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Zen Cart Highly Customized Slow performance
Highly customized Zen Cart Installation slow, very slow
jomoweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 6:16 am on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

My problem is that I possibly customized Zen Cart a little too much, and now it is so slow it is borderline unusable.

Bright webmasters. I need your opinion:

Is it low memory on my shared Host?
Is it the Un-Zenlink programming of Zen cart?

The Zen report:
Parse Time: 24.593 -
Number of Queries: 2633 -
Query Time: 10.733885148804

The server performance:
Current Memory Usage (k)
total used free
4076300 4043220 33080

 

FalseDawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 6:25 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is that report for a single page?
If so, I think you must realize that almost 3000 queries for a page is totally ridiculous.

If it's not for a single page, more details are required to make any recommendations.

jomoweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 11:46 pm on Nov 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, it is for a single page, and yes, it is ridiculous, but that is just the way Zen Cart is, and what I found out while developing it to handle a non-traditional product (a sport tournament registration entry). A traditional item like a DVD has 100 queries.

It's definitely not the right solution for products with many attributes.

Through more investigation, I have seen that hosting does make a huge difference though. If you want to do a lot of Zenning, get a certified Zen Cart host.

markbaa

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 1:51 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I started a project on zen cart a few months ago. I found it was a dog - performance & customisation. Yes, it's very powerful, but tweaking it is hard work, and it's slow. Was spending way too much time in code, not enough time marketing.

I switched to cubecart 1 week before launch (a risky move!) and had it up and running within a few days. Not as feature rich out of the box, but fast and VERY easy to tweak, not to mention standards compliant out of the box. Was a great move. Cubecart isn't perfect, but I think I made the right choice.

Morgenhund

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 12:37 pm on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is just impossible to have 3,000 queries pro page -- just very improper. I do not have ZenCart experience, just common databases/web development experience. My highly tweaked osCommerce has about 70 queries pro page, and I consider it is already too many (but still acceptable by performance metrics).

Either it is a ZenCart feature, or a bug caused by your tweaking.
1. Try count queries on an untweaked cert. If this is a feature, do not spend you time on this product.
2. If this is a bug, try to fix it: log all the DB queries and then try to define what is problem source. There can be a buggy loop statement, for example.

Another performance eater might be indexes. Better to say, their absence. Be sure you have an index on every table record that is used in "where" clause (if table has more than 1000 records), or that is used in "on" and "using" join clause (even if table has less than 1000 records). But it does not have anything in common with 3,000 queries.

Hope this helps.

p.s. A host usually do not has problems with performance until there is about "0" of free memeory. I do not think these numbers show memory problems. But 3000 queries pro page definitely are a problem.

lorax

WebmasterWorld Administrator lorax us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 2:27 pm on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's outrageous. Get a new cart. At the very least get a script cache installed and you'll see a significant improvement in performance.

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 5:28 am on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Home Page:

Parse Time: 0.280 - Number of Queries: 638 - Query Time: 0.18223529470825

Large Product Listing (83 attributes):

Parse Time: 1.181 - Number of Queries: 3017 - Query Time: 0.88153500108337

Hmmm, I am doing over $200,000 in sales each month with Zen Cart on shared hosting and it flys like a rocket!

I guess I need a new cart too? :)

jomoweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 8:51 am on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

After further investigation, it was the hosting. They fixed it, maybe restarted the service or whatever. If you do develop with Zen Cart, go with a certified Zen Cart host. It isn't all sizzle, you get the steak too.

The high amount of queries is due to product attributes that are added on. Zen cart is highly reliant on database storage and configurations, hence the amount of queries.

I would say it iwould be better to customize my own ecommerce system for this certain application, but I don't have the skills, so Zen Cart is a good band-aid this year.

lorax

WebmasterWorld Administrator lorax us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 4:00 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> I guess I need a new cart too?

IMHO - yes. But if it works for you? Fabulous! :)

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 4:23 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

jomoweb, I am glad you got it figured out. I just looked at some businesses running commercial shopping carts that cost up to $40,000 and they weren't near as snappy as Zen Cart and Alexa ranks my Zen Cart web site faster than 70% of all websites it indexes.

There have been over 200,000 downloas of Zen Cart. I search "powered by zen cart" on google and get 2,060,000 results. There are nearly 700 stores featured in the Zen Showcase and only about a handful of people have ever complained on the forums that I have seen about speed and it was usually due to the web host.

FalseDawn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 6:59 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Hmmm, I am doing over $200,000 in sales each month with Zen Cart on shared hosting and it flys like a rocket!"

Mentioning sales figures on a public forum is not only crass, but irrelevant.

3000 queries for one page rendering is horrendous, however you try to spin it.

I get page rendering times of around 0.01 secs with less than 10 queries per page on my custom coded cart.

Page rendering times of >1 sec are hopeless.

fiu88

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 9:16 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

False dawn ...your site is definately FAST..nice work...most zen sites I see are so slow....
Always for a better package than our current asp one ...love to see all the feedback from various users

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 11:58 pm on Nov 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

"3000 queries for one page rendering is horrendous, however you try to spin it."

Funny you mentioned spinning when the whole point of your post was to critisize, belittle and try to imply my site isn't fast when it most certainly is.

Way to go!

jomoweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 2:37 am on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I concur with FalseDawn. Gallivanting around without anything to back up your brash brags is unprofessional.

Open source carts like ZC and OSC are sublime if you are selling cd's, books, or a basic commodity.

When highly customized (especially with over 10 product attributes), Zen Cart is bearish. This is unanimously agreed.

If you choose to develop with Zen Cart, make sure you are poised to switch hosting to a Zen Cart Certified Host, just a word of warning.

numnutz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 7:52 pm on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi I've not really done much as yet with Ecommerce but I have been looking at ZenCart/osCommerce and wonder what makes a host ZenCart certified. (other than ZenCart authors give it a certificate). Obviously it would be someting to do with server speed - but is there anything else?

nn :)

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 10:15 pm on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some of them will help you out setting it up. But you don't need a certified host, you just need a good one.

I tried a $35/month host and they were crap when it came to sql query times and it was very slow. I have run it on a $7/month host and it was very quick.

It just hit and miss to find a good one and you know the Zen Certified hosts do the job right and will have quick servers

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 10:35 pm on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

"When highly customized (especially with over 10 product attributes), Zen Cart is bearish. This is unanimously agreed."

Well I do not agree with you at all, so how is that unanimouse?

This is the stats of a product with 85 attributes and 67 thumnail images:

Parse Time: 1.181 - Number of Queries: 3017 - Query Time: 0.88153500108337

I can't see how you figure 10 attributes is "bearish" unless you have a poor server or don't know how to set it up properly.

etechsupport

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 11:20 am on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Zencart is nice but I don't think they are much SE friendly.

madmac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 8:01 am on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Parse Time: 1.181 - Number of Queries: 3017 - Query Time: 0.88153500108337

Zen Cart runs about 4 times slower than the average PHP application. Run some tests yourself if you don't believe me. Numbers alone are meaningless.

3017 queries IS too many for one page. anybody that knows anything about programming knows that. The Zen Cart team will even admit it [though they are slow to do anything to fix it].

Check what load that places on the server. How long do you think it can sustain that? What is the performance when there is actually traffic on the server? What performance do you get when there are 100 concurrent connections to the site? what about 1,000?

jomoweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 10:42 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

From the research I have done on Zen Cart hosts, I have not seen a set formula for what it takes to become certified, but here are some qualities that differentiate a Zen Cart Certified Host from an ACME hosting company:

1. Headroom - This seems to be the most critical feature. Since Zen Cart is bearish, it needs lots of server space to operate. You won't get great results on a massive shared server. Like madmac stated, 3000 queries might be fine if you have a handful of visitors a month, but not for a heavy sever load.

2. Special Zen Cart services - Some of these hosts will install the latest release of Zen Cart for you. Some will add popular community mods. Others will even do customization work for you.

3. Giving back to the community - Some hosts will donate a portion of your hosting bill to the Zen Cart community. This way you know some of your investment is going to the community to make the application better.

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 2:59 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Zen Cart runs about 4 times slower than the average PHP application. Run some tests yourself if you don't believe me. Numbers alone are meaningless."

You are right, numbers alone are meaningless, 4x slower is meaningless.

If it runs fast and is snappy to load is what counts.

My site is fast and snappy.

I have run cubecart, xcart, and eshox on my server and there is no perceptual difference in the speeds, although I am sure there are several milisecond differences.

[edited by: Peter_Cornstalk at 3:15 am (utc) on Nov. 24, 2005]

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 3:01 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"1. Headroom - This seems to be the most critical feature. Since Zen Cart is bearish, it needs lots of server space to operate. You won't get great results on a massive shared server. Like madmac stated, 3000 queries might be fine if you have a handful of visitors a month, but not for a heavy sever load."

I have run it on ipowerweb which has massive shared servers and it runs very quick and is hardly bearish. It is jut hit and miss to get a host of that kind that is configured properly to handle it.

But I don't recommend them since you can get better hosting for around the same price.

"1. Headroom - This seems to be the most critical feature. Since Zen Cart is bearish, it needs lots of server space to operate. You won't get great results on a massive shared server. Like madmac stated, 3000 queries might be fine if you have a handful of visitors a month, but not for a heavy sever load."

I get 1000 to 1500 visitors a day, no problem.

24Karat

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 4:46 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi I've not really done much as yet with Ecommerce but I have been looking at ZenCart/osCommerce and wonder what makes a host ZenCart certified. (other than ZenCart authors give it a certificate). Obviously it would be someting to do with server speed - but is there anything else?
nn :)


the certification for zen certified hosting is actually about having the server setup specifically for zen,
I run a zen certified host and the pluses are this, I am setup to run perfectly for zencart,
I install and tweak it for clients,
I am very knowledgable on zencart,
and the high number of queries can be knocked down by using indexes, and turning on things like manufacturer box from the front page.
At this time Yes zencart is a resource hog, but unfortunatly that has alot to do with the legacy code that was started with and the added features.

this is being address through out the 1.3 series. the developers have promised an 80% or so reduction in queries.

24Karat

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 4:55 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Parse Time: 2.744 - Number of Queries: 3004 - Query Time: 2.2244939130554

is from a single product with
53 options and almost as many images. the number of queries is high however the speed isnt an issue

[edited by: lorax at 3:28 pm (utc) on Nov. 24, 2005]
[edit reason] Please, no URLs - see TOS and Charter [/edit]

anchordesk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 6:05 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ouch!

Parse Time: 16.070 - Number of Queries: 25841 - Query Time: 13.467571916565

jomoweb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4512 posted 6:55 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

ZC sites like that just push the envelope of what a person can do with the right imagination. However, IMO, that the design of ZenCarts should be more customized more often. When it comes to ZenCart in the wild, many times I see the "e-commerce", but few times do I see the "art of".

the high number of queries can be knocked down by using indexes, and turning on things like manufacturer box

Zen Cart recommends turning off the manufacturer box. Do you mean to turn it off or on? How do you use indexes to knock down queries?

Any other recommended measures to boost ZC speed besides the Zen Cart recommended methods here [zen-cart.com]?

I have seen Query times spike from 10.00 to .70. That can go to server performance. However, I am using an older installation of Zen Cart. 1.2.4.1 to be exact. How much would an upgrade decrease query times?

having the server setup specifically for zen

In what ways would you setup a Zen Server differently than any other linux/apache/php/mysql server? Do you need to tweak apache or php?

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