More efficient menus for TYPO3

Get a faster site with more server space and users with b13’s menus extension

|Benni Mack

If your TYPO3 site is loading frustratingly slowly, buying more server space to speed it up is often the go-to fix. But in some cases, this method treats the symptom rather than the underlying root cause, which can be layered. The demands of modern menus coupled with how TYPO3’s native menu operates can lead to an overflowing cache, and a server bogged down with unnecessary weight. b13’s menus extension directly addresses these challenges. Implementing the extension saves server space, significantly improves your TYPO3 site’s loading speed, and allows more simultaneous users.

Contact b13 to understand if TYPO3’s native menu is slowing your site down

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TYPO3’s Native Menu and b13’s Menus Extension Function Differently

Modern menus, large-scale projects, and the Native TYPO3 menu collide

Three factors produce a domino effect that drags down your cache and your servers. 

Firstly, how websites use menus has changed over the years. Today, a single website may have many menus on one page, including:

  • Navigational menus in the page footer
  • Menus in the side-bar
  • Mega-menus, including multiple, expanded layers and several navigation paths.
Sections of a website's main menu
Sections of a website's main menu
Levels of a website's main menu
Levels of a website's main menu
Menu for Microsite
Menu for Microsite
Footer Menu
Footer Menu

The next factor is large-scale projects: multiple TYPO3 sites with thousands of pages each. If those thousand-page websites also need to accommodate the demands of modern menus, it places a strain on TYPO3’s native menu abilities, which trickles down to crowd your cache and your servers.

Finally, the third factor is how the native TYPO3 menu itself operates. The expanded version of each menu (also called “active state” menus”) for all pages of your site is cached. This method overloads your servers, and you quickly run out of space. As your site’s number of pages and menus increase, and the bigger and more layered your menus are, the more the issue is exacerbated. In a large test installation of TYPO3’s native menu’s capabilities, the menus alone held 16 gigabytes of data, which overwhelmed and crashed the servers in a day.

b13’s Menus Extension

Because we are aware of the intersection of these factors, we created our menu extension to function differently. With our extension, TYPO3 builds up the menus in the cache once for all the pages. The extension applies active states afterward, which reduces the amount of cached data. This method is significant for tree-based menus, which have multiple layers and information paths. When we tested the menus extensions initially, the results were promising indeed; the same 16 gigabytes that crashed the server a few days before was reduced to 100 megabytes of cached menu data.

Another key advantage is that b13’s menus extension is purposefully written to be easy to understand and implement for less technically advanced team members.

Gain efficiency and longevity with b13’s menus extension

Save money on your server space

The modern state of menus means that a typical website has more menus, larger menus, and expanded menus. This translates to more memory and CPU used, which quickly overloads servers. A common solution is buying more server space, which can be expensive for you or your client. b13’s menus extension reduces your memory and CPU usage to make your existing server space more efficient instead of buying more.

Get a faster site that easily handles high traffic

An overloaded server leads to a less performant site. A slow site or even (gasp!) dreaded downtime can reflect poorly on your reputation and negatively impact the user experience. Using b13’s menus extension leads to a radical reduction in the load on your server and a faster, more responsive site with much less risk of downtime.

Ensure your menus are reliable for the long-term

b13’s menus extension has been available on GitHub for 2 years, so it is mature and thoroughly battle-tested. It is also extremely popular, with over 90k installs and counting. At b13, we use this extension for our own site and across all our client projects, such as the University Hospital of Heidelberg, one of the largest medical centers in Germany.

b13’s menus extension is well equipped for modern menus

No matter the number or size of menus in your TYPO3 site, b13’s menus extension reduces memory and CPU to ensure faster sites, less downtime, and a greater ability to handle high traffic. The extension’s maturity and the high number of downloads means you (and your clients) can reap the benefits of this extension for the long term.

Contact b13 if you have questions about implementing our menu extension

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