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How to Effectively Maintain a Drupal Website

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 26 Oct 2020

All types of businesses use Drupal to build powerful and feature-rich websites. Although building new sites on this platform does require some technical expertise, the real work lies in the everyday maintenance. Drupal support partners need a deep technical understanding of the platform for a site’s appearance, performance, features in Drupal core and contributed modules, third-party integrations, underlying frameworks like PHP and much more.

The areas below include what Ameex Technologies monitors and maintains for global brands. View this checklist to see if your Drupal site is in good condition.

Status Report Screen

Your first stop should be the Drupal Status Report, where you can see at a glance if files and access are protected, databases and systems are up to date, and if notifications are enabled, among many other parameters.

Checklist you need to maintain a Drupal website

1: Drupal Cron

Cron is enabled with new installations. This daemon can be configured to automatically schedule and execute tasks to keep the site cleaned up without needing human assistance. If you choose not to run it automatically to improve site performance, you may need to disable it completely, either by unchecking it in the admin modules, by setting the interval to “never,” or by using more advanced methods.

2: Drupal Cache

To optimize site performance, you can use the Drupal’s own cache system to configure caching for the entire platform: Block, Views, Page, static and dynamic content, database and more. But doing it correctly is essential; otherwise, changes may not consistently appear. Devel module or Drush can be used to flush cache from the system, or advanced caching like Memcache or Varnish must be effectively tuned and managed.

3: Drupal Security and Module Update

Drupal is one of the most secure content management systems in the world, but that only helps if you keep your site up to date with releases. You can view the Drupal security releases on Drupal Release Notes and in your Drupal administrator by navigating to “/admin/reports/status.”

Note that Drupal 7 is fully supported by the community until November 2021. If you need to make the upgrade from Drupal 7 to 9, talk to us about a free consultation.

4: Performance Optimization

Your website’s performance doesn’t just affect user experience and analytics – it has an impact on ranking as well. Google’s Speed Report provides insight into increasing your site’s performance. The recommended page speed is less than two to three seconds.

In general, high-speed websites have more organic visitors and, in turn, have higher sales. That makes sense – a Google study shows that 53% of the mobile visitors leave when a site take longer than 3 seconds to load.

Ameex has helped more than 100 client websites achieve this score. Contact us for a free performance audit.

5: Device/Browser Compatibility

Check that your site is regularly optimized for a smooth experience for users on mobile and handheld devices. Changes are happening all the time. Make sure that the JavaScript renders up to the mark on all the popular browsers, and ensure that your site is responsive to reduce annoying panning and zooming.

6: Backups

Is your backup solution creating a full backup at minimum every week – if not every day? When disaster strikes, or even a simple website failure, having a full backup means getting your operations back up and running quickly. If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place already, start on that now so you can have all your business data and information accessible. Disasters and emergencies are not a matter of if, but when.

7: Analytics Implementation

Make sure your site is working hard for you by regularly auditing it and measuring key performance indicators, search engine results pages ranking, traffic and more. 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 social media.

8: Broken Links

Bad links affect your site’s SEO profile and leave users with a negative impression. Whether a broken link is temporarily or permanently unavailable, a page was deleted, or a permalink was modified, make sure you properly redirect yours. If you don’t have a Drupal support team monitoring this, choose from a variety of online tools to check for broken links.

9: Contact Form

At least once a month, check your contact us, newsletter subscriptions or other website forms to make sure they’re working for users and that those inquiries make it to the right email inbox. Failing to check on this could mean losing a lot of potential leads, as well as email addresses for future marketing campaigns.

Other Common Drupal Maintenance Activity

On a less regular basis, implement or check the following to keep your site running smoothly.

  • Implement CDN for better performance.
  • Check the file permission on the site.
  • Integrate third-party tools for automation such as automating purchase confirmation email, Salesforce and more.
  • Review domain and SSL expiration dates
  • Review hosting infrastructure
  • Update the copyright notices annually
  • Review legal disclaimers

Get 360-Degree Monitoring and Alerts

Uninterrupted website access and consistent traffic is essential today –businesses don’t just lose revenue when their site is down, but they lose credibility as well. It’s critical that you or your Drupal support team monitors the website 24/7 and can fix issues immediately.

Make sure you’re getting the most out of this powerful platform by partnering with an expert maintenance team. The team at Ameex Technologies has 13+ years of experience providing global brands long-term support for Drupal websites. Contact us today to discuss a services package for Drupal support.

Download Ameex's Drupal Maintenance Checklist