10 Tips to Speed Up Your Drupal Website

by Hamza Zia  January 30, 2017

What do you think is the most important aspect of your Drupal website? If you think it is the looks of the website, you are not entirely correct!
Speed Up Drupal Website

Looks are important and a beautiful and functional website is essential for engaging the audience. However, if the website is slow, the visitor will lose interest and might not return. The speed of your website is a lot more important than you might think. Google considers the page load speed as an important parameter for ranking websites.  In simpler words, the faster your site is, the higher you rank among the search giant’s results.

So, now that I have established that the speed of Drupal websites is important, I will offer you the following easy-to-implement tips and tricks for achieving this objective.

  1. Keep Your Site and Modules Updated
  2. Uninstall Unused Modules
  3. Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  4. Bandwidth Optimization
  5. Image Styles
  6. Image Optimization
  7. Optimize the Cache
  8. Advanced Cache
  9. Redis
  10. Varnish
  11. Move to a Better Hosting Provider

Keep Your Site and Modules Updated

Many website administrators ignore or simply forget to update the modules on the website. Over time, these outdated modules weigh down the website. The result is a very sluggish website that loads slowly in all browsers. Speed is an important reason behind the periodic rollout of module updates. Thus, the first thing you should do to speed up Drupal websites is to update every module.

Uninstall Unused Modules

On a related note, uninstall unused modules. Every module on your website comes with overhead and code execution time. Thus, the more modules installed on the website, the more time requires for code execution. This execution time directly translates into page load time of the website.
To speed up the website, uninstall all unnecessary modules to cut down the execution time. Some administrators make the mistake of disabling modules rather than doing a complete uninstall. While the modules appear inactive, they still contribute to the execution time of the code. Thus, a complete uninstall of all unused modules is an important way of speeding up Drupal websites.

Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content delivery networks are an essential component of page load optimization. CDN host various parts of the Drupal website (CSS, Javascript, and media) and serve to the visitors from the closest location. This greatly reduces the page load time because of the quick delivery of web page components.

Bandwidth Optimization

Bandwidth optimization refers to the process of aggregating all CSS and Javascript files so that they load together. This parallel processing means that the visitor starts seeing various page elements almost immediately.

Image Styles

Images are probably the heaviest element of your website. They are also among the slowest loading elements because of their huge sizes. Fortunately, Drupal offers a core feature to optimize the size of the images for different screen sizes in order to decrease load times.  The feature also means that the website automatically looks good on screens of all sizes.

Image Optimization

Another very useful feature bundled with Drupal 8 core is the Image Optimization feature that sets the compression ratio of the images. This further fine tunes the page load time.

Optimize the Cache

One of the most effective ways that speed up Drupal websites is to optimize the native caching system. This system ensures that after the first visit of a user, all web page components are stored in an easy to access location. When the visitor returns to the web page, the page elements are loaded from the cache. The result is a significant increase in load speed of the website.

Advanced Cache

Apart from the basic cache system, Drupal core also includes two cache modules, the internal cache module, and the internal dynamic page cache module.
The internal cache module caters to the anonymous users by caching the page upon the first visit that speeds up page load process for all subsequent visitors.
The internal dynamic page cache module was introduced with Drupal 8 and it speeds up the website for both the logged-in and anonymous users.

Redis

Redis is a very powerful cache system for static pages of Drupal websites. It is a very popular open source software that has become an important aspect of speeding up drupal websites. The core functionality of Redis stems from its data structure servers. Installing Redis manually could be a hectic task and thus Cloudways Drupal hosting comes with a pre-installed Redis cache.

Varnish

In addition to Redis (used for caching static pages), Varnish is another cache software that is used to speed up Drupal websites. Varnish is an HTTP accelerator and works either in a standalone role or with Redis to speed up your website. Cloudways Drupal hosting comes with a pre-installed Varnish cache that you could enable/disable in a single click!

Move to a Better Hosting Provider

All of the above tips are the steps that you can take by yourself to speed up your Drupal site. However, none of the above tips will matter much if the hosting provider for your website itsn’t good. Undoubtedly the most important factor of all, it is very important to settle upon a good hosting provider for you site; since this is what will determine your site’s speed, stability and security the most. I recommend you to host your site on Cloudways for maximum performance and the least of worries. Setting up is quick and simple, and you will see a marked improvement on the performance of your Drupal site.

Conclusion

The above tips for speeding up Drupal websites are ideal for both novices and experts. And I would suggest having a look at another blog post by us on, Speeding Up Drupal Websites With Google AMP.

Putting in the time and effort to implement these tips significantly decrease your website’s load time.

If you are in search of a quick and easy method of speeding up your Drupal websites, then give Cloudways Managed Drupal Hosting a try! with several basic and advanced optimization already integrated into the Platform.

It is a win-win situation that you could try out in a no-obligations FREE trial.

Create interactive Drupal websites easily on the Cloud.

Host your website on optimized Drupal hosting servers.

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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