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Front End Performance - Making Drupal Lightning Fast

Your session in a few words: 
Front End Performance - Making Drupal Lightning Fast
September 3, 2009 - 09:00 - 09:45
La Resserre
Code it, test it, deploy it
Session Type: 
Level of expertise: 

Front End Performance (by Konstantin Käfer)

Optimizing Drupal, MySQL Apache to squeeze out the last drop is a good idea. Server side performance only impacts the time until the HTML code is generated, but the vast par of loading time is spent on retrieving CSS, JavaScript and image files. To get a truly zippy website, it is therefore vital to drastically reduce the time spent here. In this part of the session, you’ll get to know why sites are slow and learn techniques to identify and resolve bottlenecks: From simple Apache tweaks to rethinking your theme so that it can be loaded faster there's something for everyone.

In his book “High performance websites”, Steve Souders discusses various ways to accomplish this. This part of the session is based on that book but contains additional Drupal-related information and strategies. We are going to discuss various ways to speed up page loading and look at various tool that help you measure and verify your success.

You should get a feeling for what “front end performance” actually means and where the main problems are located. You will also learn how to tackle these issues in a structured manner, measure the effects and get to know the basics of the foundation technology of the web, the Hypertext transfer protocol.

You should be familiar with how a website is structured and know basic Apache configuration. Being familiar with HTTP is a bonus.

Faster & more flexible CDN integration (by Wim Leers)

90% of the page loading time is spent on retrieving CSS, JavaScript and images. There are many techniques to reduce the page loading time — using a CDN is one of the most effective. Currently it's expensive to integrate with a CDN (especially if you want to avoid vendor lock-in) and it's hard to serve file A from a CDN, file B from a static file server and file C from neither. It's also impossible to process a file (e.g. compress JavaScript, optimize images, transcode videos …) before they are synced to the CDN.

This part of the session will explain how a CDN (Content Delivery Network) improves page loading times and how you should continuously analyze the page loading performance of your web site. Older techniques for integrating a CDN with Drupal will be compared and my new, alternative, comprehensive solution will be presented.

For details about this part of the session, see its original session proposal.

Co presenters: