The speed of a web service is one of the most important factors both in terms of customer experience and SEO promotion.
According to numerous studies, more than 50% of users close a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
In addition to worsening the customer experience, this increases the bounce rate and lowers the position of the site in the search results.
In this article, we will figure out what determines the speed of a web service and how to improve web service performance.
- 1 Factors That Affect The Speed Of Web Services
- 2 How To Reduce Server Response Time?
- 3 Final Thoughts
Factors That Affect The Speed Of Web Services
The download speed of a resource depends on many different factors. In this article, we will cover three main ones:
- server response time;
- content features and download speed;
- page rendering.
1. Server Response Time
When we go to some resource, before displaying the content, the browser sends an HTTP request to the server, and the latter sends a response. The time between sending a request and receiving a response is called the server response time.
Speaking from the position of the client, this is the time between the moment he entered the resource and the moment when the page began to load for him.
What determines the server response time:
- Server load. We are talking about how many users visit your resource and how many requests come at the same time. The more of them, the longer it will take to request and respond.
- Server characteristics. Is it powerful enough to handle the load?
- Server location is relative to your users. The further it is from them, the longer the request and response will take.
- Working with databases. If your application interacts with a database, it can also cause delays if the database is located on a server that does not have enough resources or has settings that are not suitable for your workload.
2. Content Features And Download Speed.
The larger the content is, the longer it will take to load. Therefore, the smaller the elements of your web resource, the better.
But here it is important to find a balance between file size and quality. An image that weighs several kilobytes will, of course, load faster.
But if the image looks blurry or the elements on it are difficult to distinguish, this can spoil the impression of your service and reduce the number of sales.
3. Page Rendering.
Your web service includes pictures, videos, text content, various graphics, and so on. When the resource is loaded, all these elements are put together and displayed on the user’s screen. This is called page rendering.
Usually, the page rendering speed is checked by various services to check the loading speed, for example, the popular Page Speed Insight.
What affects page rendering speed?
- Amount of elements.
- The order in which items are loaded (the most important ones should be displayed first).
- Page layout.
How To Reduce Server Response Time?
Let’s look at actions that will reduce server response time and improve the experience of users visiting your service.
To display the desired content on the page, the server accesses the database where this content is stored. If the work with the database is not optimized, this can lead to an increase in load time.
Increasing the speed of working with the database is a task for experienced programmers. The most basic thing to do first:
- Optimize database queries. Use the EXPLAIN command in your databases to understand which query is running slowly and figure out how to speed it up.
- Cache responses to the most frequent, identical requests. This is especially necessary in the case of dynamic sites. Instead of regenerating the content each time, the database can return already generated material from the cache.
- Set up database indexes. Searching for data in tables should go through indexed fields.
A powerful, worldwide CDN can significantly reduce server response time. But keep in mind that it will only help if your clients really live far from the server.
If this is not the case, and the server response time leaves much to be desired, the problem is something else, and the CDN will not save the situation.
If you have a global project, the CDN must be truly global in order for sites to work quickly. Be sure to consider the number of points of presence and their location.
First of all, they should be in the place where your customers live. And the more of them, the less response time will be and the more stable the system will be.
Reduce Server Load
To reduce the load, the first thing you can try is to reduce the number of requests.
When loading a site, the browser makes requests for each of its elements. It turns out that if we reduce the number of these elements, we will also reduce the number of requests.
To keep the appearance of the page unchanged, you can do the following:
- Use CSS sprites.
- Use inline images.
- Combine several files into one: for example, several CSS files or JS files.
Place Domain Names On DNS Servers Closest To Users
The further away from your users is the DNS server that hosts your domain names and their IP, the longer the request will take. And consequently, the server response time will be longer.
What is the best way to proceed in this case? Place your domain names on DNS servers as close as possible to your customers. And choose a reliable DNS hosting with a large number of locations and the ability to balance the load.
If you’ve tried everything and the server’s response time still leaves something to be desired, the cause may be the server itself. Maybe it just can’t handle the load and you need more computing power.
To reduce server response time, you can optimize database operations, reduce the number of requests, place domain names on DNS servers close to your customers, and connect a CDN.
If all this does not help, your server may not be able to cope with the load and you need to increase the processing power.
If you need help with testing the performance of your web service, as well as optimizing its performance, Gearheart will help you understand the intricacies of configuring the service.
In addition, the company provides services in programming, documentation creation, and development process management.