Introduction

In the quest for a high-performing and lightweight application with an improved layout design, we embarked on a journey to overhaul an existing Drupal-based solution. Facing challenges related to customization and performance, we opted for a headless architecture, leveraging React.js for the front end and Node.js for the API layer. This strategic shift aimed to enhance both performance and user experience.

Solution: Adapting to Headless Architecture

Recognizing the limitations of the existing Drupal schema and its dependencies, we transitioned towards a headless solution. While retaining the Drupal database structure, we embraced React.js for the frontend and Node.js to bridge the gap between the frontend and Drupal database. This approach allowed for greater flexibility in frontend design and improved performance.

Challenges: Maintaining SEO-Friendly URLs

A significant challenge in the transition to a headless architecture was maintaining SEO-friendly URLs akin to the old application. Drupal’s URL generation relied on page titles, posing a hurdle in mapping URLs to their respective content in React.js. To address this, we implemented server-side rendering using Next.js, adopting a Slug page concept. This enabled us to render content dynamically while preserving the familiar URL structure.

Layout design
Load Time and Performance

Solution: Optimizing Load Time and Performance

Following the migration to a headless architecture, initial improvements in speed were observed. However, optimizing load time remained a priority. To tackle this, we focused on two key areas: reducing API response time and alleviating database load during peak traffic. Segmenting APIs for each page section allowed parallel fetching, enhancing response time. Additionally, we implemented Redis database caching to mitigate database load, caching API responses for quicker retrieval during subsequent requests.

Conclusion

Through the adoption of a headless architecture with React.js and Node.js, we successfully transformed the application into a high-performing, lightweight solution with an improved layout design. Overcoming challenges related to URL structure and load time optimization, we delivered a seamless user experience while maintaining SEO-friendliness. This transition marks a significant step forward in enhancing application performance and adaptability to evolving user needs.

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