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Four Easy and Effective Ways to Optimize Your Drupal Website

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Optimization is a key factor for any website. After all, why bother creating great content, gorgeous pages and logical flow if your target audience walks away with a bad user experience?

Drupal websites are no different. CMS solutions like Drupal are often subject to frequent updates, rapid content enrichment and frequent catalog enhancements. Also, your Drupal site may not scale well if you have a lot of content or many users. If your website isn’t optimized, these factors can lead to various challenges, such as lagging speed, slow server response times and less-than-ideal performance.

Can you relate? This blog discusses four ways to optimize your Drupal website.

Best Practices for Drupal Optimization

To optimize a Drupal website, there are many areas that one can look into. For example, opportunities exist within Hardware, Webserver, Database and Drupal. In this article, we will look into few easy and effective optimizing techniques from Drupal’s perspective.

  1. Cache your site: Drupal is built with very effective caching techniques. Here are few options you can explore for caching your website:
    • Check to see if the site can be optimized in the following areas: Block Cache, View Cache and Page Cache.
    • The site can also be configured with a Memcache Module to increase performance. This module reduces the database load by caching DB objects in RAM.
    • Varnish is another useful technique for frontend page caching. Varnish sits in front of the webserver and serves the cached content to the user requests. It first checks if the cached content is a valid copy of that page’s data and whether it can serve the copy from its cache or not. In this process, the web application is never invoked, which adds to the performance when the website has more page hits.
  2. Image Optimizations: Use the following image optimization techniques to load the pages with media much faster:
    • Use Image Sprites wherever necessary.
    • Use the Lazy Loading approach if there are many images to be loaded on a page.
    • Optimize the image size.
    • Use CSS colors as backgrounds instead of images.
  3. General Cleanup: Make sure you use these techniques for general cleanup:
    • Clean up unused Modules and Themes in Production.
    • Remove all UI-related modules from Production, such as Views UI and Rules UI.
    • Use SYSLOG instead of DBLOG, which will remove the load on the database.
    • Optimize Database for slow-running queries.
    • Index the Database for better results.
    • Use Apache Solr instead of Drupal Default search.
  4. Optimizing Theme: To optimize the theme, consider these techniques:
    • Enable CSS and JS aggregator.
    • Use Minified CSS and JS.
    • Load JS at the bottom of the page and CSS on the top of the page.
    • Use CDN wherever needed.

Also use Devel, Fire Bug and Yahoo’s YSLOW for greater insight into why your Drupal site is performing poorly. Need help ensuring your Drupal website is optimized for the best performance? Contact us today for a careful evaluation.

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