

    I really need help with this…how do you unite these files?

  • website development

    Combining JS files is really a tough ask.

  • Web Development

    What OS is your server running, if you are on Linux, I would suggest installing APC … I use APC on all my servers and it increases the speed on a heavy loaded server by a good amount. Just with the Base install of SE, my server crawls with 30 concurrent users on it.