7 Common Web Application Performance Problems (and How to Solve Them)
Always start with the basics. Check out how issues with your code, your service provider, or your server could be affecting site performance.
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One of the cornerstones of a successful business in today's digital environment is ensuring that web application performance is user-friendly and runs smoothly. A well-oiled website and its applications represent the face of a company, and in an ideal scenario, they serve as a mark of reliability, innovation, and progress.
Behind the scenes of a well-run web app is a proactive IT team that uses application performance monitoring tools to catch DevOps issues as they arise, addressing them in real time. By reducing the margin of error of a web application and minimizing maintenance needs, businesses can deliver a better end product to consumers.
However, there are a number of roadblocks that companies face when developing their web applications, changing the interface of their design, or increasing the scale of their operations. Some of the most common issues include the presence of slow servers, poorly written code, and duplicate title tags.
Here are seven of the most common web app performance roadblocks and how to fix them:
- DNS issues and network connectivity
- Slow servers and loading time
- Poorly written code
- Lack of load balancing
- Traffic spikes
- Specific HTML title tags
- Failing to optimize bandwidth Usage
1) DNS Issues and Network Connectivity
An essential element of successful web traffic management is DNS queries, which is why an issue with these systems can result in a plethora of issues. Without the proper protection, faulty DNS queries can prevent visitors from reaching your website, while also causing errors, 404s, and incorrect pathways. In a similar vein, network connectivity and an efficient firewall are key parts of your site's access and productivity.
The best way to tackle these issues is by implementing DNS monitoring safeguards to identify what's causing them. You should also check your switches, VLAN tags, and distribute tasks between servers.
2) Slow Servers and Loading Time
If your servers are particularly slow, they could be hosted using a shared account, which means that your site is sharing the server with hundreds, possibly thousands of other websites. You can address this common roadblock by checking with your hosting company to determine whether or not the site is hosted on a dedicated server. If it isn't, you can request this service, but it may come at an additional price.
If you're hoping to see just how slow your site is, go to Google and use its PageSpeed Insights tool. All you have to do is enter your domain name and click Analyze. The tool looks at the contents of the site and identifies the elements that are making it run slower. The tool churns out suggestions that will help your website run faster.
3) Poorly-Written Code
Another web application performance problem that many face is with poorly written code, which could refer to inefficient code, memory leaks, or synchronization issues. Your application could also deadlock due to ineffectual algorithms, as well as the performance degradation of a web application. Old versions of software or integrated legacy systems can also take a toll on your website's performance.
You can tackle this issue by ensuring that your developers are using the optimal coding practices, as well as some automated tools such as profilers and code reviews.
4) Lack of Load Balancing
Slow response times can also be caused by poor load distribution. When new site visitors are assigned incorrectly, it can drown out your servers even if the system is under capacity. Such an issue can cause a slow response time, especially if your site is receiving too many requests.
Tools such as NeoLoad and AppPerfect help you find infrastructural weaknesses that you may be experiencing, while also testing problem areas. You should also work on a cluster of servers instead of simply having a single server that takes all the load. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) can help with scalability issues when more servers are added. This design tool causes application components to provide services to the site's other components through the communication protocol.
5) Traffic Spikes
Spikes happen, especially during a marketing promotion with videos, and a company may not be prepared for the extra traffic. This issue can also cause your servers to slow down, hindering the performance of your site and harming your brand.
One solution is by setting up an early warning system using simulated user monitoring systems such as NeoSense. Doing so will help you see when traffic is impacting transactions before users are affected negatively by the experience.
6) Specific HTML Title Tags
Even the name of your website can affect its performance as HTML title tags are essential to its success. These tags sum up the entire content of your website or web page to major search engines such as Google. However, a lack of specificity in your domain name can lower its visibility. This is due to the fact that sometimes site owners use the same title throughout their website, which causes search engines to look for duplicate title tags and pares them, causing sites to lose traffic.
You can tackle this issue by doing a name search as "site:yourdomain.com." Go to Google Search Console (which used to be known as Google Webmaster Tools) to analyze your website. The tool will offer you information on HTML errors such as missing title tags, duplicate meta descriptions, missing descriptions and more.
7) Failing to Optimize Bandwidth Usage
When developing and testing a site, businesses often rely on a local network environment. This may not seem like an issue at first because adding visual, audio, video or other high-volume data may not affect your local network. However, consumers accessing the website at home through their smartphones may face a series of issues you weren't anticipating.
The Bottom Line...
Developing a website with higher than expected traffic may lead to issues that require increased scalability. Many of these problems boil down to the coding of these sites, while others could be related to server issues, faulty HTML code, and DNS roadblocks.
Thankfully, there's a number of solutions to these issues that are readily available to your business, some of which are free Google Analytics tools, while others may cost you extra. In many cases, making sure you're making the most out of your resources will get you to where you want to be. SEO, compression, and well-written code with a solid infrastructure are among the elements you need to consider in anticipation of any web application performance issues that may arise.
Common web application performance issues include slow servers, poorly written code, traffic spikes and weak HTML tags. Some of the solutions to these problems are free, online tools such as Google Analytics, while others are issues with the code that may require more time and money.
Published at DZone with permission of John Julien, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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