6 Easy Ways to Speed up Your Drupal Website

As we all know, speed of a website matters a lot in achieving higher conversions and generating good revenue. The websites which load faster perform better on every front providing superior user experience, higher search engine ranking and good user engagement. It also becomes very crucial for sustainability; the less we’ve to transfer better it is.

But how to achieve that faster website speeds?

Well, we know that there is a lot that can be done on the server side to increase the speed of the website, but we should also know that content management system (CMS) has also got lots to do with the speed of the site. It has a great control what code is presented on the screen. All we have to do is to present the content quickly so that the browser can present it quickly too.

Here in this article, we’re focusing mainly on Drupal which is driving about 12% of the CMS market. Below are 6 easy ways through which we can speed up a Drupal website.

1. Remove Unwanted HTML

Yes, removing unwanted HTML helps the page load faster using module Fences. And, to change it to the lighter markup, you can make a copy of any template file (*.tpl.php) which ships with Fences and add it to the custom theme. Using fences naming convention, you can also make your own *.tpl.php files and place them in your theme, so the fences will find them automatically and add them to the available list in the dropdown for field configuration.

2. Compress your JavaScript and CSS

Compressing JavaScript and CSS by enabling advanced CSS/JS aggregation module (AddAgg) can also help in increasing the page loading speeds. You can use the default aggregation/compression code that comes with Drupal Core, but you should know that there are several advances in the module that can further enhance loading speeds.

In Drupal 8, JavaScript runs in footer by default, and this module also lets sites use Google’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) to load jQuery. And, if a browser has already loaded a JS file from CDN, it just uses the cached file instead of downloading it again. You should know that there are lots of algorithms to compress the codes; Google’s Closure Compiler can be used by ‘Speedy’ or ‘Minify’ module to reduce the size of your JavaScript file.

3. Deliver Optimized Images

Use Drupal Core’s ImageCache module and deliver the smaller images to your visitors; this is really important for mobile devices in where browser is delivering much smaller images.  

So, how to optimize images for different devices?

The ‘Picture’ module is a responsive image display formatter of Drupal 8 which lets administrators to optimize images for different resolutions and devices by pairing image styles and CSS media queries.

Website loads really slower if the images are big and not optimized. There are several tools like TinyPNG using which we can reduce the image size before uploading them to the website. Also, the Lazy Loader can give your site a boost; it simply defers loading images when they are out of display. The images won’t be loaded until the user scrolls to them. This decreases the total bytes transferred, as people don’t usually scroll to the bottom of the page.

Using Scalar Vector Graphics (SVG) instead of GIFs and PNGs can also help your page load faster, as SVG files are smaller when compared to PNGs and GIFs. This is the reason for Drupal 8 replacing its PNG files with SVG.

4. Disable Unused Modules.

There are sites which enable all the modules even if they’re not used; it does nothing but increase the page load times.

Yes, modules likes ‘Devel’ should be disabled on the production site for performance reasons. Not just Devel, the statistics module of Drupal also slows down the website as it needs to write to the database whenever it loads. Also, few modules like ‘Views UI’ are required only when you’re editing a view; disabling such unused and unwanted modules enhance the loading speed of the website to a great extent.

5. Mobile First Strategy

Design the website keeping mobile in mind first; you can do it by using modern CSS3 and HTML5. You can start with a good base theme like ‘Adaptive Theme’ or ‘Zen’ for accessibility for years, as they are great platforms.

Designing the website keeping mobile in mind forces you to prioritize the important things and simplify the site. This can be an advantage for you as the site loads even faster when the user is browsing your site on a big monitor and high bandwidth.

6. Content

Your users expect the site to have fresh and unique content; they don’t just want all the history of the pages that have been published (with lots of images). Just see if you can convey the intended message having fewer images. Also, keep in mind that the content should be created using proper semantic markup which is styled using cached CSS files.

Drupal lets you do a lot in the frontend and backend with respect to the content. Having a good strategy, we can make sure that the content is easily findable and simple to understand.

So now you know how to enhance the speed of a Drupal website and have higher conversions. Consider these simple ways if you’re planning to build a Drupal website, or just get in touch with us and let us know your requirements; Fortune Innovations’ highly experienced Drupal developers stay updated about the latest trends and they help you build an amazing website.

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