Published by Mijingo

movie icon image

ExpressionEngine How-to Articles

Topics range from beginner to advanced, but are all born out of real world, professional, day-to-day use of ExpressionEngine. Need more information? Get training videos and ebooks on ExpressionEngine from Mijingo.

Resources for Optimizing Your EE Website

Many of us have been in this situation. You launch a snazzy new website and once the traffic starts to hit it, the site drops to its knees and begins crawling its way through the day. Your client or boss starts emailing and then calling, asking: “Why is the site so slow? Can you fix it?”

With a little planning and an eye towards EE template coding best practices, you can prevent the situation I described above. Below are some resources I’ve collected that will help you optimize your ExpressionEngine-powered website using caching, server tweaks and other methods.

I haven’t used all of these, but I’ve launched high traffic websites on EE and had to implement some of these solutions to manage traffic.


Caching is the easiest way to reduce the load of heavy traffic on a server. By caching, EE is saving otherwise dynamically-generated pages and queries to text files, which are quicker to display in the browser than querying the MySQL database.

Reducing Queries

If you can reduce the number of queries needed to render any given page, your site will show some speed improvement.

  • Reduce Queries on the EE Wiki - A nice, quick overview of things you can do to reduce the number of queries.
  • Query Disabling - If you don’t need the data, don’t make the database fetch it! Disabling queries at the tag level is easy as pie.
  • EE Tracking Preferences - Last year EE included a new feature, which allows you to easily disable certain user tracking features (or all of them) to help minimize server load due to MySQL table locking.
Server Tweaks
Third Party Solutions

Sometimes third party add-on developers come to rescue with useful add-ons that make site optimization easier.

  • Static Page Caching - A new module from Solspace and Fiery Tea, Static Page Caching “allows you to cache an entire page in ExpressionEngine based on its URI.”

This is by no means a comprehensive list and I plan to add more resources as I find them.

Have something to add? Post it in the comments.

Posted on May 13, 2009

Filed Under: How-To, ExpressionEngine Development, Web Development,

Ryan Irelan
About Ryan Irelan

Ryan Irelan is the Technology and Development Director at Happy Cog, a web design and development firm. He is a noted ExpressionEngine expert, having created a wildly popular video training series on ExpressionEngine. Additionally, Ryan is the publisher of EE Insider, a well-known news and information site for the ExpressionEngine community. In his spare time, Ryan is the production director of A List Apart Magazine, which is one of the most popular ExpressionEngine-powered sites on the web. Recently, Ryan published a book on ExpressionEngine 2 called "ExpressionEngine 2: A Quick-Start Guide."