I have been using Google’s Page Speed tool to help improve the load times of this site. In doing so, I discovered that I never configured any of the performance settings provided by Drupal. I also discovered that GoDaddy does not use mod_gzip or mod_deflate to compress the documents being requested.
Drupal provides both a page cache and a block cache. The page cache only affects anonymous users. While enabled, it will cache pages so that it does not need to re-render them for each request. When a page is updated, the cache is cleared. There are three levels of page caching:
Drupal also allows you to provide a minimum cache lifetime. This will prevent the cache for both pages and blocks from being cleared before that time. The available options range from one minute to one day.
The page compression option will allow Drupal to compress cached pages as they are sent to the browser. This saves on bandwidth and can provide quite a performance boost for larger pages. Since HTML is text, it compresses quite well. Enabling this option helps to mitigate the fact that GoDaddy does not have any compression of their own.
Unlike the page cache, the block cache can provide a performance boost to all users. The block cache is similar to the page cache in that it prevents individual blocks from having to be rendered on each page load. If you have any modules that define content access restrictions, such as Node Privacy By Role, this setting cannot be enabled. I have several blocks on that provide dynamic content and have not run into any issues by enabling the block cache.
This requires some manual setup to get working. There is no .info file so Drupal will not recognize it as an actual module, but that’s okay since the module doesn’t actually interact with Drupal. There are some configuration options in the load.php file that need setup and a line will need to be added to you .htaccess file. To clear the cache before the next scheduled cache clear, just clear the files out of the cache directory. Basically just read the README.txt file that comes packaged with the module and you will be fine.