Drupal 8 performance optimization opportunities

Apr 19, 2018
Drupal 8 performance optimization

It’s time to speed up your website to the maximum and fly towards more customers — and Google’s respect! This flight will be especially convenient if your website is built with Drupal 8, or even if you are thinking about getting a Drupal 8 site. Performance optimization has received much attention in the eighth version of Drupal, so there are many ways to gain great website speed.

Drupal 8 speed optimization

Drupal 8 speed optimization secrets

First of all, it is necessary to note some classic, “eternal” speed-enhancing practices that apply both to Drupal 8 and 7, with slight differences in implementation. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Uninstalling extraneous modules or those that hamper your site’s performance
  • Aggregating CSS and JS files, or grouping them together to reduce the amount of HTTP requests (on Drupal’s Performance page or with the AdvAgg module)
  • Using the opportunities for caching (setting the maximum cache time depending on how often your content changes, as well as using extra caching modules like the Boost etc.)
  • Lazyloading images or only loading those images that currently are in the user’s view
  • Using special image styles so all original images are trimmed to match them
  • Relying on lots of other image optimization techniques
  • Implementing AMP standard to provide lightning-fast page loading on mobile devices
  • Using CDN (content delivery networks) that quickly serve content to users depending on their geographical location
  • Accelerating your 404 responses with the Fast 404 module

However, Drupal 8 also offers new and unique speed optimization opportunities, some of which come next.

Performance optimization opportunities in Drupal 8

Smart caching

Caching, or saving page versions to show to users again, is a great technique that lets you save a lot of resources. Flexible approaches to caching are among Drupal 8’s best characteristics.

Drupal 8 core has awesome caching modules. The Internal Page Cache caches the content for anonymous users. The Dynamic Page Cache caches the content for any users and handles dynamic content automatically. In addition, there are plenty of extra Drupal caching modules.

One of the greatest Drupal 8’s inventions is cache metadata (cache tags, cache contexts, and cache max-age). It helps the cache selectively refresh when there are some changes to the content, as well as allowing developers to create flexible cache variations.

The Big Pipe

Here is an amazing novelty in Drupal core that deserves special attention. It will help you to never keep your potential customers waiting for your pages to load. The BigPipe module started out as an experimental module in early Drupal 8 and is now one of its key modules as of Drupal 8.5.0.

This module lets your users immediately see the unchanged, cacheable page elements, while the dynamic, personalized content is served next. This technology was inspired by Facebook, and, considering the scopes of this social network, the BigPipe will surely work well for your website.

Ultra speed and interactivity

A hot trend today is combining Drupal with JavaScript frameworks (React, Vue, Angular, Node, Ember, Backbone etc.). This lets website gain exceptional speed and interactivity. The explosive mixture of Drupal and JavaScript frameworks is often used in the so-called headless, or decoupled Drupal approach.

All this and much more is possible due to Drupal 8’s awesome third-party integration capabilities. Drupal 8 has built-in web services (Serialization, HAL, RESTful Web services, and HTTP Basic Authentication). Extra assistants like GraphQL, Subrequests, Consumers modules, and more, build perfect interactions and add speed.


The best website performance optimization decision will only take a few seconds! Contact us and ask our team to make your Drupal 8 website amazingly fast, update to the latest Drupal 8 version, or create a new superfast website from scratch.

 Get new blog posts by email