Magento Full Page Cache (FPC)
A full page caching extension is by far the quickest and easiest way to speed up Magento and Bolt is currently out performing all other FPC extensions for Magento. Bolt FPC does this by sitting in front of Magento, intercepting all incoming requests and determining whether the request can be retrieved from the cache or whether it needs to be passed to Magento. If the request can be dealt with via the cache, Bolt can skip the database connection and skip loading the Magento framework, which are 2 slowest parts of Magento.
Bolt FPC can be used on dedicated servers, virtual private servers (VPS) or even shared servers and requires no additional software be installed to work. It works on Apache, LiteSpeed and Nginx web servers.
Time to First Byte and Bolt
The time to first byte (TTFB) is the time that it takes for a request from your browser to reach your web server, the request be processed and the first byte be sent back to your browser and is a good indication of how quick your application is. When a request has to be processed by Magento, this value can be extremely high but when a request is handled by Bolt, this value is almost always less than 1 second and for most people, less than 0.5 seconds!
Bolt vs Varnish vs Other FPC Extensions
There are multiple similarities between Bolt FPC and Varnish and a few key differences. Both Bolt FPC and Varnish sit in front of the application, intercept requests and try to handle them, which can provide amazing improvements in speed and a decrease in server resources used. The key difference between them is that Bolt was written specifically for Magento, allowing it to make specific optimisations for the Magento system and deliver cached pages quicker than Varnish. Bolt FPC also has an easy to use configuration system in the Magento Admin and comes ready configured for most Magento websites.
Most other Magento FPC's work inside the Magento framework rather than in front of it. This means that even if the FPC extension can deliver the request from the cache, a connection to the Magento database is still created and the Magento framework is loaded. This will stop these FPC's from ever getting truly impressive speeds.
Bolt now adds a small 'Bolt' link to your Magento Admin header, which when clicked will reveal a modal window containing several Bolt options. This window will allow you to view the Bolt FPC configuration, go to the Magento Admin Cache Management page (where you can flush the Bolt cache) or quickly clear the cache for a single URL. You can also clear the cache for a single page and all sub-URLs.
Bolt also includes auto cache refreshing so if you modify a product in the Magento Admin, the cache for this product is cleared. The same is true for CMS pages, categories and product stock levels.
Bolt uses hole punching to force certain parts of your Magento site to be loaded dynamically rather than from the cache. This feature comes ready configured so you usually don't have to make any changes to get this working. By default, the hole punched content will be cached, making this second layer of cache almost as fast as the first layer! If you need help configuring the hole punch for custom blocks, check the Hole Punching in Bolt article.
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Have Your Say...
If you have used Bolt - Magento Full Page Cache and want to share your opinion, you can leave a review below.
- ViktorA must have for all Magento owners. Installation is smooth and our site loads in 1/10th of the speed as before. WOW! And we had several optimization in place before too. Tried Varnish and others, but Bolt is the simplest way to give a boost to your store. Highly recommended for all. Great extension, great support. We bought Bolt, Opti and Cache Warmer too. Keep up the good work Ben!
- MarcWow. This is absolutely the most amazing Full Page Cache extension out there. Over 3 years we have tried various solutions to Magento's speed issue. We have a dedicated server hosting (Nexcess SIP-400 with 8 core, 24GB RAM...) but even with that our site was slow. We first had Magento Enterprise and tried their native Full Page Cache. First byte response was still around 1.5 sec. Then we switched to Varnish Cache. Took many months of work to get Varnish to get working. Varnish is very complicated. Even after it was fully set up and running, we would find new issues every month. We were especially worried about all the unknown problems out there due to Varnish that may be customers are facing and not being able to place orders properly. We had issues with customers not being able to log in to our site. Multiple customers made that complain but we or our developers were not being able to reproduce it. Finally, after lot of consultation with Ben Tideswell we decided to scrap Varnish and switch to Bolt. From out of the box, right after installation it started working like a charm. We faced very few issues, and whatever problems we had we were able to fix easily. Its been running on our site for 6 months now and we are very happy with the performance.
- NickWow - this product has made a HUGE positive difference in our site performance. Great support, quick answers to questions. Money well spent!
- TonyI have just downloaded the update for Bolt to get Redis support and had to leave a review. Before Redis support Bolt was super fast but now its gotten even faster. I cant believe how quickly my website is loading. Every website should have Bolt installed. Magento is super slow without it
- Paul WBolt has given us a good boost, and is easily customisable, which is great.
Support is good and advice sound, installed with no issus with 1.8.1
Also use Opti and No Bots which are great too.
- Chris CWe were excited about moving over to Magento but we were scared about page load time being an issue. We came across Bolt and it looked like EXACTLY what we needed. We decided to give it a try and I was very hopeful it would be the solution we were looking for. After installation it immediately became VERY clear that Bolt would deliver on it's promise of speed. The difference in page load was not only measurable through online speed tests but pretty clear just by navigating around the website. Time to first byte is something crazy like 221ms on our home page and page load time on the cached pages is usually from somewhere under 1 second to maybe, and I mean maybe 1.5 seconds. Needless to say, we were thrilled!
While the initial experience was great, the followup and support provided by Ben was amazing. To illustrate: after our initial installation we noticed that the cache didn't appear to be updating on some of our products when the inventory was changing. Now we have what I'd call a "complex" inventory management situation with updates coming through automated imports as well as through calls from our enterprise system.
Honestly I was scared! I now couldn't fathom having to live without the speed benefits Bolt provided, but at the same time we'd been burnt before by companies unwilling to address our issues. Especially in this case, I was worried Fishpig might say our problem was unique to our situation and outside their scope. Well as it turns out my worries were completely unfounded.
Ben was extremely understanding and helpful, working with us to determine what was causing the issue and quickly providing a fix. We couldn't have asked for anything more. Now we're able to fully realize the speed benefits of Bolt while serving up accurate, up-to-date inventory information.
As an aside, we also use Opti, SmushIT and NoBots to keep our site snappy.
- TomI had difficulty installing Bolt (because of my php version 5.2). Ben fixed it and I have now been runing Bolt on www.bordeogstole.dk for a couple weeks now. The result is just amazing, it so fast! Thumbs up!
- Ricky Banks - Apex SuppliesThis and the Opti extension together increased my loading speeds no end! I highly recommend both these extensions. Very easy to install, excellent customer service and a personal feel with the developer helping you directly if you need anything.
- PatrickAs a developer, I just don't want to have to wrangle with code that purports to be well written - I've a full plate. This cache extension is well written and does exactly what it outlines. The module cache selection is a good feature!
- Robert O'RourkeWhen I built, http://foreverbespoke.co.uk/ I wasn't aware that the design would significantly add to page load speeds. Despite using a "beast" of a dedicated server, we still had very poor page load speeds.
We spent quite a bit of money employing a freelance developer to address the situation but despite some initial success, the page load speeds gradually increased again.
It was at this stage we asked Ben to uninstall the "freebie" extensions that were being used and to replace them with "Bolt" and "Opti" and I have to say that after a couple of months the website has continued to perform well.
Another important aspect to mention is the level of customer service. I have found Ben to be both responsive and helpful with all dealings to date.
It's a 5 out of 5 from me.
- TimFantastic extension. Greatly decreased the page load times and it also detects when it should clear the pages cache as well.
- Sid VelThe page loads are super fast now! I am surprised at how simple and easy it is to install and setup this module! A must have module for all Magento websites.
- AlisherGreat Extension ! Was very easy to install and made my Magento site much faster. It has enormously decreased my site's Time to First Byte. And I have to mention that Ben was very helpful from the first step. Good job !!!
- Jim FInstallation was straightforward. We did setup in test environment first and had no issues then went to live environment had issue with compression affecting code but that was resolved quickly. Site is significantly faster after installation. I would recommend it.
- Sean LiBen has been the most amazing developer we've ever worked with. He is extremely responsive from beginning to end (even while on vacation!). The extension itself is unreal, it has decreased our Time to First Byte down under 300ms, initial view barely over one second and our pages loads blazingly fast. I've paid hundreds for other extensions like Aitoc's and the results aren't anywhere as good.
Honestly, just buy it, see what it does to your site and you'll be a believer. You can webpagetest.org our site at www.xenonsupply.com to see the results yourself.
- Patrick BlackMy site has nearly 100,000 products and we were struggling with an acceptable load time. We developed the overall theme with speed in mind; however, it still wasn't up to my liking, until we installed Bolt. The installation process was performed without a hitch and I couldn't be happier with the speed. My site is extremely fast now and I love it!
- YaronIn one line: The best investment you can make to boost the speed of your site in an unreal way!
We launched a brand new Magento EE site with hundreds of products and a very heavy theme. The theme was developed over a period of 8 months and included many blocks, CSS files and JS for various purchased sliders and custom build page elements. The site looked great but we were in trouble. Page load was at 20 seconds per page. We did the usual dance between the design team, developers and sysadmin and optimized everything we can from images to external JS and CSS, to DOM elements and HTTP request and even boosted our server capacity drastically. with all of our efforts we were only able to bring page load down to 10 seconds. We started to think of vernish and our server admin had pulled dozens of articles and documents describing how to set it up and various things that we will need to be configured for it to work with our site. It seemed like a huge undertaking but it had to be done to save the project.
Enter Bolt! We found this module by mistake from reading articles on boosting magento speed. And I will not be doing this module any justice unless I described it as a hidden treasure. It seemed almost too good to be true, which my initial reaction was .. well it must not be true, boy was I wrong. The investment was not too big and if it worked the results will greatly out weight the cost. It seemed like a very easy to setup so we figured let's give this a try. Within MINUTES of installing this a module on our servers we notice a drastic improvement in page load. Once a page was cached it will be loaded in less of a second! we have one page that takes 1.6 second to load but hey, we can live with this one page load time :) Now here is the best part of all of this: The developer. When you invest and purchase this module you will not only boost your site speed and make it as fast a lightning bolt (see what I did there) you will also have access to Ben which is an extremely attentive professional that will reply to your emails in a timely fashion and will provide you with any information you might need to solve any anomaly that might exist due to this product. Overall as you might already figured out we are extremely pleased with this product and highly recommend it to anyone running a magento store.
- AndrewBolt is a great extension! It really speeds Magento up noticeably, even if you are in a fast hosting environment. The only small issue is that it is not very well documented, so figuring out the configuration and how to flush the cache, etc. is a challenge, but a quick email to FishPig always seems to elicit a very quick and helpful response!
- NickHave worked with Ben several times now. Very pleased with him and his extensions. Purchased Bolt and Opti together. Bought Opti just because I trust his products/service. Site is faster, much faster.
- Shawn JAMAZING EXTENSION! Bolt is an absolutely necessity for Magento, unbelievable increase the speed of our website. I am extremely pleased with the performance of this extension and the support provided by Fishpig!
- Darren NewtonI am not the sort of person who spends month on buying "frilly" extensions, after all we all expect to look around the net and find it for free!, However I was using other extensions from Fish Pig and was impressed with the products and service from Ben, so when it was suggested I though "hey why not". I am using a Joomlart theme and they are heavy and slow, but this is something I have lived with because I like the look.... But now since installing Bolt the page load speed is more than just a little bit quicker, it is now LIGHTENING fast.
- PedroWe were using another Full Page Cache and all their modules add ons.
We have a high graphical website, so the site speed is always on our top concerns.
We liked to give a chance to Bolt, and i must say WOW.
The site now it is really flying compared with prior FPC.
Ben was very helpful in all regards and we got Opti, Smush.it and No Bots.
The whole combination with the Expertise of Ben, made us a very glad and happy Customer.
One of the best extensions and services we got so far.
Highly Recommend Ben and his extensions and services!
- Iain ShuttlewoodReally pleased with my purchase. Has definitely sped up my site and the advice from Ben was excellent. He went above and beyond, making small amendments to my site for me to improve it. Would recommend the software and Ben to anybody. I also purchased Opti and the two combined worked perfectly.
- Mike GExtremely pleased with the speed of this extension. I had a slight problem with it when it was installed as I have a complicated store setup, however Ben was quick to rectify that by rewriting part of the extension to suit my specific stores needs. I recommend Bolt and I also recommend Ben the developer for his awesome support. We use this extension with Opti also
- SerhiyI am very pleased with my purchase; extension works really well and my pages are flying... and i want to thank to Ben, who's been really helpful with support and fixing a few issues related to my site. HIHGLY RECOMMEND!!!!
- works goodI use Bolt and Opti. And it really is way faster than before.
- Michele B.One of the best improvements I've ever seen on a store. It's now insanely fast, whereas it was quite possibly the slowest website I had ever built. This along with Opti are a must have for any decent sized store (and any store, period).
Plus support is very corteous and answers quickly, both for this and other extensions. Definitely one of the best experiences I've had in a while.
- Dan F.After dealing with slow magento speeds for the past year I was excited to see Fishpig launched an affordable full page cache extension. I'd had good experience before with Fishpig giving me some help with their Magento/ Wordpress integration.
I couldn't be happier with Bolt, some of my configurable products have thousands of simple products attached and used to take 10-15 seconds for the page to load. With Bolt, those product pages are loading in about a second and many of my CMS pages are well under a second. Ben has also been very helpful, solving a couple small hiccups for me quickly and with good communication.
I highly recommend Bolt and Fishpig.
- Pete WilliamsI finally replaced mturbo with BOLT and could not be happier. It was an easy switch and only took Ben form FishPig about 15 minutes to complete. Since then, I have warmed the cache and can confirm that my site is majorly faster than before and I can't wait to see how this affects my conversion rate and google ranking.
Great support from Ben and thank you for a very quick turn around
- Dean RoyalAfter using Opti to great effect, I was eager to try Bolt on my new side project (small budget so a slow server). Ben told me that it was much faster than Opti and could also be used at the same time (disable Opti cache and just use the minify features). I can attest to the quality of Bolt as my site is now super fast.
Updated the way the hole punch handles blocks that contain an empty string. Previously these would not have been hole punched (leaving the incorrect content in place) but now will be hole punched with an empty string.
Updated the change log so that the data inside it can be used on http://fishpig.co.uk/magento/extensions/bolt-full-page-cache/#changelog
Stopped the 'Bolt is punching holes' message being logged to exception.log. This message was logged each time hole punching occurred and although it could be safely ignored, it quickly filled the log files and took up disk space.
Adding ?___refresh=bolt to the request URL now refreshes the cache entry for the given URL again. This had stopped working sometime previously.
Fixed issue that caused items in the cart to sometimes not display. This could happen intermittently but is now fully resolved.
Fixed fatal error that's caused when a Magento module uses the 'Mobile_Detect' PHP library file. This error may still occur if the extension that uses it does not check whether a class with the name 'Mobile_Detect' already exists.
Fixed the auto cache flushing of products when updating stock records.
Updated the code for older version of PHP that do not allow the calling of static methods where the class name is a variable. Bolt is now compatible with these older PHP versions.
Fixed an issue that caused heavy slow down when using the Magento API. If mass updating products via the API, the cache records would be automatically cleared after updating each product, causing a massive decrease in response time. Bolt now knows when the request is an API request and temporarily disables the auto refresh features.
Added a cache layer to the hole punch system. This makes the hole punch even quicker but can be disabled via the configuration.
Added support for Memcache and Redis cache types. To make use of these new cache types, simply configure Magento to use them in the normal way and then flush the Magento cache. Bolt will automatically pickup on your new configuration. Better configuration defaults have also been added so that the extension comes ready to use.