10 Easy Ways to improve the Page Speed of your Drupal Site

10 Easy Ways to improve the Page Speed of your Drupal Site

The speed of a website always plays a crucial role in determining the usability and functionality of a website. A slow loading website not only discourages web visitors but also leave a bad impact on the search engine platforms. You may start losing your potential visitors if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load.
According to Google, website speed will play a critical role in determining the ranking of a site on the search engine platforms. A fast loading site quickly gets higher ranking on search engine pages while sluggish site needs to improve their user experience for getting better ranking.
Therefore, it is important for a site owner to take some robust measures that can help them in optimizing the speed of their site, especially if they are running a Drupal site. Drupal performance optimization process is a complicated one that requires coding and programming skills. Sounds complicating!
But, you don’t need to worry because we bring you some of the easy-to-follow tips that can improve the page speed of your Drupal site, quickly and efficiently. You just follow these basic tips and optimize the performance of your Drupal website.

 Here we go!

1.       Enable core page caching

You can enable the core page caching to boost the overall performance of your Drupal site.
By enabling page caching, you can cache the entire rendered page in the cache table. So when an individual web page is served, it is served from the single cache table, without extra queries and issues. However, this only works for anonymous users because web page for logged in users can be intuitive and dynamic.  Thus, it is better to enable entire page caching and improve your site’s speed.

Note: Enable page caching in the core performance setting page. You can find thins under Configuration -> Performance (admin/config/development/performance).

2.  Turn on inbuilt CSS and JS aggregation

Enable the CSS and JS aggregation module right in the same admin form as the default caching.  
If there is no aggregation, then you will need to manage a lot of CSS and JS files. Each file represents individual HTTP requests, and having too many HTTP requests could slow down the speed of your site.  
So, it will be better for you if you enable CSS and JS aggregation to convert all of your CSS and JS files into a few files. This helps in reducing the HTTP request and improves user-experience.

Note: Enable page caching in the core performance setting page. You can find it under the Configuration -> Performance (admin/config/development/performance).

3.  Enable Boost

Boost helps you convert all of your Drupal pages into flat HTML files and reserves them in a cache folder. When a visitor visits the page, the server immediately recovers the cached file from disk and this cut off the PHP and My SQL processing and improves the page speed of your site.

4. Turn on Faster 404 Error

Broken images or CSS file paths are one of the main reasons for a sluggish website. Drupal will still try to load these paths for each web page in which they are added, but they will return a 404 error page (page not found). However, Drupal will do a complete bootstrap while serving a 404 error, so it uses up a lot of resources.
But you can enable the fast 404 error to handle and deliver the 404 error messages quickly to the visitor.

5. Disable update manager

The Update Manager allows Drupal.org to cross-check the modules that are outdated or need an update. No doubt, it is an imperative procedure as it can help you know which modules need updates, but at the same time, it adds a lot of strain on the server to check.
If you have a staging site, you can enable update manager there instead of your live Drupal site.  

6. Disable PHP Filter

The PHP Filter Module helps you use a PHP text format. It means you can store PHP in the database and run it on page load with ease. But this could affect both the security and performance of a site.
In order to resolve this problem, you need to disable the PHP Filter module from your site.
Note: Don’t delete it because it is a core module.

7.  Disable and Delete Unused Module

If you want to improve the speed of a site, then disable and then delete the unused modules from the database. Most of the developers and site owners delete the modules without disabling them. This won’t disable the module in the database even if they are not available in the file system.
So, find these modules with the help of Clean Missing Modules or Missing Module and disable them.

8. Optimize the size of images

High quality images can help you drive more web traffic. But having too many images with large file sizes could downturn the speed of your site.
Thus, it will be good if you resize all of your images before uploading them to your site.

Note: For image fields, use image styles (admin/config/media/image-styles) to optimize the size of the images.
You can also optimize the inline images by making the use of Image Resize Filter. Such images are added through WYSIWYG editor such as CKeditor, tinyMCE.  You just need to set the height and width of an image and the Image Resize Filter will automatically optimize it as per your needs.

9.  Use ImageAPI Optimize

Image styles and Image Resize Filter are decent tools that can help you optimize the size of your images. But, still images optimized via these tools contain certain data that can slow down the site.   
To remove this data, you can install the ImageAPI Optimize module. It is an amazing module that can delete all the data without affecting its quality.

10. Enable Views Caching
Views is on the most popular and commonly used module of Drupal. It allows a visitor to request a page with a view on it, without even caching. However, this increases database queries that can add a lot of pressure on the server.
If you enable the Views cache, the result will be stored in the Views cache table that can be used at the time of the cache. It helps in boosting the speed of your Drupal site quickly and efficiently.

Speed optimization of a Drupal site is quite tricky, but if you follow these simple and basic tricks you can easily improve the page speed of your site. So optimize the performance of your site and keep on monitoring for best possible results.

Author Bio: Maggie Sawyer associated with MarkupHQ Ltd., a reputed company that provides convert PSD to Drupal with 100% guaranteed client satisfaction. Connect with her on Google+ and Twitter.