CSS optimization (a.k.a. minimization, cleaning, or tidying) removes white-space and comments, merges similar selectors, removes redundant properties, and cleans up a CSS file to make it more compact. The optimized file is smaller and faster to send to a site visitor. This article uses the CSS Tidy optimizer and measures the improvement first for CSS from 30 popular web sites, and second for CSS from 30 site themes for the Drupal content management system. Unfortunately, in all cases the improvement is small and will not have a noticeable impact on page load times.
Removing HTML white-space (spaces, tabs, blank lines, and comments) makes a file slightly smaller and faster to send to a site visitor. The improvement you get depends upon how verbose your HTML is to start with. This article uses the HTML Tidy optimizer and measures the improvement for a sample web site and 22 different standard themes or page templates. Each theme generates different HTML and shows a different level of improvement from HTML optimization. Unfortunately, in all cases the improvement is tiny and probably not worth the effort.
Default configurations of Apache, PHP, and Drupal often serve files they shouldn't. In this first article in a series, I review configuration changes to tighten security by limiting access to files and directories for a Drupal web site served by Apache.
Drupal's default settings provide rather loose security. In this second article in a series, I review Drupal configuration changes to tighten security and control who can create and view content.
Default Drupal, Apache, and PHP settings broadcast to hackers much more about your site's configuration than hackers should know. In this third article in a series, I review settings to tighten security and reduce this information leakage.
An initial installation of the Drupal content management system can be slow. You can speed up your web site substantially by making a few essential adjustments to your site's web server, database, PHP, and Drupal configurations. This article introduces a series of articles on the steps to take and why.
A "findable" web site is one that search engines can easily scan to find content to add to their search indexes. Since most visitors today find web pages by using a search engine, the more easily search engines can index your content, the more easily visitors will find it. A default Drupal installation is moderately findable, but you can improve the site by installing a few more modules.
Drupal blocks provide secondary content that often lines the left and right sides of Drupal web pages. Typical blocks are menus, lists of recent posts, and forms for logging in and searching. But every block on a page increases Drupal's work to assemble a page, slowing down your web site. Speed it up by disabling the blocks that have the biggest performance impact. This article benchmarks 32 common blocks and concludes with a few guidelines on what to watch out for when selecting blocks for your site.
Most Drupal web sites have a set of blocks that line the left or right sides of its web pages. Typical blocks are menus, lists of recent posts, and forms for logging in and searching. Every block adds to the work Drupal must do to assemble a page, but some blocks are particularly slow. To speed up your site, install the Block Cache module to create cached versions of your slowest blocks. This article benchmarks the impact of block caching for 29 common blocks.
Speed up your web site by automatically combining multiple module and theme CSS files into one large file using Drupal's CSS file aggregation feature. The single large CSS file is more efficient to send to a visitor's browser, speeding up the site. The large file also has white-space removed, making it a bit smaller and faster to send. This article shows how to enable the feature and it benchmarks the performance improvement.