What are the current Drupal deployment best practices?

What can you do to boost the visibility and performance of your Drupal site?

If you have decided to move your content management system (CMS) to Drupal, you're already on the path toward a more scalable, flexible and reliable website. Drupal offers thousands of customizable modules in an open source package, giving it a unique combination of power and affordability for website creators.

By the same token, Drupal can seem overwhelming at first. Many organizations ultimately opt to work with experts like the ones Paramount Software Solutions to navigate complex Drupal backup and migration workflows.

That's a recommended step, but it's not the only thing you can do to get the most of Drupal. Here are a few additional Drupal deployment best practices to keep in mind:

Take advantage of SEO tools

Search engine optimization is one of the most reliable ways to ensure your site is findable across the web. Drupal includes numerous modules specifically for SEO and can be integrated with tools such as Google Analytics to track your progress in boosting views.

Moreover, Drupal's advanced controls for management of URLs, meta descriptions and page titles allows you to continually tweak your website as SEO principles evolve. In Drupal 8, responsive website design – which send the same HTML to the server for all devices, then uses CSS to adjust how a page looks on each device – is also on by default, which helps boost Google rankings in particular.

Enable caching

Caching functionality is built right into the Drupal core, but is turned off by default. You can enable it to speed up page load times, under the Configuration -> Development -> Performance menu.

Beyond the bundled caching mechanisms, Drupal is compatible with other utilities such as Memcached and Boost. Modules are available for view, panel and PHP caching, too. All of these caches store data so that it can be quickly retrieved later, resulting in faster load times, reduced bounce rates and increased conversions on your site.

Adding a CDN can help boost Drupal performance.Adding a CDN can help boost Drupal performance.

Integrate a content delivery network

A Drupal-compatible content delivery network, like Amazon CloudFront, can greatly increase the performance of any Drupal-backed website. A CDN serves pages from multiple locations across the globe to reduce latency and optimize availability. It particularly helps with large assets such as photos and videos that might otherwise take too long to load depending on someone's geographic location.

Drupal CDN integration can be relatively simple if you find a well-designed solution and get assistance from an experienced Drupal developer. Once it's up and running, you'll likely see immediate drops in page load times.

Disable or remove modules you aren't using

Drupal's rich ecosystem of modules is one of main advantages over the competition. However, each module has overhead, and running a bunch of them simultaneously can affect performance.

Regularly review your modules list and remove any that you aren't using. For example, the Statistics module is usually unnecessary if you are already running Google Analytics, which has similar functionality.

Whether you need Drupal back, migration or reporting, Paramount is here to help. Contact our team to learn more about how we can guide your next Drupal project.