Page loading speed is one of these factors that attract more visitors. According to Google’s research, nine seconds difference in the page load speed can increase the bounce rate by 123 percent — doesn’t sound good, don’t you think? Find out how you can speed up your Drupal website.
Drupal performance optimization can be a complicated process. The platform itself enables you to create a stable website, however, with a few great tips, you can make it perform even better. This is why it’s good to have a list of proven modules close at hand. Keep in mind that the number of mobile users is growing year by year so your website should also perform well on mobile devices. Take some effort now and you’ll see how having a website in up and running condition pays off in the future.
There are many tools over the internet that enable you to test the loading speed of your page. One of the most popular is PageSpeed Insights by Google.
Tips for optimizing Drupal to load faster
When you design a website, focus only on the components that you really need. The fewer elements and widgets, the faster the website will load. The same goes for the graphic, images, video content, etc. — don’t put too many of them and always remember to compress images to make them display in no time on your site. The tools like Photoshop or Gimp might be helpful when it comes to compressing, but you can also use a Drupal built-in option to compress images automatically. There are also Drupal modules created for this purpose.
If you have a choice, for images use well-compressed JPG files rather than heavier PNG graphics. JPG can harm image quality when you try to resize it, however, a PNG is a lossless image format so it usually comes as a larger file and can take much more memory. The solution is to create the images as PNGs and then create their JPG copy that will be placed on your website.
Moreover, to keep the website performance on a good level, make sure that you always use the latest Drupal version. Check for the available updates that are made for improving the system and for security reasons as well.
You should also review from time to time the modules that are used across your website. Make sure that you use every module installed on your Drupal site. If not, remove ones that you don’t need to improve your website performance — you’ll be surprised how this activity affects your site in a positive way. It’s also recommended to analyze your site's performance bottlenecks and make some configuration changes.
Sometimes, it’s also good to switch the hosting provider for a better one, which can be a real performance-booster for your page. Choose a fast web hosting provider and look at it as an investment in your business. This is why it’s better to have a managed host than the shared hosting route.
Drupal modules for better page loading speed
One of the things you should do first when it comes to improving the website performance is turning on core page caching. For most, this is obvious, but if you missed this, enable caching page by a default. Note that caching is enabled automatically in Drupal 8. The rule of thumb is that when the website is often updated, it also needs to get cached frequently. If you use Drupal 7, you should download Views content cache to monitor the cache segments. The Boost could also be a good choice, so find out which one works better for you.
Another useful module is Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation, which reduces the number of HTTP requests, for instance, the number of CSS and JS files. It compresses .gz/.br files, combines CSS files, and you can use it to move external CSS and JS files to the local environment, which, in general, results in faster page loading.
Furthermore, an interesting choice could be the Shadow module, as it helps to optimize database queries. You can simply create shadow tables for slow queries, so SQL queries can be automatically rewritten to speed them up. This gives the Drupal website a nice, noticeable boost in performance.
And last but not least on our list is Picture that provides various options for image optimization and allows you to manage images in Drupal sites based on a responsive design. It helps you control how images will be displayed on the mobile devices screens with different resolutions. The great news is that it saves bandwidth and reduces page load time.
Speed up your Drupal website
As you can see, there are many quick fixes and methods that you can implement right away. These are, for instance, performance-enhancing Drupal modules that you can use on your website. Test your site from time to time to make sure that it performs as well as before. Page load speed, SEO optimized elements, and a mobile-friendly website are what you need to achieve success and keep the users happy.
When you make the needed changes, don’t forget about mobile users, as they are a large part of online consumers. Also, consider finding a better hosting service if the current one doesn’t fulfill your business needs. Implement proven tips and tricks and leave your competition behind.