web application performance

6 Ways to Boost Your Web Application Performance for Optimal User Experience

Your web application performance could go up or down depending on load time alone. Your competitor’s optimized web app is probably already enjoying the benefits you desire.

For example, AutoAnything cut their load time by half and saw their revenue climb 13 percent. Meanwhile, Amazon reported that they experienced one percent drop in revenue for every 100 milliseconds drop in site speed.

In short, you can’t negotiate when it comes to your app performance. Read on to find out what you can do now.

Compress Data to Improve Web Application Performance

Compression can significantly improve application performance. In fact, you can reduce the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other text-based contents’ required bandwidth by more than 30 percent and reduce application load-time as an effect.

You have an array of compression standards covering different file types: images, videos, documents, and music. Use relevant optimizers for each of these file types.

GZIP is both a method of compressing files and a file format. Different web servers have their unique GZIP compression procedures. Common servers include Apache, Litespeed, Nginx, and .htaccess.

Compressed data can improve the application’s speed by a landslide. Your web application performance would win some raving reviews, especially from people in slow internet connection areas or those limited to mobile internet connections.

Monitor Activities and Resolve Bottlenecks in Real Time

High web application performance correlates with the developer’s time investment in examining the activities of the app in real time. You want to monitor user behavior and experience across devices and on the web app as they occur.

Site activities monitors are passive participants. Monitors inform you of the state of the web app so that you spot and fix issues.

Application monitors would capture server related issues, such as server downtime, dropping or limping network connections, sending incorrect content, or experiencing too much cache misses.

Dynatrace and New Relic are app performance tools – they monitor and give you feedback on page load time from remote locations. In practice, if you manage a distance learning software used in remote areas, then these monitors can help you know your users’ load time experience.

Performance data from apps let you know if your if your optimizations are getting desired results for your users. They also show you when you should consider upgrading your infrastructure to accommodate traffic growth successfully.

Distribute Traffic with a Load Balancer

Add a load balancer. It’s easy to do, and the resulting benefits regarding improved site security and performance, are almost unbelievable.

Most web application performance effort goes into increasing the size or number of web servers or enhancing their capacities, but load balancers are different.

A load balancer works by distributing traffic across servers. In fact, load balancers can improve user experience on poorly written web apps that might have problems with scaling with growing traffic, without any alterations to the app or servers.

Load balancers can significantly improve an app’s performance by distributing traffic across servers. Traffic won’t overload a server while others sit empty, waiting.

A load balancer makes it possible for you to use a low-cost server to expand your web server capacity knowing the web server would be put to full use. You can use NGINX as a load balancer.

Optimize Security Protocols

Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols reduce Web application performance. SSL and TLS are security protocols that encrypt the data that goes from servers to users.

Although developers use SSL and TLS widely, these protocols remain significantly unoptimized for speed. Web servers have differing mechanisms for security protocol optimizations. Some web servers depend on OpenSSL.

Deliver Content Faster by Caching

Caching makes your app content delivery faster. Speed is essential because 40 percent of your users will leave if your app takes longer than two seconds to load. You can cache your content using strategies like

  • Using faster devices to store your content,
  • Making content available faster when demanded,
  • Using content delivery networks (CDN) to store content closer to your users, or
  • A blend of all three methods.

You can cache dynamic and static contents,

Static content cache: This uses edge server to store and retrieve files that you almost never change. Think of data like image files, text scripts like JavaScript and CSS, and others.

Dynamic content cache: This handles freshly generated HTML requests, i.e., files you change often. This type of content caching for web app works by storing and delivering, for a limited time, a copy of the page generated.

Your web application performance goes up because new page requests by users don’t have to be generated anew from your server, for a limited period, before you update your page with new content.

Here’s how caching improves your web application performance. If your app gets 100 content requests every second, your cache will fulfill 90 percent of those requests. Only about 10 percent will come from your original server, thereby reducing your server load.

Keep Your Software Versions Updated

Optimize for your web application performance my choosing only software stack components with established track record of delivering desired results. Developers of best-in-class software components tend to strive for enhanced performance.

Since developers fix bugs over time, you’d benefit from staying updated with the latest and most stable version of the software. And for support purposes, new releases always get more attention from user communities and the developer.

Another benefit of software updates is that they are leverage on new compiler optimizations. These software programs are usually more compatible with latest improvements in technology and hardware.

As an example, HTTP/2 which used to require OpenSSL 1.0.1 started requiring OpenSSL 1.0.2 from mid-2016. So updating is crucial because developers may have built newer capabilities into the software.

Conclusion

You can improve your web application performance rapidly by using these six tips, even if you start one at a time. By the time you are done blending in these optimizations, you should have seen significant jump in traffic, engagement, conversions, and even revenue!

Start by compressing your data and monitoring your site’s traffic. You’d start noticing what you need to improve. You may want to introduce a load balancer then, optimize your security protocols and start caching.

Of course, you should always use the best-in-class software and make sure you update them when newer patches or versions are released. Another natural step you can take now is to start monitoring when your site is up (or down), click here to learn more.