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Tweaking Drupal to squeeze out the last drop is a good idea, but the biggest part of a website's loading time is spent on retrieving CSS, JavaScript and images. To get a truly zippy website, it is therefore vital to drastically reduce the time spent here. In this session, you’ll get to know why sites are slow and learn techniques to identify and resolve bottlenecks: From simple Apache tweaks to rethinking your theme so that it can be loaded faster there's something for everyone.


Konstantin Käfer
Khalid Baheyeldin

Session Overview

This lecture-style session will present and discuss various approaches to improve front end performance. While server side performance has an impact on the speed websites are delivered, the vast par of loading time is spent on retrieving CSS, JavaScript and image files. For a truly zippy website, it is therefore vital to drastically lower the amount of time spent here. In his book “High performance websites”, Steve Souders discusses various ways to accomplish this. This session is based on that book but contains additional Drupal-related information and strategies.


  • Anatomy of a web page
  • Measuring the non-obvious and identifying bottlenecks
  • The Hypertext transfer protocol
  • Reducing HTTP requests
  • Configuring Apache
  • Additional optimizations
  • Content delivery networks
  • Related Drupal modules


You should get a feeling for what “front end performance” actually means and where the main problems are located. You will also learn how to tackle these issues in a structured manner, measure the effects and get to know the basics of the foundation technology of the web, the Hypertext transfer protocol.


You should be familiar with how a website is structured and know basic Apache configuration. Being familiar with HTTP is a bonus.

Get the slides


Konstantin Käfer is currently studying IT Systems Engineering in Potsdam, Germany. He also works as a consultant for NowPublic, a large citizen journalism website using Drupal. He joined the Drupal community as a Google Summer of Code Student in 2006.


Since the schedule links only to the front end session, here is a link to the backend session.

Backend Drupal performance optimization and tuning: a guide for everyone.

You will find there links to the slides (PDF) and the video too.

Great job on the presentations guys. And what a great tool to have the videos online! I found the presentation relevant enough that I would like to see the video.

However, I tried the MP4 and the Quicktime version and there seems to be something wrong with the voice (low pitch, can't understand what is being said). I was able to see and hear fine another video so I doubt that it is my computer that is causing the problem.

Thanks for looking into this.