How to increase website performance

April 7, 2021
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Web performance means that websites are rendered swift, despite slower processes. Does the site load fast, encourage the user to start engaging fast and have reassuring feedback if anything takes time to load? Are graphics and scrolling fluid? This article offers a quick introduction to realistic, observable web performance, which examines the web optimization strategies, techniques and tools.


Website performance is the honest reflection of a website's or application's perceived user experience. The following important areas are covered:

Reducing overall load time: How long would it take for the user's machine to download the files required to render the website? Latency, the size of the files, the number of files you have, and other variables all impact this. Making the files as small as possible, reducing the number of HTTP requests made as much as possible, and using clever loading methods (such as preload) to make files accessible faster are all good ideas.

 

Making the site usable as soon as possible: This simply entails loading the website's properties in a logical order so that the user can begin using it right away. Other assets will continue to load in the background as the user concentrates on their primary activities, and we do not really load assets until they're actually needed (this is called lazy loading). The time to interact is a calculation of how long it takes for a website to enter an accessible state after it has finished loading.

 

Smoothness and interactivity: Does the program seem to be dependable and enjoyable to use? Is the navigation of the page smooth? Is it possible to press the buttons? Is it fast for pop-ups to appear and do they animate smoothly as they do so? There are also best practices to remember when making applications feel seamless, such as using CSS animations instead of JavaScript for animation and reducing the number of repaints the UI takes due to DOM updates.

 

Perceived performance: The user's perception of how good a website is has a greater effect on the user's experience than the website's real speed. The way a consumer perceives your success is just as significant, if not more so than any quantitative metric, but it is subjective and difficult to quantify. Perceived success is a subjective assessment of a user's performance, not a metric. Especially if an action can take a long time (due to latency or other factors), you will keep the user amused as they wait by presenting a loading spinner or a set of helpful hints and tips (or jokes, or whatever else you think might be appropriate). Such a strategy is preferable to displaying nothing, which would make it seem to take even longer and can lead to the customers believing it is broken and abandoning it.

 

Performance measurements: Web performance entails determining an application's real and perceived speeds, optimizing where possible, and then testing the performance to ensure that what you have optimised remains optimized. This entails a variety of measures (measurable variables that may signify success or failure) as well as methods to calculate certain metrics, which we will go through in detail in this module.

Why website performance is important

For your website users to have a positive experience, online success — and the related best practices — are critical. Web success can be thought of as a subset of web functionality. You remember what device a site user is using to access the site and the device connectivity speed when it comes to efficiency, just as you do with accessibility.

Consider CNN.com loading encounter, which had over 400 HTTP requests with a file size of over 22.6MB at the time of this article.

Consider putting this on a personal computer with a fibre optic connection. This seems to be a quick process, and the file size is virtually irrelevant.

Try installing the same site on a 7-year-old iPad when riding home on public transit using tethered cell data. The same site may take a long time to launch, and based on cell coverage, it could be unusable. You may give up before it starts loading.

Consider accessing the same platform on a $35 Xiaomi smartphone in a remote Chinese village with spotty to no coverage. If the site does load, it will be very slow, with blocking scripts potentially timed out and adverse CPU effect triggering browser crashes.

On a 3G network, a 22.6 MB server could take up to 83 seconds to load, with DOMContentLoaded (the site's base HTML structure) taking 31.86 seconds.

It isn't just the length of time it takes to download that is a major issue. Many nations continue to charge per megabyte for internet access. The download of 22.6 MB CNN.com experience will cost approximately 11% of the average Indian's daily salary. It could cost two days of an average wage from a mobile computer in Northwest Africa. What if this site was loaded on an international roaming contract from a US carrier? Anyone will be moved to tears by the prices.


How content is rendered 

To truly comprehend web efficiency, the problems that underpin it, and the big topic areas we covered earlier, you must first understand how browsers function. This contains the following:


When you enter a URL and press Enter / Return, your browser locates the server that houses the files for that website, creates a connection with it, and demands the files.

The order of the references. The source order of your HTML index file may have a huge effect on results. Additional assets linked from the index file are usually downloaded in a sequential order based on source order, although this can be abused and should certainly be optimized, particularly because certain resources prevent additional downloads before their content is parsed and executed.

After the files have been downloaded from the cloud, the browser uses this method to construct the web document. The browser follows a well-defined series of steps and refining the crucial rendering route to prioritize the display of information related to the current user action would result in considerable time savings in content rendering.

The document object model. The document object model (DOM) is a node-based tree structure that describes the content and elements of your HTML. This covers all HTML attributes as well as the node relationships. After the pages have loaded, extensive DOM manipulation (e.g., inserting, removing, or shifting nodes) will degrade output, so it's important to consider how the DOM operates and how such problems can be avoided.

Latency. Latency is the time it takes for your website assets to move from the server to a user's device. We discussed it slightly earlier, but in short, latency is the time it takes for your website assets to travel from the server to a user's computer. There is some inherent lag in pushing request and answer bytes back and forth through the network by using TCP and HTTP links, but there are some options to mitigate latency (for instance, minimizing the number of HTTP requests you create by uploading less data, using a CDN to make the site more uniformly performant across the globe, and using HTTP/2 to provide a quicker response). Understanding Latency has a lot of knowledge on this subject.

To summarize, many features impact performance including latency, application size, the number of DOM nodes, the number of resource requests made, JavaScript performance, CPU load, and more. It is important to minimize the loading and response times and add additional features to conceal latency by making the experience as available and interactive as possible, as soon as possible, while asynchronously loading in the long tail parts of the experience.



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