How to Boost Drupal Performance in 3 Steps

Drupal performance optimization

Website performance is one of the critical factors that influences your business results. If it is slow, page loading time grows, and you start losing visitors. It’s not well. That’s why the best way to be ahead of the game is to make a website performance optimization. Today we’ll talk about some tricks that can help you to make Drupal performance optimization.

We’ll need:

These tools will help you to check the website speed.

Our action algorithm:

  • first, we check our website performance via these tools;
  • then we write down the obtained values;
  • then we make some changes to boost the website performance;
  • and finally, check the website performance again and compare the new values with those obtained before.

Don’t forget to write down the values after each change to understand whether you are on the right way. So, let’s go!

3 Steps of Drupal Performance Optimization

First of all, we should understand that any moving mechanism has 3 types of things. They are fuel, control devices, and ballast. For example, let’s take an aerostat. What should we do to make our transport go faster? We have to manage our control devices correctly, turn the gas on, and throw off the ballast. Now let’s look at our website. It also has some things we should set up, some of them – to turn on, turn off or delete at all. But before you decide to delete something, turn it off.

Set Necessary Functionalities

Turn on page caching. It entries the whole page to the cash table. So when the new page is created, there is no need to do many queries, and it’s created in the only table.

Turn page caching on the performance settings page: Configuration -> Performance (admin/config/development/performance)

Turn on block caching. It works with individual blocks. It is necessary because it gives the opportunity to cache blocks, even if the page caching is turned off. Also, it always works for unlogged users.

Turn block caching on the performance settings page: Configuration -> Performance (admin/config/development/performance).

Turn on views block caching. It is an important function too. It’s turned off by default, but it’s better to enable it.

Choose the needed view and go to advanced settings. Then set the necessary type in Block Caching option.

Turn on the built-in JS and CSS integration. This option allows you to reduce the number of HTTP requests by transforming a large number of CSS and JS files in several compact files.

Reduce the number of cron launch times. By default, cron is set up to run every three hours. It means that every three hours the user will get a very slow page loading. The best solution is to turn off the cron on the website and enable it on the server.

Reduce the Number of Unnecessary Modules

Maybe, sometimes it could sound strangely, but the modules don’t always help. Sometimes they even detain the website performance. That’s why we should turn off or even delete such components. Try to do it with following modules and don’t forget to note your results:

Statistics module. This module gathers the data of interaction with your content like Google Analytics and stores all this information in your website databases. So, as you can understand, it overloads your system. That’s why it’s better to avoid the use of this module and work with Google Analytics for such purposes.

PHP filter. This module gives an opportunity to use PHP text format. So with its help, the PHP code is stored in your website database. But it’s not good for the website performance. Just turn it off, but don’t remove because it’s a core module.

Update manager. This tool checks the situation on drupal.org and searches for new versions of modules installed on your website. Of course, it’s great, but it also overloads the website. Better turn it off and use only on a stage project.

Unused modules. The words are unnecessary here. Why do we need the modules we don’t use? – Nobody knows:) But the website is not happy to bring such load. So, turn off unnecessary modules you don’t use and let your website run faster and make Drupal performance optimization!

Drupal performance optimization: run like Sonic

Install Helpful Modules

And now it’s time to add the fuel and install some useful modules, which will help us to ride so fast as a rocket.

Views content cache. Without caching, when the user uploads a web page, the system requests the database. This situation overloads the website. But views caching solves this problem and stores the results in a views cache table. It reduces the number of requests. So, if you install Views content cache, you’ll allow the website to renew the cache in real time when changing content.

Views Litepager. When you use the default pager for views, the COUNT query is needed for all pages. And it adds the time for the operation. But with views Litepager, you avoid the need to use COUNT queries, displaying only ”Next” and ‘Previous” links.

Boost. This module turns all Drupal pages into flat HTML files and stores them in a cache folder on the server. When the user visits the page, the server returns him cached page without using PHP and MySQL. It speeds up the website in several times. But! Boost works only for anonymous visitors. It doesn’t cache pages for logged-in users.

Fast 404. If your website includes many broken links to images and CSS documents, the website performance slows. In this case, Drupal will go the whole hard path of page loading, even if it gets 404 error as a result. Fast 404 solves this problem and gives fast 404 error messages.

Image resize filter. To speed up the website, you should also reduce the images size. Large images require much time for loading, so they slow down your website. Images resize filter allows you to change the images size in WYSIWYG editor. You should set the height and the width of the image, and this module will reduce its size automatically.

Drupal performance optimization: resize images

ImageAPI Optimise. Any image contains the data that increase the page loading time even if you use Image resize filter and image styles. This module allows you to optimize the image and remove these data.

Entry cache. Entries are the users, content, and taxonomy terms. Most entries have fields. When each entry is loading, the queries are performed for each field. It increases the number of queries to the database. As we know, such situation influences the website performance. Entry cache will help you to avoid a large number of requests. All data will be stored in the cache table.

Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation. This module is much more efficient than built-in CSS/JS Aggregation. So try and decide, whether it useful for you or not.


Now it’s time to go and win the race. If you did everything right, your website would run much faster. But not everything is so simple as it seems, and sometimes everyone needs professional help. If you are among such users, we’ll be glad to make the professional Drupal performance optimization for you.

But hope you’ll make it and get the high-performance result. Now are you ready to try?

Ready – Steady – Go!

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