Drupal Performance Auditing & Checklist

lakshmi , Credit to  volkotech-solutions Aug 25

Drupal performance Audit

Maintaining a high degree of drupal performance for your website is challenging. A crucial step in improving websites is to schedule routine website audits.

Many factors, including an outdated custom module, poor code quality, custom code errors, invalid content types, inadequate SEO optimization, server configuration, security vulnerabilities, image optimization, load time, caching issues, audit checklist, and more, can contribute to slow drupal website speeds and poor drupal website performance.

Look at the following list of drupal performance factors that affect the website's response time and overall user experience.

Capture drupal performance by page/functionality:

It's always good to capture page-level and functional-level drupal performance by most required pages as a priority. Verify that the Sitemap and Meta Tag modules are activated and set up correctly. This makes it easier for search engines to quickly recognize the most crucial files and pages on your Drupal website. Verify the Robots.txt file in the root directory of your project. This file instructs crawlers on how to scan or index your website.

Code profiling/PhpCs/coder:

Modules to check the codebase for coding standards and audit custom modules to get about the coding standards reports. 

Code profilers are frequently used by developers to find drupal performance problems without having to modify their code. A tool for profiling PHP is called XHProf. It monitors both CPU cycles and memory use, unlike Xdebug profiling.

PHP CodeSniffer is a collection of two PHP scripts: the primary phpcs script tokenizes PHP, JavaScript, and CSS files to find instances of coding standards that have not been followed, and the secondary phpcbf script automatically fixes such instances. An essential development tool that makes sure your code is clear and consistent is PHP CodeSniffer.

Coder verifies that your Drupal code adheres to best practices and industry standards. With the use of the phpcbf command from PHP CodeSniffer, it can also correct any code standards breaches for you.

Xdugger, Webprofiler:

A debugger could be very helpful for advanced development. With the aid of a debugger, you may track the course of a program's execution and its effects, see how functions are called, and check the values of variables at any time.

The Symfony WebProfiler bundle has been ported to Drupal 8 as Web Profiler. Because Drupal 8 makes use of Symfony components, the port is feasible. Every page has a toolbar added by Web Profiler that displays various statistics, like the number of database queries loaded on the page, the services being utilized, and much more.

AB or Jmeter:

IT specialists can benchmark or load test their system in a variety of methods. A testing tool could make performing and managing this procedure a lot simpler. If you're seeking various drupal performance or audit checklists or benchmark testing tools, Apache Benchmark (A/B) and Apache JMeter have undoubtedly already popped up in your search. Both of these can be utilized to carry out performance-based testing for a particular system or API. Additionally, they are open-source tools. Jmeter reports each request's actual duration. For the total average, AB only performs some very simple calculations. Jmeter is a fully functional load testing instrument, whereas AB isn't.

Google pagespeed insights/Lighthouse:

PageSpeed Insights (PSI) reports on a page's drupal performance on desktop and mobile devices and offers recommendations for how to make that page better. Regarding a page, PSI offers both lab and field data. Since lab data is gathered in a controlled environment, it can be used to troubleshoot performance problems. However, it might miss bottlenecks in the actual world. Field data has a more constrained set of metrics but is useful for capturing authentic, real-world user experience.

Webmasters can use the Google PageSpeed tool to predict how their site will perform after being examined by Google. The tool indicates the site's health because Google considers a number of different variables when ranking websites Additionally, practical guidance on how to raise the score. Lighthouse audits your website using metrics other than page speed.

Only the drupal performance statistic is measured by PageSpeed Insights, whereas Lighthouse also examines other elements of a website (SEO, accessibility, progressive web app, etc.)

Google PageSpeed builds its report using a "combination" of the lab and real-world data, whereas Lighthouse simply uses lab data (under controlled conditions).PageSpeed Insights has now included Lighthouse. It is the built-in analysis engine for PageSpeed.

Drupal Backend

Use best practices while installing and configuring Drupal to serve as the backend for a decoupled website audit.

Drupal best practices:

A Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal requires time and effort to create and maintain. You must also adhere to a few fundamental web development best practices that will preserve your investment and improve the user experience at the same time. some best practices are,

  • The drupal website should be up to date with drupal-coding-standards.
  • All fields and content types must be present in the content structure.
  • To prevent confusion among content providers, restrict the number of content kinds and file formats in your development strategy.
  • Use a new entity type and a single entity type, respectively, for various and related data types.
  • The stack size shouldn't be excessively large or little.
  • Maintain a consistent administrative theme when developing.
  • Use SASS to keep your designs better organized.

Unused/unwanted modules:

Uninstall modules that are not in use. Use Syslog tools/modules instead of database logging. Use only modules that have been authorized by the security team.

Replace less used contrib modules:

For example, if the site uses a "rules" module just to send one email functionality, it can be replaced by a small custom module to improve the bootstrap load.

Improved the custom modules code:

Update your core frequently. Removing unwanted variables, loops, unused controllers/events, Improving Loops and DB quires, and adding cache for possible places(controllers, plugins...)

Up to Date contributions & core modules:

Never stop updating your core. Use only modules that the security team has approved. Don't forget to maintain your backup prepared in case anything unforeseen happens.

Improve Drupal Architecture:

Implement drupal architecture by removing unwanted entities, fields, widgets, and formatters. Every field and kind of material must be present in the content structure. In your development plan, select a small number of content types and files to prevent confusion among content authors. For various and related data types, use the new entity type and the single entity type, respectively.

Drupal Frontend

Make a decoupled frontend application that illustrates the best methods for consuming data from a Drupal backend. When it comes to optimizing JavaScript and CSS files in Drupal websites, visual designers and markup coders are responsible for designing sprites and optimizing graphics.

Limiting the external JavaScript:

Limiting the external JavaScript is required to increase the drupal website load speed.

Limiting the external assets:

Limiting the external assets are required to increase the drupal website load speed.

Use aggregation:

Aggregation is the collection of several files onto one page. Because the code is not altered, aggregation is just as secure as minimization. File "glueing" operations may go wrong because of incorrect remarks at the end of the files. The number of files associated with the page is decreased by aggregation.


They are using types of optimization, styles of responsive Images, and Lazy Loaded Images to increase drupal website load speed.

Unnecessarily complex HTML:

Improving complex html helps to reduce the time of a load of pages.

Remove unused CSS, js:

Massive CSS and JS delivery can cause the browser to have to work harder when processing the CSS and JS against the HTML, which slows down rendering. Try to send only the CSS/JS used on that page, and when CSS rules aren't needed anymore, remove them. To speed up drupal website loading need to remove unused CSS and js files.

Use the drupal-library system properly:

Drupal adheres to a high-level principle: assets (such as CSS or JS) will only be loaded if you instruct them to do so. Because doing so would negatively impact front-end performance audit, the Drupal website does not load all assets on every page.

Improve twig html:

Twig is a PHP templating engine that serves as Drupal 8's default template engine. To enhance development workflow, Twig provides sophisticated capabilities including template inheritance, automatic escaping, variable filters, and macros. Removing unwanted html, and improving twig standards will help to have an optimized html outcome.

Drupal cache

In order to optimize websites for high drupal performance, caching is necessary. It aids in lowering latency as well as supporting faster load times than would otherwise be achievable. From the first server to intermediary proxies to the browser, the information can be stored at every step. It's one of the crucial components in the evaluation of the Google PageSpeed application.

Core caches:

For anonymous users, the Internal Page Cache module, which caches pages, is by default turned on. Drupal 8's core module Internal Dynamic Page Cache is used. It correctly handles dynamic content and caches pages for any user.

Views caches:

A powerful pluggable caching system is offered by the Views module. It differs slightly from the majority of Drupal modules' caching systems. Views will store both the displayed results of a view and the results from the database in a results cache (render cache.) When a cache plugin certifies that using the cached data is safe, views will use it.

Custom module page caches:

The use of cache tags offers a declarative method of tracking which cache items rely on Drupal-managed data. A content management system or framework like Drupal needs to be able to do this because the same content can be used in numerous ways. Implement cache tags for required pages/functionality.

Cache tags are handled quite well by Drupal core, and using Views Custom Cache Tags, it is possible to create a powerful invalidation approach with relative ease. However, it's likely that a lot of your custom modules (such as controllers and rest plugins) won't support an invalidation approach, so you'll have to make do with expiration.

Redis/PHP Caching/Mem Cache:

Redis, PHP Caching, and Mem Cache are caching solutions for increasing the drupal performance of many applications. Redis is a way to store key-value pairs in a variety of data formats, including Lists, Sets, and Hashes. Memcached is an open-source method for storing key-value pairs in memory, enabling very rapid retrieval of data. Installing a PHP cache will allow you to save and reuse PHP scripts that have already been compiled, significantly lowering the amount of overhead Drupal needs to display a webpage.

Memcached performs well for straightforward key-value applications and was one of the first widely used open-source memory caching technologies. Redis is the best option, though, if you work in the corporate or are simply seeking a more contemporary, feature-rich, and actively updated platform.

Twig Caching:

Integration with the Symfony Cache component through a Twig extension. It gives users access to a single cache tag that enables caching of template fragments. twig caching relies on its own cache of compiled Twig templates.