Drupal: Faster & Stronger Than Ever

When trying to resolve an issue in Drupal, the most common question you’ll hear is, “Have you cleared the cache?” The question is so ubiquitous that we often forget that caching – and more importantly performance – has been an important part of Drupal for a long time. As Drupal has matured, many sites have started to employ additional performance and scaling techniques: utilizing CDNs for additional caching, making optimizations in the theme layer for faster interaction and automating infrastructure to respond to changing demands.

How fast is fast enough?

Modern web development is moving beyond metrics of just fast or slow. User perceptions of web speed are starting to become quantified in terms of site abandonment, engagement rates and ultimately lost revenue. Consider a couple recent case studies:

  • Mozilla found that a 2.2 second improvement led to over 15% more downloads of Firefox. Over one year that would translate to over 10 million downloads.
  • Walmart discovered even a 100 millisecond improvement in load time could result in a 1% increase in revenue.

Going global

Performance isn’t just about conversion. As the Drupal community continues to grow and as the sites we build become more globally oriented, we need to address users with slower connections and where data is more expensive. We’ve highlighted mobile-first design at past DrupalCons, but as more and more users from Asia and Africa are going online over mobile networks, we need to include the importance of performance.

Scaling even further

In addition to the performance ramifications of new global audiences, we need to consider scaling. The UN predicts that by 2050, the population of Asia will grow to 5 billion and Africa will reach 2 billion people. The techniques we currently use to mitigate high traffic spikes, may evolve to become the standards used as more of the world comes online.

Share your insight

We invite you to join us in Dublin and share your experience, insight and solutions. How are you boosting Drupal performance beyond Drupal’s native caching? What new innovations are you using to scale Drupal to larger audiences? Some topics we’re particularly interested in include:

  • HTTP/2
  • Frontend / Client caching strategies & optimizations
  • ESI & Page fragment caching
  • CDNs / Global site performance
  • Performance in emerging countries
  • Infrastructure & database tuning
  • Performance monitoring
  • Refreshless (aka Turbolinks™), BigPipe, & other innovative approaches


Submit your Session


Jason Yee
Performance and Scaling Track Chair
DrupalCon Dublin