So we all want to make our Drupal site faster, we expect more traffic, we want our pages to render quickly and to keep our server healthy. When we start to get a lot of traffic we first must optimize our server and site before making any hardware upgrades. Sometimes doing that may just be enough at the moment. Here is a quick overview of what to do to completely optimize your Drupal site without making any hardware adjustments. To get the detailed steps to achieve optimal performance, download the free ebook we published.
The process of tuning the performance of your Drupal site consists of four basic steps.
1. Measure the current performance of your site.
You can use jMeter for load testing, it's very powerful and all you need in this case. To measure the single page load time, you can use the very popular tool YSlow but I also recommend using webpagetest.org because it delivers test results made from different parts of the world and that makes it even more useful.
2. Decrease the single page load by making several adjustments in Drupal.
These changes decrease the amount of time the browser takes to render each page. YSlow is a very useful tool that grades your performance and recommends what to do. The white paper has a detailed step-by-step guide to get an A grade on your site. These changes are very important to achieve the lowest page load time.
3. Increase the number of requests per second (RPS) the server can hold before affecting page load time.
First, tune MySQL, PHP and Apache to play better with Drupal. Second, install the best performance modules that will give your site's speed a great boost. Last, install APC and Memcached so that the server can process requests quicker.
4. Measure the performance and evaluate the results.
After doing all the tuning, you can make the same tests made in step one and evaluate the results.
By following all the steps in the ebook, you can decrease the initial page load by 90%! and increase three times the amount of load that the server can take!
Download the Performance Tuning Drupal ebook.