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Presentation: Diagnosing and Speeding up a Slow Drupal Site - A Case Study

Thanks to all of those who braved the cold snap and showed up for the Drupal Users Group monthly meeting for January 2009.

This was a case study on a site that was forced to move from a shared host to a VPS, yet was still slow, and how we diagnosed the problem, and found a solution for it.

Here are the slides for the talk, in PDF format.

Contents: 

How to delay somewhat heavy operations to improve user experience

We had a need from a client where they wanted to check certain complex conditions from a relatively big decision matrix. Without going into specifics, they wanted to check a progressive set of rules for users and taking certain actions when all the conditions were met.

Checking one or two conditions is not a problem on a modern day web site, but because the rules are progressive and have to be all checked from the start every time, that involves a lot of processing, a lot of database queries and basically a lot of time.

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Performance benchmarking of Drupal 5.12, Drupal 6.6, and Drupal 7.x: we are getting slower ...

Earlier this month, we published an article on benchmarking Drupal 5.x vs. 6.x: which one faster?

We wanted to take this analysis a step further and benchmark them both with Drupal 7.x as well.

Methodology

So, we got a checkout of Drupal 7.x as of October 24th, when update.php starting working for that version. We also used Drupal 5.12, and Drupal 6.6 which are the current and previous stable versions.

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How relying on connections to third party servers can be detrimental to performance

One client of ours was facing severe issues with their relatively new well equipped server: the server stopped responding to web requests, and was rebooted, only to stop responding again.

Upon investigation, we found out that pages were taking a lot of time to load.

This only happened when viewing a node in full page view, not when the
nodes were in lists (just as in views, node edit form ...etc.)

Devel was showing this:

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Pages

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