The BigPipe Drupal 8 module for your website performance optimization

The BigPipe Drupal 8 module for your website performance optimization

We once told you about some great new features of Drupal 8
(in part 1 and part 2). Now it’s time to have a closer look at one
of the most exciting innovations for Drupal 8: the BigPipe Module.

If there were a silent dialog between a website owner and a website visitor, it might go like this: “May I have your attention please?” — “OK, you have 3 seconds.” Because that’s the average time a user is willing to wait for the web page to load.

Optimistic news here! ;) There is an awesome technology that will help you avoid keeping your website’s visitors waiting. Like guests at a good restaurant, they will be served some of the dishes immediately so they are not bored or hungry while the rest of the food is prepared. So let us introduce this new speed-improving Drupal 8 module: the BigPipe.

What is the BigPipe module?

The BigPipe allows website visitors to have some parts of the page delivered to their browsers in a blink of an eye, without waiting for the entire page to load.

  • There is really no need to reload some static, unchanging, cacheable page elements (like a footer, a menu, a search box, etc.), so they can be instantly rendered to users again and again.
  • As for the dynamic, uncacheable, personalized page parts (like friends’ notifications, shopping cart contents, recommended content etc.), they will be served next, just like special dishes that need more time to prepare.

How will Drupal 8 tell the dynamic parts from the static ones? By means of special cacheability metatada you provide for each of those elements. No extra efforts or resources are necessary.

This approach helps create the look and feel of a dynamic, fast, modern website. A user feels more engaged, and is more likely to stay and wait for the loading of the rest of the content.

Who invented the BigPipe?

The general concept of BigPipe was engineered by the social media giant Facebook. However, Wim Leers, Senior Software Engineer at Acquia, and Fabian Franz, Senior Performance Engineer at Tag1 Consulting, decided to bring this brilliant technology closer to Drupal website users. Having started in 2014, they developed the awesome BigPipe module exclusively for Drupal 8 core.

“The fastest Drupal ever”

At DrupalCon Barcelona, Wim and Fabian made a presentation about BigPipe with a very promising name “Making Drupal fly — the fastest Drupal ever is here!”. They showed an example of a page delivered in 28 milliseconds to resounding applause from the audience.

According to Wim Leers, “BigPipe has changed Drupal 8 and made it the fastest Drupal yet.”

Since Drupal is a Dutch word for “drop,” we could probably call it “the flying Dutchman” now ;)

Use innovations to boost your website’s performance and engage your visitors. If you need help upgrading your website to Drupal 8, creating custom modules for it, or if you are interested in getting a nice Drupal 8 website built for you by experts, don’t hesitate to contact InternetDevels.

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