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Why is my Drupal getting slower? Top 5 reasons, explained

Below are the top 5 reasons for your web store’s poor performance and the steps that can help you boost the load speed and improve your users’ experience. 

1. Improve caching and aggregation

Maybe you think that enabling caching by default is an obvious option, but many people actually miss it. Some business owners spend a lot of time searching for complex reasons for poor website’s performance while the real problem remains to be hidden in the plain sight. Therefore, before you dive into the nitty-gritty details, follow these steps:

  • Make sure core page caching is turned on. This is one of the main issues that can affect your website’s performance. Although most entrepreneurs are aware of it, many skip this step, slowing down their e-stores. 

Core page caching basically restores the entire cached page in the caching table. When the anonymous users return to your website, they don’t need to wait for it to load. Keep in mind  though that it works only for unregistered clients. Pages for the logged-in users are dynamic as they should look different for each customer.

To turn on the core page caching on your Drupal website, go to the Configurations option and choose Performance. After that, follow this path: admin/config/development/performance. 

  • Check core block caching. There are different types of caching that can increase your online store's load speed. While the core page caching caches the entire page, block caching handles the individual blocks. 

lthough many people tend to neglect this step, block caching is important for boosting your store in the digital landscape. Even if the core caching is turned on by default, it won’t work in some cases (for instance, for your logged-in customers). That is why block caching plays an important role in improving your users’ experience. 

2. Conduct core modules audit

Third-party integrations are great for customizing your users’ experience. They help make your website appealing, convenient for customers and easy to navigate. However, before installing any modules, you should keep in mind that some of them can slow down your e-store. 

We recommend that you keep track of a couple of things when conducting a Drupal website audit:

  • Disable statistics module. This module provides additional information about your web store’s performance. For instance, it shows how many times your content was viewed, and you can see an average session time for each customer. 

While this data is essential for improving the website’s performance, there are other tools that you can use to optimize your business operation. In particular, Google Analytics has proven to be effective as it offers more meaningful insights compared to other modules. 

  • Disable PHP filter. This filter allows the PHP code to run on the load page and stores it in the database. Experts believe it should never be enabled because it damages the website’s performance and slows the load speed down. The whole code must be stored in modules. If the PHP filter is switched on, disable it and check how it affects the load speed. 

  • Switch off update manager. The update manager integrates with the website to check for live updates. The system then informs you about them and automatically installs new versions to ensure your website is optimized. Although it is very important to know which modules need to be updated, the update manager does not need to be loaded on the server. If you have staging, you can easily install the update manager there instead of on your actual e-store. 

3. Optimize image size

Large images take a lot of time to load. They increase your bounce rate and spoil the user experience. If website visitors have to wait for the content to load, they will leave your e-store and go to the competitors. 

If you still think that high-resolution images are more important for your e-store than the load speed, you may want to read Google Page Experience Update. The web crawler will not rank you high if your content takes long to load. Consequently, potential customers will not find your store. 

4. Update Drupal version

With every new update, software engineers try to make the platform better, fix the bugs, and make it easier for customers to interact with an online store. It is a good idea though to experiment with different versions before you choose the one that meets your needs. Before migrating to a new version, it is always useful to read customer reviews and the issues they encounter. For instance, some users claim that Drupal 8 is slower than Drupal 7. It’s just good to know the details before you make a decision to migrate. 

5. Enable fast 404

One of the most critical steps in making your website faster is to troubleshoot the issues and make sure nothing is spoiling your users’ experience. In particular, broken images or CSS file paths will affect website's performance. When the Drupal platform attempts to load these files or paths for every page, it will return to 404 to show that nothing has been found. Doing the bootstrap to serve 404 errors will take a lot of resources which will inevitably slow down your online store. 

To solve this issue, we recommend installing fast 404 module changes that help optimize the process and make it easier for the system to find inefficiencies. 

Boost your Drupal website with Mementia!

We will conduct a thorough audit of your online store and come up with the best solution to scale your business!

If you want to make sure that your e-store runs smoothly, contact Mementia for top-notch development services.

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