What is the best way to improve Drupal's performance?

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I run a Drupal website that is quite slow despite the fact that I don't have to many modules. I have enabled the site's performance settings - normal caching, gzip content, and so on - so I don't think that is the problem.

What are some of the best ways to speed up Drupal so my website gets a higher page rank in Google search and readers can access the information they need quickly?

Drupal's performance can be improved in two ways

In order to speed up webpages, you have to:

  1. reduce bandwidth or transfer size
  2. reduce the page execution time (processing)

1. : In order to reduce the size of your pages, you should consider the following:

  • optimize images
  • remove unnecessary images
  • reduce JavaScript
  • use CSS3 to replace images and JavaScript (where possible)
  • aggregate CSS and JavaScript files
  • gzip everything

You can learn a whole lot more about performance, speed and SEO by reading these articles:

2. To reduce Drupal's processing time you first need to find out what is slowing it down. To do this, you need to install a few benchmark/profiling modules and scripts.

I recommend:

Once you are sure that your site is performing well, it is time to start aggressively improving Drupal and PHP's performance using:

Learn more about PHP and Drupal server performance by reading Website optimization - performance, speed & SEO.