While Drupal isn’t considered a slouch when it comes to performance out of the box, there are some factors which can slow it down and some basic practices which everyone should implement in order to squeeze more speed out of their Drupal sites.
In this post, I’ll highlight some tips which can help to speed up your Drupal site. Without much further ado, let’s get to them:
Probably the most important factor in keeping your site working optimally is to cache as much of pages or block for as many visitors possible. Anytime a visitor visits your website, some components of it are stored in an easy access location, ensuring faster delivery of such components the next time the same visitor returns to your website.
There are multiple methods of caching that come with Drupal out-of-the-box, as well as popular third-party caching technologies such as Redis, Varnish etc.
Keep site up to date
Drupal is regularly updated to fix bugs and improve its performance. Keeping your site updated, not only that ensures its efficiency but also has many other advantages, key amongst them ensures the security of the platform. It’s a win-win situation!
CDNs or Content Delivery Networks is a well-known resource for speeding up a website. While in the old days, utilizing a CDN with Drupal was somewhat of a hassle, it has now gotten quite simple. CDNs can bring a huge speed boost to your site, localizing data for your audiences through third-party networks. Using a CDN with your Drupal site should be a no-brainer really!
Images are some of the heaviest elements of any website. They take the longest to load due to their (potentially) large size. Fortunately, Drupal gives you options to optimize images for faster loading. Two easy to implement methods provided by Drupal are the Image Styles and the Image Optimization features. The Image Style feature enables automatic resizing of images with respect to different screen sizes, and the Image Optimization feature enables settings of compression ratios for the images.
Another additional method that ties to the optimization of images are lazy-loading them. This is a technique that loads images only when they are visible on the browser window, eliminating the need to load all images as soon as the site is requested helping in turn to reduce the time it takes for the site to be available to the visitor.
Remove Unused Modules
Over the course of a Drupal site’s lifetime, the number of additional modules on it can increase drastically. Over time, many of these modules might become obsolete, or you might not need the functionality provided by some of them anymore. In such cases, these modules might be loading with your website but not providing any value. It always helps to make sure you keep only the modules needed by your site and remove all unnecessary ones, both from the security standpoint and the speed of your site.
Use a Good Hosting Provider
The choice of hosting provider you use for your site is probably the single biggest factor for your site’s success. Make sure you do your research well and settle upon a good hosting provider!
These are some basic tips that should enable any developer to get started on their site speed optimization, regardless of the skill level. Optimizing a Drupal site is an ongoing process, and it does go much deeper than the tips provided here, but these should be enough to get you started on making your site faster.
Want to make your site even faster? Not sure where to go from here? Contact us at Agiledrop and hand over your site worries to us!