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How to Speed Up a Joomla Site by Minimizing External Scripts

Speed is a key factor of development when it comes to websites. There are a lot of different steps you can take to speed up Joomla. However, minimizing external scripts should be at the top of this list. Let’s take a look at how to speed up a Joomla site by optimizing Javascript and CSS.

Why You Should Minimize External Scripts in Joomla?

You can go about optimizing and speeding up a Joomla website by employing a number of techniques. However, minimizing external scripts is arguably one of the most important things you can do to make your Joomla site faster.

A faster Joomla website will help get the site ranked higher in Google and overall optimized for users. This is important when it comes to keeping users on your website. If your site is running slow and taking too long to load, chances are people will click out and find another resource.

There are a few different ways you can combine external scripts in Joomla to help site speed. Today, I am going to show you how to use a Joomla extension that will allow you to minimize external scripts quickly and easily.

This will speed up Joomla in no time at all.

JCH Optimize

JCh Optimize Joomla Extension

JCH Optimize allows you to speed up Joomla by letting you combine and optimize JavaScript and CSS files into one. This minimizes HTTP requests and helps speed up Joomla.

This extension will help reduce bandwidth and optimize the site for better download speeds. Using this Joomla extension has shown that most sites will experience a 6-10 point jump in Page Speed performance.

These types of results allow you to get ranked higher in Google and gain more traffic. The extension is packed with great features. Some of the main ones include:

  • Combine all Javascript and CSS Files Into One
  • Ability to Combine Background Images
  • Minify Aggregated Files
  • Exclude Certain Files That Don’t Aggregate Properly
  • Defer JavaScript to End of Page

Basically, the JCH Optimize extension will give you everything you need to speed up Joomla. Let’s take a look at how to install and setup the extension. 

Install and Activate JCH Optimize

In order to use the JCH Optimize extension to combine external scripts in Joomla and speed up your site, it needs to be installed and activated. You can easily install and activate the extension by downloading it from the extension homepage onto your machine.

Download extension to speed up joomla

Note: You will be taken to another page when you click the download button above. Go ahead and download the appropriate plugin for Joomla to your machine and move forward from there.

Download joomla version of JCH optimize

Once you have downloaded the extension to your machine, drag and drop it into the file upload box located in your Joomla control panel area. You can access this area by clicking on the “Install Extensions” tab located on the left side menu.

Note: You can also browse for the file and upload it that way if you prefer. Joomla also gives options to install from a folder or from URL, but the process below is easiest.

Drag and drop speed up joomla extension

Once the extension has been installed, you will get a green box detailing the installation and letting you know it was successful. In this case, it is just a simple message in a highlighted green box letting you know the extension is installed properly and ready to configure.

Successful plugin upload message

Now that the extension has been installed you have to activate it. On the top menu bar click on Extensions > Plugins This is located on the top menu of your Joomla website admin area.

Click on extensions then plugins

You will see a list of your plugins. Search for the “JCH Optimize” extension you just installed. If it has a red circle with a white “x” in it, click the icon to activate (enable) the plugin.

If the icon has a green checkmark, it means it’s already activated and the extension is live and ready to be configured.

Search for the speed up joomla extension

Setup and Configure Extension to Speed Up Joomla

Let’s take a look at the extension settings together. You can go ahead and click on the JCH Optimize link now and we can go through the configuration process.

Click on link to access settings

Once you click the link, you are taken to the main configuration page for the Joomla extension. You will see six main tabs. These include:

  • Plugin
  • Basic options
  • Exclude Options
  • Free Features
  • Pro Features
  • Optimize Images

Let’s walk through these together to complete the setup of the extension.

Plugin

The plugin tab will simply show you all the information regarding the JCH Optimize extension. You can also set your access and ordering settings here. The rest of the plugin information, including troubleshooting and help options, are all displayed.

speed up joomla plugin tab

Basic Options

This is where you will set all the basic (main) options for the extension. This will include cache, HTML, and other utility settings. Go ahead and configure these how you would like them.

Basic Options tab

Exclude Options

This tab gives you the ability to exclude certain files if you want to. You can easily add and exclude certain JavaScript and CSS files to this tab and create a system that you are happy with. Play around with it and see what speeds up your Joomla website the most.

Exclude options tab

Free Features

Here, you are going to find other free configuration options that come with the extension. This will include configuration choices for the Sprite Generator and Image Attribute options. Set these how you see fit.

Free features tab

Pro Features

As is the case with most Joomla extensions, there is a pro version of the plugin available. You can find it on the original download page above.

If you have the pro version, you will be able to configure these extended options as well. If you are running the free version, then you will simply see that these configuration options are not available.

Pro features tab

Optimize Images

One of the best things about the JCH Optimize extension is that it also gives you the ability to optimize images. This will also help with speeding up your Joomla site.

Optimizing images on any website is on the top of most lists, so these options are not to be ignored. Go ahead and set these options for how you want.

Optimize images to speed up joomla tab

That’s it! Make sure to click on the “Save” button and you have now successfully setup the extension live on your site. You should now start to experience faster load times.

Final Thoughts

The overall process to speed up a Joomla site involves looking at several different things. However, optimizing JavaScript and CSS files into one and optimizing images properly will put you on the fast track to better site speed.

When you use an extension like JCH Optimize, it allows you to complete some of the more complicated processes a lot faster and easier. You can, of course, do this manually. But, there is no reason not to take advantage of the extension because it makes the entire setup and configuration so much easier and faster.

Go ahead and give the extension a try. See how easily you are able to speed up Joomla and then go check out your page speeds and see if they have gone up.

Have you performed other optimization techniques to speed up Joomla? What other extensions do you use for a faster website?

Author: Jeremy Holcombe

Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.

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