Your Guide to Using RokBooster for Joomla
In the chart below, we detail some of the performance increases possible with RokBooster using our free template, Afterburner2:
RokBooster can dramatically reduce the number of HTTP calls a browser has to make, and sending those compressed files GZipped means your pages will load faster with less load on your server.
Looking beyond Afterburner2, RokBooster can benefit just about any updated Joomla site. Here, we will break down how exactly RokBooster can benefit your site. For the interest of comparison, we have tested with both Afterburner2 and our default Gantry template.
|Afterburner2*||+ RokBooster||Gantry||+ RokBooster|
*All statistics use Afterburner2 in 960Fixed mode.
Time: The time, in milliseconds, for the page to finish loading all requests. In local tests, the template with RokBooster enabled is about 1/3 of a second.
Size: The size, in kilobytes, of all requested items. Smaller file sizes lead to speedier loading. The necessary files have been optimized to reduce their overall footprint, for example, the logo is only 1.5KB, the only image file loaded by Afterburner2. With RokBooster enabled, the footprint is 173KB which is a significant reduction.
RokBooster takes what would otherwise be a bulky and complex site and compresses it down to make it lighter and easier to serve.
Think of your site as a grocery store. All of the individual files that go into it are items in that store. Your visitors will have a hard time shopping if they have to grab every item on the shelf with each trip. RokBooster acts like a shopping cart, making it possible to easily and quickly grab the items you need and get out the door. It groups useful data together from various different sources to make it easier for your browser to download and render.
With RokBooster, all of these separate CSS files are combined into as few files as possible. This reduces the number of requests, and optimizes page loading. If you are using a template with several different header, body, footer, background, etc. options to choose from, there is no sense in having to load CSS calls to components and options you are not actively using at the time.
Images are another area that RokBooster comes in handy. It is capable of converting inline and background images below a certain file size into data so they are loaded faster and smoother. This data is placed directly into the HTML, replacing the call to an external file.
It is important to note that RokBooster is just one piece of the optimization puzzle. Site speed ranking tools like YSlow and Google PageSpeed do not tell the full story of your site's real-world experience with users. While these rankings are often considered important for SEO (some search engines consider site speed in page rank) there is much more you can do to improve your site that a single extension can not do.
Optimizing your MySQL database, finding a good hosting provider and spending the extra money for a dedicated server, keeping your sites free of extension crawl, reducing the amount of information you pull from external sources for each page view, and implementing site caching are just some of the ways you can incrementally improve site performance for your visitors.
RokBooster is there to assist in optimization where it can. While useful, this is still no magic bullet. It is just one part of a larger optimization strategy.
RokBooster has the following requirements in order to operate:
NOTE: Internet Explorer 11+ and Edge are supported, but versions 8, 9, and 10 are no longer supported by Microsoft and while they may work, are not recommended.
ALSO: Gzip must be installed on your server and enabled in PHP in order to function.
NOTE: If your site's CSS goes blank when you activate RokBooster, there is a permission problem on your server. Please change the Cache File Permissions settings in the Advanced settings inside the RokBooster plugin settings.
Installing RokBooster takes just a matter of few minutes.
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the latest version of RokBooster. The package you will download contains everything to get RokBooster up and running and it is compatible with both Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.x. It does not need to be uncompressed.
Once you have downloaded the package, go into the Joomla Administrator and:
From Joomla 2.5 and 3.x:
Extensions -> Extension Manager -> Install
RokBooster.zipthat you just downloaded from your local drive.
NOTE: For additional information on installing extensions, visit our detailed extensions installation guide located here.
Once installation is complete, a message highlighted in green should indicate its successful completion.
You can access the RokBooster configuration page by navigating to Extensions -> Plugin Manager. In the list, you will find System - RokBooster. Click the name in order to enter RokBooster's Plugin Manager. The plugin needs to be set to Enabled to operate.