Speed Boost in CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta

CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta

Hi everybody,

Today, we’re proud to present CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta.

Join beta testing now

Our team has been working hard to make CS-Cart faster and more feature-rich. We have fixed many bugs and added new cool features, but the main perk of CS-Cart 4.3.1 is speed.

Server Side Optimizations

On the same hardware, CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta works faster than CS-Cart 4.2.4. We optimized SQL queries to achieve speed boost. Take a look:

Performance test

During the tests, we used a relatively slow machine with 50,000 products. We do not recommend using this configuration for a live store of this size.

Every time a customer opens a page in your store or uses the search or filtering features, a database query is executed. A query tells the store what information the customer wants to see. For example, “women apparel under $100” is represented by a certain query. The more items to load and the more complicated the conditions, the heavier the query. In a store with 50,000 products, a heavy query takes minutes to run, depending on the server.

In CS-Cart 4.3.1, we focused on the heaviest queries: product sorting and filtering. By breaking these queries into smaller chunks, we achieved massive speed boost; the same data that would take over a minute to load in CS-Cart 4.2.4, loads in 5.5 seconds in CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta.

Caching Optimization

Product search means executing heavy SQL queries. Repeat the same search twice, and you have two identical heavy SQL queries to execute. Though we’ve made heavy SQL queries much faster in CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta, it would still be nice to eliminate the need to run duplicate queries.

This is why we’ve introduced product ID caching. During a search, CS-Cart 4.3.1 stores, (caches) the IDs of the found products. If the same search is called, CS-Cart 4.3.1 takes the results from the cache and does not run the heavy SQL query again.

Caching is useful not only for search optimization. CS-Cart 4.3.1 caches most blocks on the storefront. This makes for faster page loading on the second visit.

Storefront Optimizations

Here are the improvements we’ve made on the storefront:

  • Lazy image loading. That is, an image is loaded only when it’s visible. For example, images in sliders are loaded only when a customer clicks the arrow:

Performance test

Lazy loading reduces bandwidth usage on the homepage by 30 percent. This feature also reduces the number of HTTP requests to the server.

  • JavaScript code at the bottom of a page. In CS-Cart 4.2.4 and older, a page was invisible to a visitor until all its JavaScript code was loaded. In CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta, non-crucial JavaScript code is loaded last. As a result, during page loading, a visitor sees the content sooner.

Take a look at the results from Google PageSpeed and WebPagetest:

Storefront test

The First Byte cell indicates time before the page starts loading.

The Start Render cell indicates time before the page content starts rendering.


You are welcome to download CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta and test drive it. We created a special bug tracker for CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta, so please report the issues you find. We plan to fix them quickly and roll out upgrades (Beta 2, Beta 3, etc.) once or twice a week. You will be able to upgrade from CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta to Beta 2, Beta 3, etc. using Upgrade Center.

We will activate Store Import within a week after the first beta release. Anyone who feels like testing CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta with his or her live store will be able to use the store import feature.

Important:

  • CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta is not production-ready software, so do not use it for selling products.
  • A direct upgrade from CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta to CS-Cart 4.3.1 Final will not be available.
  • You will be able to upgrade from CS-Cart 4.2.4 to CS-Cart 4.3.1 Final via Upgrade Center.

You are very welcome to join beta testing. We are eagerly waiting for your thoughts about the new release. Please post your comments here in our blog.

Don’t forget to report bugs—we greatly appreciate it.

Stay tuned to our blog for articles about the new features of CS-Cart 4.3.1.

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4 Responses to “Speed Boost in CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta”

  1. We proceeded gradually upgrade from version 4.1.4 to 4.2.4 but while including many good new features, we found a great delay in the appearance of items within categories. This was reflected in your graphics so expect version 4.3 hoping that will fix the problem.

    • Yan Kulakov says:

      Hello!

      4.2.4 shouldn’t work slower than 4.1.4. Just because we didn’t mess up store’s performance, from a technical point of view.

      In CS-Cart 4.3.1 we’ve done much to achieve performance boost. So, the content should appear much faster. Just look at the test results in the article.

      You can test drive CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta and check out speed boost – click the DOWNLOAD BETA button.

      By the way, we’ll activate Store Import soon, and you’ll be able to test your live store with CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta.

      • All of us (cs-cart community) waiting to see the new version and as rightly mentioned would like a parallel version “store import” in order to evaluate the necessity of an impending upgrade as the capabilities of the new software.
        Did you have a possible release date of 4.3.x; will version 4.2.4 be further refined?
        Also the compatibility rules should note that whenever an upgraded version we have a great financial charge on upgrading addons, template etc.

        • Yan Kulakov says:

          We are going to release CS-Cart 4.3.1 Final in a couple of months. Right after beta testing is finished.

          We don’t plan to refine 4.2.4, as we try to preserve backward compability between 4.3.1 and 4.2.4. This is done for a safe upgrade from 4.2.4 to 4.3.1. During the beta test we will do our best to fix all issues so you won’t have to upgrade add-ons when moving to 4.3.1.