Our company site is hosted from a VPS server in Dreamhost. The site is created in Drupal and loaded with a number of Drupal modules. It has a huge page views and unique visitors , although it is already running from a VPS server it is so slow specially during peak times.

Any recommendations what should I do? Is it possible to add additional servers or third party webhosting company to help handling the site traffic.

If this is possible, what should I do, how should I start. Is Round Robin DNS applicable in Dreamhost, if yes, how, what should I modify?

  • Have you done anything already to improve the situation? Do you have any logs to show? Have you checked your logs so find out bottlenecks?
    – PatomaS
    Mar 25 '14 at 7:22
  • I will recommend you to tweak PHP, Apache, MySQL and firewall (if any) on the VPS. Disabling unwanted services would help as well. If you have cPanel control panel installed, try tweaking the cPanel stats so that they do not run during peak hours.
    – MilesWeb
    Mar 25 '14 at 7:25
  • PatomaS, we have a pure busy traffic coming from real people referred by search engines.
    – LayoutPH
    Mar 25 '14 at 7:32

There are a plethora of options to improve the performance of a php based website. Here are some options I use:

  1. Cache, cache and cache. In the performance and usability options, make sure that you ticked the option "cache pages for anonymous users".

  2. Install and configure varnish. Either install it in your present server or install it in a new server (depending upon the amount of RAM you have in your present server for caching). Varnish act as a reverse proxy and it cache content. It reduces load on your server by reducing the number of requests apache will have to handle.

  3. For Drupal per se, reduce the number of modules. Try to use modules with a broad idea, such as "Views" to replace functionality offered by specific modules such as "related content".

  4. Use APC to reduce load that php generate on the server.

  5. Use advanced css and javascript aggregation to reduce the total number of files per pageload and hence total number of requests apache will have to handle.

For additional information on how to improve the performance of a Drupal website, please read here.

The success of all these depends on a number of factors, such as the type of your website, number of page views per day, amount of RAM available, etc. If all the above did not help enough, you should consider upgrading to a dedicated server or adding additional servers to redistribute load.

  • Thank you very much, we used Varnish and the problem is solved. And we decide to purchase a dedicated server of 8GB ram. Thanks
    – LayoutPH
    Mar 28 '14 at 3:15

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