Performance boosting in Drupal 8 just got better

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With the release of Drupal 8.1 on April 20th the BigPipe module was added to core to increase the speed of Drupal for anonymous and logged in visitors.

What does BigPipe do in general?

BigPipe is a technique to render a webpage in phases. It uses components to create the complete page ordered by the speed of the components themselves. This technique gives the visitors a feeling that the website is faster then it may actually be. Thus giving a boost in user experience.

This technique, originally developed by Facebook, deploys the theory of multi threading, just like processors do. It disperses multiple calls to a single backend to make full use of the web server and thus rendering a webpage faster then conventional rendering does.

What does BigPipe do in Drupal?

For “normal” websites with anonymous visitors, BigPipe doesn’t do much. If you use a caching engine like Varnish, or even Drupal cache itself, pages are generally rendered fast enough. When using dynamic content like lists of related, personalized or localized content BigPipe can kick in and really make a difference. When opening the website BigPipe returns the page skeleton that can be cached. Elements like the menus, footer, header and often even content. And then rendering of the dynamic content will start. This means that the visitor of your website is already reading the most import content, and is able to see the dynamic related list later on after it’s loaded asynchronously.

For websites with logged in users BigPipe can be a real boost in performance. Standard Drupal cache doesn’t work out of the box for logged in users. For Drupal 7 you had the Authenticated User Page Caching (Authcache) module (which had some disadvantages), but for Drupal 8 there was nothing. Until Drupal 8.1!

With BigPipe Drupal is now able to cache certain parts of the page (the skeleton which I mentioned above) and to multithread some other parts. And these parts are cacheable by themselves.

Click on the imgae below to watch a video on YouTube where you can see for yourself how much effect BigPipe can have. BigPipe in Drupal 8

Video is made by Dries Buytaert

BigPipe in Drupal

As I said, starting from Drupal 8.1. BigPipe is added as a core module. And everybody can use it. Whether you are using a budget hosting platform or you are hosting your own website with state-of-the-art servers, it is basically just one (1) click away. You can just enable the module and get all the benefits BigPipe has to offer!

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About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web