Speed up Drupal site

As you know, the content management system of Drupal website has a lot of fans by organizations and departments. Drupal is an open source content management system or framework that is currently used by about 2.2% of all websites in the world and can include all different types of websites such as blog, corporate, corporate, government, etc. .

Drupal was released in 2001, about 2 years before WordPress entered the web market, and after the introduction of WordPress and its tremendous popularity, many questions arose that given the features of WordPress, why do people still use Drupal? ! Experts answer this question as follows:

  • Security: Site security is very important and Drupal uses the highest level of security and the best degree of error reporting in its system. In contrast to the competitor of this WordPress content management system, several plugins and settings must be applied to maintain security.
  • Scalability: Drupal supports up to several thousand pages without restrictions, which in contrast to WordPress due to its blog structure supports up to 100 pages.
  • Power: Drupal modular and powerful system is designed by developers and can be expanded due to its open source nature.

Many corporate websites such as Warner Bros., Emmy Awards, Oxford University, etc. use this content management system.

Drupal in the game with numbers:

38,000 coders around the world
38% of successful projects out of every 50 projects
More than 1 million users on the Drupal.com website

Due to this issue, Drupal content management system is a strong competitor to other current and well-known content management systems, and therefore the discussion of optimizing this content management system is also of great importance.

According to Google trends, the word search chart of Drupal is more balanced than other content management. Still, it’s surprising that Joomla! ‘S uptrend was huge until 2009, but has been declining since 2010, to the point where Google Trends now ranks like Drupal. WordPress continues to fluctuate and is still considered the most widely used content management system.

We talked about the WordPress system in the article How to increase the speed of the WordPress site, but in this article we want to discuss how to optimize the Drupal content management system so that your users feel a better user experience.

Increase the speed of Drupal performance

Why should you care about speeding up Drupal? Because the speed of your website is the most important and influential factor of traffic, conversion, revenue and ranking of your SEO. Here are some tips from Radware’s case study on page load time.

The Shopzilla website was able to increase revenue by 12% after optimizing page load speeds from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds.

  • Google says that 20% of website traffic is lost for every 100 milliseconds your website is delayed.
  • Yahoo says that for every 400 milliseconds of improved website loading speed, website traffic increases by 9%.
  • Mozilla says that due to the 2.2 seconds increase in their website, it gets more than 60 million downloads per year for its Firefox browser.
  • Amazon says that for every 100 milliseconds of speed improvement, a 1% increase is added to their revenue.
  • Below we provide clear and simple tips on how to optimize Drupal as well as keep it fast to ensure the return of visitors.

We use Drupal version 7.41 in this tutorial, but note that Drupal 8 was also released on November 19, 2017, and minor changes such as the addition of PHP7 support and disabling support for Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 have been added. Has been.


Use the latest version:

Using the latest version of Drupal kernel is one of the most important parts that we discussed at the beginning of the discussion due to its high importance. The latest versions of Drupal kernel fix security and software bugs and improve system performance. So it’s best to keep your Drupal kernel, skins and plugins up to date.

  • To update, go to the Available Updates section from the Reports section.
  • In it you can manually find the latest available updates via the Check Manually option.


Use a content delivery network (CDN):

Connecting a content delivery network (CDN) to Drupal is a quick and easy way to reduce your website load time. By doing this, you can ensure that the various structures of your website, such as images, CSS files, and scripts, are delivered to your users from several different locations around the world with tremendous speed.


Add cache to your website:

Unlike other content management systems, Drupal has implemented a cache section at its core, and is generally one of the easiest ways to optimize site speed, which is disabled by default and must be enabled through the settings section. Follow the Drupal page cache to activate it.

Drupal page cache:

  • From the Configuration section, enter the Development section, and then enter the Performance section.
    Check the Cache pages for anonymous users and Cache blocks check box. You can also specify the cache lifetime as
  • well as the cache expiration time.
  • After making the settings, click Save Configuration.

However, like other CMS, Drupal has plug-ins for caching, which you can see below:

  • Memcache
  • File Cache
  • Redis
  • Boost (This plugin converts all Drupal pages to flat HTML pages.)

You can also download and install more cache plugins from caching modules.

Views Caching

The views module plugin is one of the most popular Drupal cache plugins.

  • To activate it, first go to the Charts and Views sections from the admin tab.
  • Click the Edit option for the View you want to edit.
  • Open the Advanced box option.
  • Click Time-based and click Apply (all displays).
  • Then specify the times you want and click Apply (all displays).

The following are some examples of plugins for Views cache:

  • Views Content Cache
  • Graceful Cache
  • Views Cache Bully

User panel cache:

Another popular plugin that people normally use in Drupal is the panels module plugin. With this plugin, your admin user panel will also be cached in your browser. We have fully activated this plugin below.

  • Enter the management section, diagrams (structure), pages (pages).
  • Then click on change from the Variants section, the Content section and the Caching section.
  • Then click on Simple cache and click Next.
  • You can also set a specific cache time after that and then click Save‌.

Other types of cache:

Fix Add Expires headers error

Fix error Remove query strings from static resources

Fix Enable gzip compression error


Optimize your images:

More than 56% of the volume of web pages is its images. So optimizing images will reduce loading time very effectively and is something we always recommend for optimizing Drupal websites.

Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 compress JPEG images when uploading images. By default in Drupal 7, this compression is 75%, so follow the steps below to change it.

  1. From the Configuration menu, enter the Image Toolkit.
  2. You can select the quality percentage to compress the images and click Save Configuration. (It should be noted that the higher the quality percentage, the higher the image quality and volume)

There are also plugins for optimizing images in WordPress that you can install and activate.

  • Image Optimize
  • ImageMagick


Lazy loading images:

Lazy image loading can easily increase the loading speed of your pages by simply loading the images of the visible areas on the browser screen. The most famous Drupal plugin in this field, which has had about 18,000 downloads so far, is the Image Lazyloader plugin.

We also recommend using the Image Resize Filter plugin to reduce the size of your images to a web page size and avoid using CSS to reduce the scale as much as possible.


Error Pages 404:

In addition to using the 404s plugin, you can use external tools such as Online Broken Link Checker or Screaming Frog to find 404 pages not found. This will allow you to avoid wasting resources on 404 pages. Drupal uses a lot of resources for 404 errors. On average, Drupal’s default plugin for finding 404 pages takes up about 60 to 100 MB of your server’s RAM.

The Fast 404 plug-in fixes this problem and helps to find and fix 404 errors with less than 1 MB of RAM.


Disable unnecessary extensions:
Like any other content management platform, add-ons slow down Drupal. Therefore, it is not recommended that you use more than 50 plugins on your Drupal website. Below are examples of plugins that you can disable if you do not need them.


  • Administration Development tools
  • Devel
  • Devel node access
  • Field UI
  • Rules UI
  • Views UI
  • Filter Module
  • Blog
  • Forum
  • Taxonomy
  • Search
  • Help
  • Shortcut
  • Dashboard
  • Database Logging
  • Color
  • Toolbar
  • Tracker
  • Statistics (Statistics, this plugin on your database updates the information after each page load and it is recommended to disable this plugin if you use Google Analytics)


CSS and JS compression:

By compressing CSS and JavaScript files, you can improve the Frontend performance and download time of your website files, so that your browser does not need to store a large number of files, and the number of HTTP requests is reduced.

Follow the steps below to activate:

  1. Configuration ⬅️ Development ⬅️ Performance
  2. Check the Aggregate and compress CSS files and Aggregate JavaScript files check box.
  3. Click Save Settings.

Note: This feature is enabled for users logged in and not logged in.

If you want to compress CSS and JavaScript files in a more specialized way, I suggest using the Advanced CSS / JS Aggregation plugin.


Invert proxy servers:

It is possible to put an application to store your copies on a separate server. This is called reversing proxy servers, or something called HTTP acceleration. Varnish has been used for many high traffic websites such as Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and more. There are currently two plugins for Varnish operations in Drupal, the links to which are below.

  • Varnish
  • Cache Expiration


Additional tricks:

  • Use a Client Side for your forms. Clientside Validation plugin is one of the best choices and works through Jquery code.
  • Use a host with Drupal support.
  • Disable the database log through the Syslog-ng plugin.
  • Find out why your website is running slow with the DB Tuner plugin.
  • Disable the PHP Filter plugin.


Choose a fast host:

Finally, choosing a fast and secure host is one of the most important things you can do to improve the speed and performance of your website. We recommend that you do not use low-cost shared hosting because resources are split between several hundred websites and do not give you high speed.

We recommend providing a cloud host or a cloud server that has all the resources for you. The main reason for this offer is your access to resources.



We can optimize Drupal performance in many ways and you just need to know where to fix it. You can optimize your website by implementing a CDN for caching operations, optimizing images, lazy image loading, repairing 404 pages, compressing CSS and JS files, and disabling unnecessary plugins.

If you know of another way to optimize Drupal, let us know and always remember that we at SEO teaching always answer your questions in a variety of areas.

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