In the spirit of the computer video game Doom and its skill levels, we’ll review a few ways you can improve your Drupal speed performance and optimize for better results and server response time. These tips that we’ll cover may be at times specific to Drupal 6 versions, although you can always learn the best practices from these examples and apply them on your own code base.
Drupal 6 shipped with all tables being MyISAM, and then Drupal 7 changed all that and shipped with all of its tables using the InnoDB database engine. Each one with its own strengths and weaknesses but it’s quite clear that
InnoDB will probably perform better for your Drupal site (though it has quite a bit of fine tuning configuration to be tweaked on my.cnf).
Some modules, whether on Drupal 6, or those on Drupal 7 that simply upgraded but didn’t quite review all of their code, might ship with queries like SELECT COUNT() which if you have migrated your tables to InnoDB (or simply using Drupal 7) then this will hinder on database performance. That’s mainly because
MyISAM work differently, and where-as this proved as quite a fast responding query being executed on a
MyISAM database which uses the main index to store this information, for
InnoDB the situation is different and will result in doing a full table scan for the count. Obviously, on an
InnoDB configuration running such queries on large tables will result in very poor performance
Note to ponder upon – what about the Views module which uses similar type of
COUNT() queries to create the pagination for its views?