For those who are new to the concept of Drupal, it is important to understand the meaning and ways to optimize Drupal site speed. Drupal is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that is used by several websites available on the Internet to enhance their overall performance. The best feature offered by the Drupal CMS is that it can power all types of websites including blogging, corporate, e-commerce and even governmental sites. Drupal was originally launched in the year 2001 and has remained high-performing since then. Various reasons why the website owners or webmasters choose Drupal over WordPress are high security, ability to scale several pages and highly modular and powerful designing of the websites with Drupal.
If you too wish to integrate Drupal on your site, then you must learn the ways to optimize Drupal site speed to get the desired results. Here are some top tips to achieve the same:
Avoid Shared Hosting :
With shared hosting, it is implied that the website owners cannot control their own sites. In addition to this, the webmasters are also not granted the privilege to tune parameters like database variables or even install the additional components like PHP accelerator. Therefore, to optimize Drupal site speed, it is imperative to avoid shared hosting unless your site is receiving a few thousand views per day. To know more web host for Drupal, please check out VPS hosting, and dedicated server.
Select Dedicated or VPA Servers :
Once you have rejected the thought to use shared hosting, you can either select a dedicated server or a VPS (Virtual Private Server). A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a reserved platform within a dedicated server that can be controlled by the webmaster themselves. This implies that they have the root access, they can install the software of their choice and do any activity as per their choice. The functioning of VPS that is based on Xen tends to be highly cost effective, provides ample memory space and also ensures excellent performance of the entire Drupal site.
However, to optimize Drupal site speed, the question is “when should one switch from a VPS server to a dedicated server?”. The design and infrastructure of each site are different from the other in terms of different usage pattern, different module and several other parameters. However, the general rule says that a VPS server can handle as many as 75,000 view on a daily basis with optimized performance of the Drupal site.
Install Adequate Memory :
Another technique to optimize Drupal site speed is to install the adequate amount of memory that can be afforded by you. Memory is available for a cheap price. It only takes some amount of money in the squeezing and tuning of the limited memory machine. The extra amount of memory allows the extra Apache processes to be executed for the handling of the traffic in a better manner. In addition to this, it also provides for the buffering of the database and the filesystem. Therefore, there is no role of the disk input-output and this makes the queries to be executed in a fast manner.
Avoid Dedicated with Hosts of Shared Databases :
Some of the dedicated or VPS servers do not provide the option of hosting the MySQL on the dedicated server. These servers force the webmasters to implement the database on a separate server that is shared with other databases of the other servers. This can be considered to be a very bad setting for the Drupal sites and must be avoided to optimize Drupal site speed. If the database server that has been assigned to your site is busy in serving the other sites, then the dedicated or VPS server will be sitting idle to serve the database requests. This, will in turn, make the site much slower.
Make Use of a PHP Accelerator :
Another effective technique to optimize Drupal site speed is to install the PHP Accelerator or an op-code cache. There are several free versions of the PHP Accelerator available like Xcache, APC, and eAccelerator. Each one of these can have their individual sets of advantages and disadvantages based on the version of the PHP being used in your Drupal site.
Activate MySQL Query Cache :
One of the most significant factors in relation to the MySQL for Drupal sites is the presence of a well-tuned MySQL query cache. With the help of this tool, MySQL usually stores the results of the queries in a separate cache to serve the subsequent requests and to re-run the queries. To optimize Drupal site speed, it is important to ensure that the query cache of MySQL has been configured with an appropriate size.
Activate Drupal Caching :
Drupal is equipped with a built-in cache mechanism. Some of the cache available in the Drupal sites are always on and cannot be switched off. Some of these are variable, menu and filter caches. The page cache is quite optional and can collapse various database queries in a single query. So, if in case, your Drupal site has a great number of unspecified and registered users, then you can enable the page cache in your site. To optimize Drupal site speed even more, you can also consider enabling the aggressive cache as well.
Enable File-Based Caching :
In Drupal sites, there is the presence of a file-based caching module that is known as the “Boost”. This can help in the storage of the cached pages outside the database. This helps the webmasters in avoiding the database input-output and bootstrapping of the Drupal sites in an effective manner. Therefore, this technique can also be used to optimize Drupal site speed.
The overall speed of the website can affect the performance of your site in terms of incoming traffic, revenue, conversion rates, even the performance of the SEO rankings. Therefore, it becomes imperative to optimize Drupal site speed in an effective manner with the use of the right techniques. Wait no more and get the best out of the Drupal sites!