Most digital publishers rely on a content management system (CMS) to empower editors to manage and distribute content online. However, CMS platforms don’t cache content or accelerate delivery, so publishers also use content delivery networks (CDNs) to optimize for speed and performance. Yet publishers that rely on traditional CDNs are forced into antiquated workflows, largely due to the inability to instantly post, modify, or delete content, resulting in artificially slow editorial cycles. Fastly is fundamentally different, with a full-featured API and truly Instant Purge that enable real-time publishing and faster performance.
Proven to optimize Drupal
Fastly has released several out-of-the-box integrations for popular CMS platforms including Drupal, a leading open source CMS that powers more than one million websites worldwide. We first released an open source module for Drupal 7 in 2014, which enabled customers to configure their Fastly service from within Drupal. As shown in the graphic below, we’ve seen a steady increase in module usage as Drupal users realize the value of a tightly integrated CDN to accelerate content delivery and shield their infrastructure.
The Drupal Association releases major platform update
The newly released Drupal 8 platform delivers significant performance and scalability improvements over v7, much of which was made possible due to improved caching support. Dries Buytaert, the founder and lead developer of Drupal, summarized the key updates in a recent blog post. Drupal 7 supported only basic caching capabilities, whereas Drupal 8 incorporates more precise cache invalidation and variation, as well as server-side and client-side dynamic content substitution. This allow Drupal 8 users to:
- Specify cache invalidation with “cache tags”
- Implement condition-based caching (or variations) in the UI
- Render an entire webpage from cache with placeholder HTML for dynamic content (like name and profile picture) with #post_render_cache
- Cache pages with comment markers using a placeholder for dynamic elements with #post_render_cache
Our new Drupal module
In an effort to garner community feedback, we’ve released our newest module in Alpha. The latest update promotes good caching practices by allowing us to extend more of our services into Drupal’s platform. Elements such as cache tags and full-page caching align directly to core Fastly services — surrogate keys and edge computing — which make for an even tighter integration. Customers using the new Drupal 8 module will be able to further refine and optimize their content delivery from within the Drupal dashboard.
In the near future, we’d like to extend more of our services into the module to support Drupal 8 cache contexts, including ‘accept language’ to deliver multiple language versions depending on browser preference and ‘geo targeting’ to serve content to people based on location.
Using the module
To download and install the module, visit our Drupal Project Page. Then sign up for a Fastly account and enter your API key into the Drupal configuration panel. Lastly, create a CNAME record for your domain which requires you to tell your domain registrar that you’d like to serve your content via Fastly. Once you’ve finished these simple steps, your Drupal 8 site will be enabled and working on Fastly.
With a Fastly account, you get full access to the Fastly Configuration Application using the credentials you specified during signup. The app allows you to fully customize your Fastly configuration and ensure you’re getting the best performance possible out of your Drupal 8 website.
Join us at DrupalCon
We’ll be at DrupalCon 2016 in New Orleans May 9-13 — swing by booth 603 to learn more about Fastly for Drupal. Rogier “DocWilco” Mulhuijzen, a senior professional services engineer and Varnish wizard at Fastly, will also be co-presenting a Lightning Talk titled A Faster, Shorter Way to Performance on Wednesday, May 11 at 2:15pm EST.
For more on Fastly + Drupal, check out a recent Drupal Association webcast on how Fastly helped reduce their origin traffic by 99% and the presentation Fastly Takes Drupal.org to Extremes, delivered by Drupal Association CTO Joshua Mitchell and Infrastructure Manager Rudy Grigar.
We look forward to hearing what you think about our new Drupal 8 module. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or feedback.