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Last week Joomla 3.5 was released. Much has been written about this, so I won't repeat everything, but 2 issues will be of interest for you performance lovers. The best bit is of course the PHP 7 support, but hidden away is also a cache improvement...

PHP 7 support is already very nice, and those who have started using it have all noticed that it really makes sites faster. Some even report 30-35% improvement. I also started using it myself, but this coincided with the new site, so I can't make a fair comparison with the before situation.

Platform specific caching

But something I had to stumble upon myself first is a new option in the caching section of Global Configuration, called Platform specific caching. When you leave caching disabled you won't notice it, but if you enable it, a new option appears:

This option solves the problem that Joomla! makes no difference in devices when caching a page. This means that the same cache output is used whether the site is shown on mobile or desktop. This often creates issues. It is currently possible to generate different content based on the device, but if cache only sees the first cached version, the mobile cache-view can be shown on desktop or vice-versa (click here for a test scenario).

The new setting overcomes this problem. It works based on the Joomla core mobile detection mechanism. Currently this mechanism only distinguishes mobile or non-mobile (no tablet). Note that you only need it when you specifically serve different content based on device. It also works in combination with plugins that offer different content, like the ones mentioned in my article about Mobile optimization : Advanced Module Manager (Nonumber), User Agent Detection (René Kreijveld), DSC - Device Specific Content (Viktor vogel), etcetera.

Thanks to Hans Kuipers for creating this feature.