Drupal 8 Lessons From the Field pt 2: Enhancing Front End Drupal Development

Pavithra Raman - Solutions Architect Team Lead, Acquia
Ron Northcutt - Senior Solutions Architect, Acquia

In today’s fast paced world, the speed of digital experiences is important. Organizations with slow websites risk customer disloyalty, cart abandonment and bad SEO scores. Overall, it’s a poor user experience. You can insulate yourself from the risks of a slow site by optimizing your frontend - and anything that affects the end users’ experiences on the site: from updating and storing content, processing data, commerce checkout process.

In part one of “Drupal 8 Lessons from the Field”, we covered a developer’s journey and strategies to optimize project delivery using CD/CI techniques and tools. In part 2 of “Drupal 8 Lessons from the Field”, we’ll share our experiences tuning up and enhancing frontend and backend Drupal applications.

In this session, you’ll learn about the frontend i.e. the presentation layer on Drupal and some of the best practices for it. Drupal’s frontend (AKA presentation layer), is very flexible - enabled by amazing templating engines and content reuse. Still, teams responsible for the front end need to ensure that the page displays are well cached, fast rendering and look good not just for human consumption but also to machines and AI tools that power disability assisting programs as well search engine bots that are trying to index your site.

We shall cover some of the best practices like:

  • TTFB - Time to First Byte
  • Page Weight
  • Image / Media Optimization, including lazy loading
  • CSS/JS Aggregation/Compression
  • Frontend caching - Varnish
  • Using a CDN
  • Clean templates
  • Content theming and display styles
  • Improving content reuse
  • Acquia Lightning