How To Speed Up Drupal


  1. Drupal is the one of the slowest CMS which I’ve ever come across
  2. The more modules you add the slower it gets
  3. Drupal itself is slow so changing server or moiving to Drupal will not help a lot

The biggest problem with Drupal is that with raw core you can’t build a website or portal and you need to have loads of modules installed to give it a shape.

With modules come CSS, JS, Images and, of course, php files which all adds up to slow down Drupal. Then top up that with the theme files (CSS, JS, Images and PHP files) and you end up with a monster. Something like Indian passenger trains which almost don’t move due to overloading (remember seeing pictures of people sitting on top if train in India).

However there is hope on the horizons, there are few ways by which you can speed up Drupal up to certain extent.

Drupal Health Checkup

First do a basic health checkup for your Drupal site. You need a stethoscope which is YSlow Firefox Extension.

You can also try Google Page Speed extension for firefox.

1) Get a Dedicated Server

Opps!! Didn’t I say in the beginning of this post that Dedicated server wouldn’t help? Yes I did. But you can’t run Drupal on a shared hosting. It is like driving Rolls Royce on Indian roads. It will run however you can imagine what harm it will do you your health if you haver driven in Indian roads.

So get a good dedicated server first.

Check out Web Hosting Reviews for more details on why shared hosting sucks.

Server Side Optimization
Enable mod_gzip (Apache 1.3)/ mod_deflate (Apache 2.x).

2) Enable CSS and JS Compression/Aggregation

Drupal 6 onwards has inbuilt capability to Aggregate (combine) Java Script and CSS files. You can enable it from

Administer -> Site Configuration -> Performance

“Caching mode:”

Select Aggressive

Speed Up Drupal
Speed Up Drupal

Check Enable options on “Optimize CSS files” and “Optimize JavaScript files:”

3) GZIP – configure your Apache server to automatically compress files.

Add following line in .htaccess file

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css application/x-javascript

Install Boost module

Boost module claims to improve the performance significantly.

I’m yet to test this module, once I’ve done it I’ll upadate.

5) Follow Basic CSS/HTML Guidelines

Not to mention go back to school and re-read the basic CSS/HTML guidelines again.


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