Articles

Informative articles on various technologies ...

Articles

This section contains informative articles on various technologies we consult on for our clients.

Improve Your Drupal Site Performance While Reducing Your Hosting Costs

We were recently approached by a non-profit site that runs on Drupal.

Major Complaints

Their major complaint was that the "content on the site does not show up". The other main complain is that the site is very slow.

Diagnosis First ...

In order to troubleshoot the disappearing content, we created a copy of the site in our lab, and proceeded to test it, to see if we can replicate the issues.

Using Drush for a Seven Day Daily Backup scheme for Drupal sites

Everyone needs to have a backup plan for their live site. Not only can your server's disk get corrupted, but you can also erroneously overwrite your site with bad code or bad data, or your site can get hacked. Detecting the latter situations takes some time. Hours or days.

For this reason, you should have multiple backup copies at multiple time points.

The most convenient scheme is to have a 7 day sliding backup: that is, you have one backup snapshot for each day of the week, with today's backup overwriting the backup from 8 days ago.

Configuring Apache Solr 3.6 for Drupal on Ubuntu 14.04, with password authentication

Most of high traffic or complex Drupal sites use Apache Solr as the search engine. It is much faster and more scaleable than Drupal's search module.

In a previous article on Drupal with Apache Solr 4.x, we described one way to install the latest stable Apache Solr 4.x. That article detailed a lot of manual steps involving downloading, extracting, setting permissions, creating a startup script, ...etc.

Configuring Apache Solr 4.x for Drupal, with password authentication

Most of high traffic or complex Drupal sites use Apache Solr as the search engine. It is much faster and more scaleable than Drupal's search module.

In this article, we describe one way of many for having a working Apache Solr installation for use with Drupal 7.x, on Ubunutu Server 12.04 LTS. The technique described should work with Ubunut 14.04 LTS as well.

Presentation: Drupal Performance Tips and Tricks

On Friday May 2nd, 2014, Khalid of 2bits.com, Inc. presented on Drupal Performance.

The presentation covered important topics such as:

  • Drupal misconception: Drupal is slow/resource hog/bloated
  • Drupal misconception: Only Anonymous users benefit from caching in Drupal
  • Drupal misconception: Subsecond response time in Drupal is impossible for logged in users
  • Drupal misconception: Cloud hosting is more cost effective than dedicated servers

The presentation slides are attached for those who may be interested ...

Another botnet spamming Drupal web sites, causing performance issues

We previously wrote in detail about how botnets hammering a web site can cause outages.

Here is another case that emerged in the past month or so.

Again, it is a distributed attempt from many IP addresses all over the world, most probably from PCs infected with malware.

Their main goal seems to be to add content to a Drupal web site, and trying to register a new user when that attempt is denied because of site permissions.

The pattern is like the following excerpt from the web server's access log.

Node creation and editing slow in Internet Explorer? Here is a solution ...

A client recently asked us for help with a very specific issue. The node edit page was hanging up, but only in Internet Explorer 10, and not in Firefox or Chrome. The client had WYSIWYG editor enabled.

This automatically pointed to a front end issue, not a server issue.

So, we investigated more, and found that the underlying issue is between Internet Explorer and JQuery with a large number of items to be parsed.

Correct Client IP Address with a Reverse Proxy or Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Using a Reverse Proxy and/or a Content Delivery Network (CDN) has become common practice for Drupal and other Content Management Systems.

One inconvenient aspect of this is that your web server no longer gets the correct IP address, and neither does your application. The IP address is that of the machine that the reverse proxy is running on.

In Drupal, there is code in core that tries to work around this, by looking up the IP address in the HTTP header HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR, or a custom header that you can set.

Beware when Drupal/Pressflow displays messages for anonymous users

We have mentioned before that both Pressflow 6.x and Drupal 7.x (but not core Drupal 6.x), disable page caching when a session is created for an anonymous user.

An extreme case of this happened recently, because of a perfect storm.

Symptoms

The client sends a newsletter to site users, be they who have accounts on the site, or others who just entered their email to get the newsletter.

Is your Drupal or WordPress site slow?
Is it suffering from server resources shortages?
Is it experiencing outages?
Contact us for Drupal and WordPress Performance Optimization and Tuning Consulting