This guide presents how to test the loading times and performance of a PrestaShop ecommerce, however, you can perform what is described in this guide on any type of website, regardless of the CMS in use. Performance has become vital since Google introduced Web Vitals metrics.

Use GTmetrix

It is certainly the most comfortable tool to test the performance of our ecommerce in PrestaShop , unfortunately in the free version it offers few options and the test is carried out from Canada. It is therefore necessary to create an account to be able to carry out the test from a closer location, with the free subscription we will be able to carry out the test from London, certainly the most suitable choice for having more correct data. Only with the paid plans will we be able to test our ecommerce from Paris and Frankfurt, having more real data for the reference market.


PrestaShop Performance

Using GTmetrix also allows us to carry out continuous performance monitoring in order to immediately discover any problems and take action. The service offers a set of tips to optimize PrestaShop and any website and CMS.

Use Chrome and Lighthouse Developer Tools

To better analyze our ecommerce it is good to use the developer tools made available by Google Chrome ( already seen in the guide on responsive verification ), this tool is by far the best available for this type of activity, together with a VPN that allow us to test ecommerce even from foreign locations, it becomes an unbeatable tool.

Network tab

This Developer Tools tab is, after Console, the most useful of all, it allows you to see in real time what happens while we load our e-commerce in PrestaShop. It allows us to recognize any problems due to external modules or services (facebook pixels, verified reviews, etc ...) and to see their impact on the performance of our Website. As already explained in an old article of mine - Why chase google page Is speed insights a mistake and a waste of time for your ecommerce? - the impact of external services can be very high, many in fact are served by US servers and pay for the latency.

First of all, this type of test is very important to do it with incognito navigation. (Ctrl + Shift + N on Windows or cmd + shift + n on Mac)

We therefore access Developer Tools in the following ways:

  • Via keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + I
  • Right click on the page and click on "Inspect".
  • From the Chrome menu at the top right, by selecting:
    Other Tools -> Developer Tools.

Once the tool is open, simply go to "Network" (or Network if displayed in English). We reload our page and we will see the various elements appear, as they are displayed. We do multiple tests for each page, simply reloading the same page several times. Different results are due to the intervention of the cache or different load moments, both of our server and of the remote servers from which external services such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, CDN for images, etc. are served.

Site speed test

Use Lighthouse

Lighthouse is an extension that can be installed in Google Chrome, to install it click here! Once installed, we just need to open Developer Tools, and we will find the " Lighthouse " tab.

Generate Lighthouse Report

This tool which is the same used by Google's PageSpeed Insights offers us several metrics and useful tips to improve our site, giving us a score that is actually the least interesting data.

Is it possible to get to 100?

Is the correct question worth it? When an ecommerce in PrestaShop has a TTFB time of less than 200ms, it falls within the Web Vitals metrics and loads in less than 1.4s or less. In the images in the example we used a clean installation of PrestaShop whose full loading is less than 800ms and despite this the score is just over 80.

It is a score not a performance index

Can we go further? Yes, with small changes we can reach 90, with a customization of the template and database optimization we can also reach 100, but the investment in hours of work and the sacrifices to be made (no Page Builder, no external JS) make the solution practically too much. expensive to the source of practically no, or almost no, real improvement.

Like a racing car, pure performance is achieved by reducing its weight as much as possible.

It is enough just to carry out the same test on large ecommerce for example to notice that not even they invest to reach high scores in this metric, even if 0.1 ms of loading time less for them means hundreds of thousands of euros in more turnover. . In fact, they invest time in Web Vitals metrics and load times by balancing needs with performance.

Run multiple tests

Regardless of the instrument used as it was done in the laboratories during physics lessons, for an accurate analysis it is necessary to perform more measurements and in our case also deferred throughout the day. This helps to reduce the error and have a more complete view of the performance of our ecommerce in PrestaShop.

Mistakes to avoid

There are many free online services that allow you to test our ecommerce in PrestaShop, but you must pay attention to the location from which the tests are performed on the metrics shown: these are indications that must be interpreted.

1. Pay attention to the location

If our ecommerce is localized for the Italian or European market, the server where it is hosted will be physically located in Italy or in another European country. Consequently, if we also carry out a test with valid services such as GTmetrix , but from Canada the results will be offset by the latency of the connection, that is, by the distance of Canada with respect to the position of our Server. Even the speed of light has its limits when distances are considerable.

2. Exchange a score for a performance index.

One of the most common tests involves using Google's PageSpeed Insights . It is important to premise two important considerations in this regard, the first is that it is a score inherent to the adoption of certain technologies and not a performance index, the second is that the same result is based on Lighthouse, so it must be taken into consideration the direct use of the extension for Chrome, to have a more real result.

Load Test PrestaShop with Siege

You can run a real command line HTTP benchmark and load test with Siege, which can be installed in Linux distributions. This test is to be carried out very carefully and with the permission of the provider where our website is hosted. In fact it could be mistaken for a Denial of service attack (DDoS), in our FAQ you can find information on this type of test . The test shows the performance of our eccommerce in PrestaShop in responding to multiple simultaneous connections.

Author: Loris Modena


For Ind Loris Modena , owner of Arte e Informatica , he began working in the IT sector in 1989 as a system engineer in charge of the maintenance and installation of IT systems. He started programming for the web in 1997 dealing with CGI programming in PERL and then moving on to programming in PHP and JavaScript. In this period he approaches the Open source world and the management of Linux servers.

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