Top 10 Performance Mistakes in Drupal
BY webmaster
6 years ago
comments comment

There are a few common performance mistake that are commonly found in most Drupal sites. Here are the list of the Top 10 Performance Mistakes in Drupal that can easily be addressed by a simple change in settings or the addition of a module. The easiest way to solve performance problems in Drupal would be to prevent them in the first place. Contact us for a free consultation on how to build your Drupal website right.

Caching not configured
Failing to configure the cache properly or none at all is a major oversight found in most Drupal sites. Caching leaves a lot of room for improvement. Without a cache, Drupal has to be bootstrapped every time a request is made which means that its PHP logic should be executed and database queries have to be run which ultimately contributes to server load and decreasing page load times.

On a site with many thousands of visits per day, caching should be implemented at all costs. The simplest caching system in Drupal is one which anonymous users are given a static HTML page which had been generated the first time the page was requested. Drupal has a pluggable caching system which means you can use contributed modules to improve the cache. Boost is popular caching system used in Drupal.

Cache time incorrectly configured
Just as caching is important for speeding up of a Drupal site so is the timing of the cache or the cache lifetime, to be more specific. If your site has frequently changing data then caching time should be set to only a few minutes. If it is serving mostly static content to a majority of anonymous users then caching can set to be a many hours. Sometimes you might have to sacrifice recency of content for better performance. You would want to take a call on this based on the nature of your site.

JS Aggregation not enabled
A reasonable sized Drupal site will have a significant number of JS files contributed to the site through contributed and custom modules which naturally add to the page load times of the site. This can be solved by aggregating all JS files in the site. JS Aggregation is the process of combining the different JS files in your Drupal site into a single JS file. Drupal does provide basic Aggregation which should be activated and configured correctly.

CSS Aggregation not enabled
CSS Aggregation is the process of combining of the different CSS files in your Drupal site into a single file. The basic wisdom behind CSS Aggregation is same as JS aggregation. Although CSS files are not as heavy as a single JS script file, the number of CSS files are always usually higher than the JS files present in a site. CSS Aggregation can be done using the CSS Aggregation Module.

Views caching configuration not used
Views is an extremely useful module in Drupal and finds a lot of uses in most Drupal sites. Views are also resource intensive. Views provides a built in option for caching which should be enabled if you want to reduce performance overheads related to views.

Full size Images used with resizing via html attributes instead of Image cache based resizing
Drupal provides a good set of tools for handling all the images in a website via the ImageCache module. If your Drupal site is having an reasonably large image and you have to resize it via HTML to fit to a certain width, then the browser has to download the complete image and then fit it to the specified attributes. This process will automatically contribute to the page load time of the site. Using the ImageCache module, the very same image can be resized to the specified attributes before it is requested by the browser leading to a decrease in page load times.

Too many blocks
Blocks are an important component in the layout of a Drupal site. Having a lot of blocks degrades the performance of a Drupal site as a number of hooks have to be called. So it is a good practice to avoid the creation of unnecessary blocks.

PHP input format used in blocks and content
If the PHP input format is enabled on blocks and content, whenever these blocks and content are called, the hooks and callback mechanisms associated with executing PHP within these areas will also have to be called which leads to a decrease in performance. Therefore this would have to be disabled unless it really necessary.

Too many blocks enabled
Performance degradation will also occur on a Drupal website with a lot of unused blocks. Blocks will cause the associate hooks to be called each time they are called. Therefore it would be a good practice to have unnecessary blocks disabled on your Drupal site. Using a module like Contexts can ensure that block hooks are called only if a set of conditions has been satisfied.

Having a number of unused modules enabled on your Drupal site
Having a lot of unused, non-essential modules on your Drupal site can lead to a slight decrease in performance. It is very easy to overlook this factor but it is also the easiest to solve. Disable all non-essential unused modules. Just make sure that the modules you plan to disable are not required by any other module.



on 01st January 2008 / by webmaster
We have added a few new modules to our site recently. Two of these are the StumbleThis module and the DiggThis module. Drupal already had a DiggThis module available for download but there was no StumbleThis module. StumbleUpon has been a popular source of traffic for and we wanted users to have an option to add any of our pages to their StumbleUpon favorites. So we created our own StumbleUpon module. Normally people use stumbleupon toolbar to stumble websites. However when the toolbar is not enabled this provides an easy way to add the URL to the stumbleupon favorites. The StumbleThis button will be shown on the left of the content inline. Positioning of the StumbleThis button can be controlled by the weight option in the admin menu. By setting a negative value you can have the button displayed on top of the post while a positive value will take it to the bottom of the post.Click here to download the StumbleThis module for Drupal. The module has been tested with Drupal 5.1. Please use the comments form below if you have any questions or suggestions. Open Source Web Development Drupal Blogging Free Software Drupalgive Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Sean (not verified) access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 Hi there, I uploaded the files, enabled the modules to use SU, and now I see the link, but there is no icon... How can I fix this? Thanks, Sean webmaster access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 In reply to Icon doesn't show by Sean (not verified) What do you see when you view the source? Search for stumblethis_button and you should be able to see the code for the image and the URL. Then you should be able to troubleshoot from there. Juicy Couture Addict (not verified) access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 thanks for the post. would love to hear more of you. by the way, drupal's really popular nowadays as it has easy and fast features. you agree with me? thanks. Add new comment

on 16th January 2008 / by webmaster
Most webmasters do not realize this, but a lot of the content on lot of websites can be accessed from multiple URLs. A simple example would be where and leads to the same page. This is a fatal mistake in Search Engine Optimization and search engines penalize you for duplicate content. The correct configuration would be where the above two urls will lead you to the same page but will redirect you to with a 301 (Moved permanently) status which will not result in search engines penalizing the page. It is very easy to configure 301 redirects using Apache .htaccess file and the process is the same for a Drupal installation also. The article is relevant only to those webservers running Apache. There are two ways in which you can issue a 301 redirect using .htaccess on an Apache Webserver. One is using a mod_alias Redirect statement and the other is using the mod_rewrite Rewrite statements. Redirect statements take paths and assign corresponding paths to be redirected to while rewrite statements take regular expression patterns and associate paths where matched urls have to be redirected to. When you install Drupal, it will automatically insert statements in the .htaccess file that will allow you to redirect to or vice versa. The only thing you have to do normally would be to uncomment the statements corresponding to your preference of accessing your domain ie with or without the www part. # If you want the site to be accessed WITH the www. only, adapt and # uncomment the following: # RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com$ [NC] # RewriteRule .* [L,R=301] # # If you want the site to be accessed only WITHOUT the www. prefix, adapt # and uncomment the following: # RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.example\.com$ [NC] # RewriteRule .* [L,R=301] There is however a problem with the above redirections in that they lose the rest of the URL. Say for example if you try to access and your configuration is to use the www prefix the user will be redirected to but the somepath part will be lost. This can easily be rectified by the following small change in the Rewrite Rule # For the first option you can use the following rewrite rule # RewriteRule (.+)$1 [L,R=301] # # whereas for the second you can use the following rewrite rule # RewriteRule (.+)$1 [L,R=301] These modifications will ensure that the user will be redirected to the correct page with or without the www prefix and without losing on your page ranks. So make the necessary modifications and make sure that you can access the pages to your site using only one version of the URL. The above configuration of .htaccess should be used not just for Drupal websites but for all websites. If however your problem is the reverse, ie you don't have pages corresponding to the URLs that the user typed, ie if you are getting lot of 404 errors (page not found errors) and users are thrown to the default Page not found page, you can try installing the Drupal Search404 Module to search for the keywords in the URL and show relevant results to the user. You can read more about apache mod_alias and apache mod_rewrite at the apache official documentation Apache mod_rewrite and Apache mod_alias Web Development Drupal SEO Drupal Planet Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Anonymous (not verified) access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 Hello. I'm trying to make show as, and I'm running into difficulties. I'm on Apache 2.0 and using the following lines in my httpd.conf file: RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^xxxxxxxxxx\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301] When I go to, I get (as expected). However, when I go to (it's a Drupal site), I get a 404 thrown and the URL changes to Same thing with Any suggestions? I want to run without Drupal's .htaccess file (instead incorporating these calls into my httpd.conf file). webmaster access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 In reply to Rewrite including filesystem path by Anonymous (not verified) I think the problem is with the base path which results in the redirection to /var/www/ part. The best approach I would think is to start with drupal htaccess and then strip out parts and move to httpd SNVC (not verified) access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 This is definitely a good guide. Thanks for this. wellyson access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 This is really nice and helpful. Add new comment

on 07th January 2008 / by webmaster
We have volunteered to take up the maintenance of a very useful Drupal module - Search404. As of today we are the official maintainers of this very useful Drupal module. We know that this is going to be a challenge for us, being a young company and with a young team. But we do feel that it is our responsibility to give back to the Drupal community at least some part of what it has given us. About Search404 Module Normally when a user types in an incorrect URL in a site the web server will issue a 404 error (page not found error) and correspondingly redirect you to a 404 error page. If there is no custom 404 page on the server the browser will show the 404 page not found error to the user. This could happen when either the user types in the URL himself or he clicks on a URL incorrectly typed in another page. Another case when such errors happen is when content is deleted or moved in a site and the search engine indices have not been updated to reflect the removal or change. The web crawlers of search engines on getting a 404 error will take out the URL from their indices. The normal web user will however be totally lost when he sees the 404 error page. This is especially true if the user came from a search result page and has no idea about the navigational structure of the site or the content organization of the site. Drupal however shows its own 404 error page and avoids showing the grotesque, default 404 page that would otherwise be shown by the browser to the end user. Even this 404 error page is only a bare page with just the information that the page cannot be found. The Search404 module intelligently does a search for the terms in the URL while still issuing a 404 error. This will ensure that the URL gets taken out from the search engine index at the same time making sure that the user is given some options in terms of navigating in the site. You can check out how this works by clicking on the following non-existant URL Drupal Modules from Zyxware. Even though the page does not exist you get what you wanted to get to. If you have any questions, issues or suggestions regarding this module you can either post them as comments to this page or post your issues at the Search404 Module at Open Source Web Development Drupal Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * ian douglas (not verified) access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 I notice your updates on the Drupal modules page has some patch files, but they are patches for an older version of the 5.x branch of search404. Do you have any expectation on when a version for Drupal 6 will be ready? webmaster access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 In reply to when will search404 for drupal 6 be ready? by ian douglas (not verified) Hi Ian, We are currently working on moving Search404 to Drupal 6. The port has already been done and we should have a release up on by tomorrow or worst case by monday. Cheers Anoop John Team Zyxware Dejan (not verified) access_time 26 May 2019 - 13:04 In reply to when will search404 for drupal 6 be ready? by ian douglas (not verified) I think that's been up for a while... did you check the download page? Add new comment
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