How to Improve Drupal’s Performance through Cloudways

by Hamza Zia  June 26, 2017

In the realm of web development and website ownership, what do you think is the most important factor in the success of your website?

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Well, it is none other than the hosting provider you choose. A good hosting provider not only offers maximum uptime for your website but also positively affect the page load times, which in turn affects your website’s SEO. It is imperative then that you choose the best possible hosting provider for your Drupal website.

Even though Drupal in itself is quite well optimized, the server it runs on matters a lot. Hosting your Drupal website on a fast server ensures that your site doesn’t crash when the traffic and resource requirements move closer to the maximum.

But before we delve into that, let’s take a look at what you, as a user can do to improve your Drupal website’s performance and how Cloudways helps in implementing the following measures:

Install Redis

Install Memcache

Install Varnish

Add Elasticsearch

Install Redis

Redis is a very well known open-source in-memory database software. It is essentially used as a caching system, and as such is most often referred to as Redis cache. It is extremely fast and the very best at what it does. The fact that Twitter uses it further consolidates the reputation of the cache system.

Now, in any other hosting provider, you would typically need to write a set of commands or perform a manual installation of Redis on your server. This requires in-depth technical know-how and the process often leads to problems.

Cloudways provides one-click installation of Redis on your server. In fact, the process is over with a single click.

Redis Install Cloudways

For more detailed instructions on how to get Redis running on a Drupal website hosted at Cloudways, check out this blog post: Turbocharge Your Drupal Website With Redis

Install Memcache

Memcache is another open-source caching software, that when used alongside Redis, can significantly improve the speed of your Drupal website.

In contrast to Redis, Memcache caches objects and data in the RAM, thereby eliminating the need of reading external sources multiple times.

Just like Redis, Cloudways offer one-click install option for Memcache. This means that you do not have to fiddle with CLI commands or setting up environment variables. Cloudways does it all for you.

memcache cloudways

To check out the complete process of setting up Memcache on a Drupal website hosted at Cloudways, see our blog post: How To Install Memcache On Your Drupal Site

Install Varnish

So now, you’ve got two of the best caching systems (Redis and Memcache) setup and running on your Drupal website at Cloudways. What more can you do? Well, how about installing an HTTP accelerator such as Varnish.

But why Varnish? Well, I’ll let this sentence(taken from the Wikipedia) speak for itself: Varnish is used by high-profile, high-traffic websites including Wikipedia, online newspaper sites such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Hindu, Corriere della Sera, social media and content sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Vimeo, and Tumblr. In 2012, 5% of the top 10,000 sites in the web used the software.[2]

The good news is that Varnish comes pre-installed at all Cloudways servers. The user only has to do is enable it by clicking on a toggle!

varnish toggle cloudways

Check out my post: How to install Varnish on a Drupal website at Cloudways for the complete procedure.

Add Elasticsearch

This point doesn’t ‘directly’ impact the performance of your Drupal website, but it does have an indirect effect on it.

Let’s imagine a scenario, where you have a large website with GBs of data and thousands of visitors. Let’s say a visitor arrives at your website and wants to access something that was posted some months ago. Do you think he/she would be bothered to scour through so much data to get to that one piece? Yup, they wouldn’t. To mitigate this problem, the best solution for you is to use  Elasticsearch.

Elasticsearch is an open source search engine based on Lucene. It provides extremely fast search capabilities as well as auto-complete searches. Setting it up manually is quite a hassle. To solve this problem, check out this detailed post: How To Install And Enable Elasticsearch On Drupal website at Cloudways.

Conclusion

Cloudways aim to provide every possible way of helping out their customers. The one-click installation processes for popular cache technologies and the search engine is just one aspect of ensuring that the Drupal websites hosted on Cloudways Platform continue to perform at the maximum.

If you ever get stuck anywhere, you can contact our customer support which is available 24/7. If you want to read more about how you can speed up your Drupal site, see: 10 Tips To Speed Up Your Drupal Website.

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About Hamza Zia

Hamza is a Drupal Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Drupal Hosting Platform. He loves to write about Drupal and related topics. During his free time, he can be seen obsessing over Football, Cars, Android and Gaming.

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