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APC stands for Alternative PHP Cache. APC can provide some great performance benefits for Drupal sites by optimizing how your server processes the PHP code that makes your website work. Essentially, there are 3 steps that your server does every time a page is requested:
- Parse the PHP code
- Compile the PHP code
- Run the PHP code
Probably everyone who has worked with Drupal to any extent already knows about the benefits of turning on Drupal's built in Page cache. That said, most people have probably never really thought twice about the negative impact of not doing so on the performance of your website. While doing some performance benchmarking before overhauling our servers, I decided to take a couple minutes just to test the performance impact of not enabling Drupal's Page cache.
There are numerous different ways to benchmark page request times for your website, but the simplest tool comes with Apache out of the box. It is called Apache Benchmarx Tool, and it is extremely easy to use. You just run the command ab on the command line, and it will give you all of the information you need about how to use it. Just to give you a quick overview of how it works, there are basically 3 flags that you will use quite often when doing benchmarking:
There are a few tricks we use to speed up the process of setting up a new Drupal website.
This session talks about View Modes. Not to be confused with the Views module, View Modes are different types of displays for you content. The most common example is the Default and Teaser view modes that you get out of the box with Drupal nodes. The great part about view modes is that you can create the display once and reused it all over your site.
This video goes into a lot of detail of all of the different Panels modules within the Drupal 7 universe, and there are quite a few. Here are some of the more useful ones that were mentioned.
This session dives deep into how large web development shops handle deployment of websites that see heavy traffic. In talks a lot about the concept of continuous delivery. The talk is somewhat of an overview of a wide range of topics, but it provides a ton of helpful information and starting places to begin building out your companies website deployment strategy. The talk covers three basic topics: development workflows, testing, deployment.
This video goes into great detail of all of the new features available in Drush 5. Drush 5 has added a bunch of helpful enhancements to the already amazing Drush system.
This session provides a good overview of Views and especially understanding Views 3 after working with Views 2. The video shows a bunch of the features of Views that people might miss. These features can be really handy in more specialized Views configurations. The session also gives a quick overview of how to extend Views to add support for any specialized case that you might run into with your specific Drupal site.
Ever wondered how to make your website look good on a smartphone while also looking really nice on a desktop monitor? Responsive CSS is the answer. In the past websites would handle this problem by setting up a completely separate version of the website for mobile devices. However, doing this takes a lot of extra work and doesn't provide the ideal experience for users of all of the different mobile devices out there with different screen resolutions.