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!
By default, the 'header' block is hole punched when your customer logs in or adds an item to their cart. If you want to add new blocks to the hole punch, you need to enter the name of the block in the XML layout. This is value given to the block in your layout XML files in the 'name' attribute. If you are unsure of this, open the template for the block you no longer want to be cached and add:
This will print out the value that you need to hole punch the block. After changing the hole punch data in the Admin, you will need to flush the Bolt cache for it take effect.
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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 by clicking here.
- 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.
Before installing Bolt, ensure that you have disabled your Magento compiler and cache.
You can install Bolt just like any other Magento extension by uploading the .tgz file in your Magento Downloader (Magento Connect) or by extracting the files and merging them with your site using FTP.
After installing Bolt, open up your index.php file and add the following just before Mage::run.