Drupal is a remarkable content management platform you can use for your blog. It is free to use and install, it is effortless to customise, and it boosts the performance of your pages since Drupal does not use a lot of resources. All in all, not every person who creates their website with this platform ends up succeeding. The reason for this is because they forget about simple but essential things. The purpose of this article is to make you aware of the key things you need to do to get the most of your Drupal blog.
Boost the speed of your website
The speed at which your pages load will have a significant impact on the bounce rates. The load speed will also affect your SEO. Speed is significant to a blog. This is especially true when you consider the findings by Google that state that websites lose approximately 20% of their traffic for every additional 100ms, a page needs to load. Different factors impact a page load speed. The good news is that you can control most of these factors.
- Drupal Version
Updates contain bug fixes and will boost performance. It is for this simple reason that you should consider only using the latest version of Drupal. You have to ensure that the modules, core and themes are up to date. To perform updates, go to 'Reports > Available Updates > Check Manually' and check if there are any available updates. You should also ensure that you turn on the Automatic patching feature. This will help check the files for malware and vulnerabilities and have them fixed automatically.
- Optimize images
Images normally account for up to 56% of a page's weight. Optimising the images will boost the load speed. You need to adjust the compression ratio, make use of the picture optimisation modules like Image Magick and scale your images before uploading. Doing this will benefit your blog in a great way when it comes to loading speed.
- Disable unnecessary modules
The default installation comes with additional modules. You need to disable these optional modules to boost the speed of your pages. Some of the modules you should consider disabling include the statistics, Administration development tools, Field UI, Dashboard, Tracker, Rules UI and Devel node access. Unnecessary modules will only consume unwanted resources thus slowing the load speed.
- Use CDN
If your blog has an internal audience, you should consider using Content Delivery Network. The CDNs have proxy servers all over the world. This will help with the retrieval of your website elements from local servers. This will make your pages load faster.
- Optimize MySQL and PHP
Keeping your database clean and eliminating additional content will boost the load speed. You should also use the latest version of PHP.
- Use Cache
Retrieving all the content from the database every time users visit your page will slow the load speed. The use of caches will ensure parts that are unchanged remain on the browser of the user so that it will load faster the next time he visits. There are built in tools to help with caching on Drupal. Creating a blog is easy and fast on Drupal thanks to these and more tools.
These points will help with the load speed of your blog pages. Needless to say, load speed will not be sufficient to ensure that your site performs at its best. There are other things you need to do.
Customise the error pages
There is a default error page for when users navigate to blocked pages or pages that are not found. To manage the 403 and 404 pages, you have to create your custom error pages. The page should have a custom message.
If you allow users to post their content or comments, you will need to control spam. Controlling spam is particularly important if you use AdSense accounts. Failing to clean up the spam can cause your account to be disabled. There are modules you can use to Purge users, clean up spammers and spam posts. The idea here is to keep your site free from junk and getting rid of the old and unwanted posts.
Backup your site regularly
Having a copy of your website is crucial. This will help you recover in case of the unexpected. You also need to back-up your entire blog before making significant changes or installing major modules. A recent back-up will help you restore your website in case something goes wrong. The last thing you want is to start from scratch.
Choose an excellent hosting service
To create a high-end blog, you need to find and use the best hosting company available. Your focus should be on the performance, customer support and security offered by the hosting service provider. Although there are several excellent shared hosting service providers, if you can afford, go for the dedicated services. You have to remember that the power of Drupal can be limited by the hardware and the hosting supports.
As the web developer, you have to be the first to notice a problem in your blog. This is why you need to set aside time to troubleshoot your site regularly. Not all your visitors will be willing to let you know when there is a problem with your site. Some will assume you are aware of the problem and if you don't fix it soon enough, they will walk away and never to return.
Invest in SEO
Just because yours is a blog does not mean you should not invest in search engine optimisation. SEO is what makes it possible for your pages to be found. Your content should contain relevant keywords. You should also consider social media integration.
The above are just some of the important things you must do if you want your blog to do better. In addition to posting quality content regularly, you have to ensure that your blog is running smoothly and keeping up with the trends.