How can you maintain a Drupal website effectively

How can you maintain a Drupal website effectively?

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 26 Oct 2020


Drupal is a powerful platform that is used by all types of businesses for building powerful and feature rich websites. Building new sites on Drupal would require some technical acumen, the real job is to maintain the Drupal websites well. Drupal is for everyone, from developers to marketers, it has extended its horizons with every major version upgrade. Maintenance of Drupal sites require work and updates in the areas of appearance, performance, Drupal core and contributed modules, 3rd party integrations, underlying frameworks like PHP and whole host of other things. Naturally, maintaining a Drupal site will require some technical understanding of Drupal platform.

Through this article, we will try to highlight some of the important areas to keep a Drupal site in good condition.

Status Report Screen

Drupal provides a feature called Status Report. It is a short overview of the website's overall parameters as well as any problems detected with the Drupal installation, unstable modules etc. being used in the website.

Drupal Cron

Cron is used to schedule certain tasks at intervals. Cron can be configured to automatically execute these tasks without any manual intervention. Both Drupal core and many contributed modules have tasks that need to execute at regular intervals. Cron can be configured to automatically execute these tasks and how often it executes the tasks.

Drupal Cache

Drupal comes with its own system of caching to optimize sites’ performance. Using Drupal’s Caching, you can pretty much configure caching for the entire platform that powers your site. Block, Views, Page, static content, dynamic content, Database caching, pretty much everything can be cached using Drupal. However, Flushing of these cache in the right way is equally important or changes made to the website may not consistently appear. Devel module or Drush can be used to flush cache from the system. Advanced caching like memcache, varnish etc. also must be effectively tuned and managed for optimum site performance.

Drupal Security and Module Update

When it comes to security, Drupal is one of the most secure Content Management Systems and this is the reason why most government websites are built on Drupal. Drupal releases more than 25+ minor and major releases every year to protect the websites around the globe.

Most popular website build on Drupal includeThe White House (USA), Official website of the French Government, Australia and websites like Twitter, Nokia, Harvard University, Stanford University, NASA and many more.

You can view the Drupal security releases on Drupal Release Notes and in your Drupal administrator by navigate to “/admin/reports/status”. Keeping the modules up to date makes the site function properly without any breakdown.

Note that Drupal 7 is fully supported by the community until November 2021.For a free consultation from Drupal 7 to 9 Click Here

Performance Optimization

Maintaining the website performance while adding high quality images and complex functionalities can be a challenge. All sites are not the same and every individual site will require different approach to enhance the performance.

The performance and page speed are an important factor in Google ranking. Not only the ranking, performance impacts user experience and analytics. Google Speed Report, provides an insight on increasing the performance of the site. The recommended page speed is less than 2-3 Sec and Ameex has helped 100+ client websites to achieve this score – For free performance audit Click Here.

In general, high speed website have more organic visitors and in turn increasing the sales on the website. A Google study says that 53% of the mobile visitors leave when it take longer than 3 sec to load.

360-Degree Monitoring and Abnormalities Alerts:

Uninterrupted access to website is essential today for all businesses. Businesses lose revenue when the site is not reachable and affects the credibility of the business. It is important to keep a watch on the website 24x7 and fix issues immediately whenever they occur.

Google lowers the rank of the websites which are down frequently and for longer duration. Ameex 24x7 team monitor the websites, its transaction pages for flaws and inform the developers while our clients have peaceful sleep. For more contact us CTA

Testing the Site for Device/Browser Compatibility

More than half of the web traffic comes from mobile/handheld devices and over time there are changes happening to these devices and browsers. With great number of browsers to choose, it is important that the website is regularly optimized to make it compatible for better user experience. 

The developers need to make sure that the JavaScript renders up to the mark on all the popular browsers. Making site mobile responsive reduces hassle of panning, zooming for the users and makes them stick around for longer and hence higher conversation rates.

Taking Regular Backups

It is strictly recommended that a backup solution is implemented to take an automatic full backup of the website every week, if not every day. The backup will help in restoring the website to the previous state during website failure. It is equally important to explore and implement a Disaster Recovery mechanism, so you can safely recover all important business data and information if disaster strikes.

Analytics Implementation

Regular audit and measuring the KPIs, SEO ranking, and traffic shows the effectiveness of the site. It helps to understand and fix the issues on the website. We recommend leveraging the free suite of Google’s analytics and tracking solutions like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console etc. Similarly, Facebook Pixel helps in marketing your products on the social media.

Fixing the Broken links

Bad links takes the users away from the website and can also affect the sites SEO profile. Also, it makes the website look bad and give users an unpleasant experience. Though broken links cannot be avoided completely, make sure it is properly redirected to respective page.

The reason for the broken link could be due to temporarily or permanently unavailable, page deletion, web page Permalink was modified. Running a quick scan on online tools will get you the list of broken links.

Test the Contact Form

People will try reaching you through contact us form and if it does not work, you couldn’t be losing potential leads. Test the contact us / Newsletter subscription and other forms on the website every month to stay updated.

Make sure you receive the emails and inquiries sent from the website in your email inbox. The leads received through the newsletter subscription can be used for emails campaign that you perform on a future date and when it is not working, you will not have adequate email addresses for campaign.

Other Common Maintenance Activity

  • Implement CDN for better performance.
  • Check the file permission on the site on regular basis. 
  • Integrate third-party tools for automation such as automating purchase confirmation email, salesforce and more.
  • Review Domain and SSL expiry date
  • Review hosting infrastructure
  • Update the copyright notices annually
  • Review legal disclaimers

Drupal is a very powerful platform using which you can accomplish practically any business requirements. However, it is also important to maintain a Drupal website in the right way to derive the maximum out of it. Ameex has 12+ years of experience in maintaining all kinds of Drupal websites for our global clients.
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