Drupal is great with many things but as all that is PHP it has performance somewhere far down it’s achievements list. But is it all that bad and nothing may be done? Of course not. Here are some things that will assist performance dramatically!
- Think ahead! Careful planning may be of the most important tricks at everything related to Drupal and further beyond. Drupal has many modules which may be quite handy but has hidden dangers (and hypnotic powers) as you might want to install them all because they are so great and every single one is just the right thing you need. But you are to be cold-hearted, you are to plan ahead after being 100% sure what each and every module does and where are it’s limitations. Don’t make things too heavy, chose only the necessary modules. Pro tip: most modules have the ‘uninstall’ feature, but some don’t. Make sure you are toying with them in a development environment where all can be deleted without data losses.
- Always keep things up-to-date. Drupal core updates and contributed modules are emerging quite often and some of them have a lot of performance boost potential to offer. Don’t skip those. Being updated is always better. Pro tip: Sure updates are a nice thing but you know what they say, better safe than sorry. Test every update before actually implementing it.
- APC things! APC aka Alternative PHP cache is actually great at boosting Drupal performance. Plus it is of those once set and forgotten about it things that will keep doing it’s work quietly. Pro tip: Many specific hosting’s already have APC so you may already be using it without even knowing.
- Use Memcache to reveal issues in cache memory tables. This will boost performance and will also reduce server load.
- Use Varnish when your site gets visited by anonymous users often to reverse proxy cache and save your server from big loads.
We will be getting deeper into specialized applications as well as Varnish and Memcache mentioned here in part 2 that will be published shortly.