Varnish and Joomla

DIY Joomla! acceleration kit. Make your server a favor and stop hassling Joomla! with requests from anonymous users. Let Varnish Cache serve thousands of them every second.


With version 3.6, the Joomla developers introduced rudimentary Varnish support. While we keep developing this plugin for our old customers, we recommend trying the built in Varnish integration first. If you have any problems with that, we can help.

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Package includes a Joomla! patch, Varnish configuration files, a cache purge plugin, 15 pages of manual and email support.


Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator, developed and made available freely by Varnish Software. Depending on the application, it can result in a boost of 10x up to 1000x. With Joomla, typical acceleration is about 100 times.

Joomla doesn't make using Varnish easy, though. By default not only does it send headers that forbid caching, but also starts a session for every anonymous user. While the former is fixable using multiple freely-available plugins, the latter is an issue with the Joomla core. has developed a patch for the Joomla core and a Varnish VCL file which work together to serve anonymous traffic from super-fast Varnish cache, while still allowing users to log in, bypassing cache. They are accompanied by a content plugin, deleting articles from Varnish cache as soon as you save them.

Some numbers

We did a little test: we took a sample Joomla 1.5 page and load tested it using Apache Benchmark. 10000 requests have been sent, with 20 concurrent connections. The load generator has been running on the same machine as the web server - this is not the most precise test setup, but still it gives some insight into how load times relate to each other.

Average HTML load time2 ms918 ms
Total time taken to serve 10000 views1.2 s459 s
Requests per second8348 req/s21 req/s
Full ab outputViewView

The results are two orders of magnitude (~100 times) better with Varnish than without it. Also, while a test without Varnish was running, load was high on the test machine. With Varnish it was close to nothing.

Interested? We add this patch upon request as a part of our Site Boost package for Joomla which also contains numerous other optimizations. We are also selling it as a self-service package with PDF instructions and 30 minutes of email support - it's just $70. Order now and make your Joomla fly.

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Click on the button below and you will be redirected to who is out payment processor. Prepare your credit card or PayPal details. Contact us if you prefer a different payment option (bitcoin, bank transfer, payoneer). If you need an EU VAT invoice, send us your company details after ordering. Inc. (Ohio, USA) is an authorized retailer for goods and services provided by Enmasse (Szczecin, POL).


The Varnish for Joomla package is licensed as GPL v2. Free as in speech, not as in beer.



What is included in $70 package?

Patches for Joomla 1.5, 2.5.4+, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 VCL files for Varnish 2.1+, 3.x and 4.x, a plugin purging articles from cache (for Joomla 2.5 or higher), and 17 pages of documentation in PDF, ODT and TXT. We also add 30 minutes of support, including installation.

Will it help my e-commerce site?

Most trafic on e-commerce sites is coming from anonymous users, who just look at things without creating an account or buying anything. Varnish will help you.

Couldn't you just make it a plugin?

No, we couldn't. According to our best knowledge, there is no way a plugin can be used to bypass creating a new Joomla session. We'd be happy to be proven wrong, as patching is not the nicest solution in the world.

What are the requirements?

A supported Joomla version and root access to your server (that is, you need a VPS or dedicated server, not a hosting account).

If your hosting doesn't meet these requirements, check our offer.

What was your exact test setup?

The machine was a quad-core PC with 4GB RAM and a 7200 SATA drive. It was running versions of Apache, PHP, MySQL and Varnish found in Ubuntu 11.04. The software configuration was out-of-the-box, it hadn't been tuned for performance. Joomla 1.5.23 was used with a default set of sample data.

What about 1.6/1.7/2.5.3?

These versions are unsupported. There are patches for these versions in our package, but we don't update them anymore. Both of them are at version 1.1. If you really need to upgrade them, we can do it for the standard hourly fee.

Which extensions are supported?

Most well-written extensions work well with Varnish without any extra work. The most popular ones include JReviews, Akeeba Backup, Admin Tools, Kunena and HikaShop, JomSocial*. Community Builder and VirtueMart work too, although sometimes a little tuning may be necessary.

* JomSocial Ajax Notifications are not supported

Which extensions are known to cause a conflict?

K2 (which is trying to support Varnish, but is doing it wrong) and SpeedCache (which randomly overwrites HTTP headers).

What Varnish versions are supported?

All versions from 2.1 up. We provide separate VCL files - for 2.x, 3.x and 4.x.

What payment options are available?

Paypal and credit cards when ordering online (order now). Bank transfer, Payoneer, and Bitcoin are available after contacting us.

Secure online payments are being processed by a 3rd party company,, Inc. We do not process or store any credit card data. Our physical address is: Enmasse, Iwaszkiewicza 73/9, 70-786 Szczecin, Poland.

I've seen something similar for free

Yeah, right, so did we. If you find one that really works, be sure to drop us a line.

What is your return policy/warranty?

There are no returns. Should any defects be found in our software, we will repair them for free within 3 months of sale date. If the problem is not a fault of our software, customer may be charged our standard hourly rate for time spent beyond 30 minutes included with this package.