Your website is the most important way of reaching your customers and keeping them aware of what’s happening in your business. Your customers look up to it as the perfect display of your business. You cannot create a site and leave it to work on its own. You need to ensure you take other factors into consideration, so every end user of your website is satisfied. You need to understand the fundamental issues that help enhance the efficiency of the server PHP code on your site. Why is this important? PHP is a robust and a popular service scripting language that makes it easy to create reliable, flexible, and functional sites. Most of the leading brands such as Wikipedia, Pinterest, and Facebook take pride in using PHP development, since it is the basis for Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress and Drupal. Therefore, if you are willing and ready to optimize the performance of your website, follow these fast and easy checks.
1. Monitor APIs frequently
Many applications control Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), but in most cases, you cannot leverage APIs remotely, so have no control over their performance. However, you can lessen their impact on your code through various techniques. One of them is caching the output of API through having API calls behind the scenes. You should aim at protecting users from malfunctioning APIs, and ensure you can display the output of your application even if APIs are not responding.
2. Cache on OPCache
Programmers have interpreted PHP into executable codes, referred to as opcodes, and this is what makes PHPs strong. It makes it possible to execute fast development without having to compile the code after making simple changes. If you keep recompiling the duplicate code, the overall process becomes slow and inefficient. This is why you need to use opcode, which is an extension of PHP that saves the output of the code you’ve compiled. When you run the code you’ve compiled, PHP assesses whether you’ve made any changes, and runs the copy of your code you have cached.
3. Database delays
Any PHP application takes up over 90% to execute any application. It is important to hire PHP developers who will help you assess codebase for all links to database access. Fix all the slow SQL queries after checking all the SQL logs. Try to look for any queries that your PHP website might be executing more than once. If you manage to fix them, you will notice that the database access time will increase as well as the performance of the website.
4. File system Snafus
Your file system has numerous in and out processes. The PHP development company should learn how your file system operates, and attempt to detect any inefficiencies that could hide in the database files. This involves some processes that consume a lot of time, such as processing XML, use of file system for image processing and session storage, and reading local files. Look for any code that causes file stat, and correct it.
5. Enable compression
If many people know your website for creating high-quality content, your site could have large files whose size could be above 100kb. Such files are slow to download since they are bulky. To speed their download time, zip them - a practice called compression. This reduces the bandwidth of your files, hence reducing the overall response of your site. You can zip your files using Gzip. Most websites compress files using Gzip before making them available for download. Gzip uses in-built routines or a third party module. Yahoo estimates that compressing files reduces download time by over 70%. Since most of your clients will meet you online and interact with the product specifications on your website, compressing files using Gzip is a great option to speed things up.
6. Reduce HTTP requests
Yahoo estimates a website takes 80% of the time to load various piece-parts of the page, such as flash, scripts, stylesheets, and images. Each of these requires a separate HTTP request. Therefore, if a website has numerous on-page components, it will take longer to respond. If you simplify the design of your website, your site speed will increase. You can do this through:
Streamlining the number of components on your website
Combining multiple style sheets into a single one
Try to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in place of images as much as possible
Reduce the usage of scripts, and place them at the bottom of your homepage
Remember that a leaner website is faster and better.
7. Improve images
You interact with your customers through your site. Images form part of the information that clients look for before they decide whether to consume a certain product or not. When it comes to images on your site, take note of src attribute, format, and size. If you have large images, they will take longer to load, and this slows down your website. There are image editing tools that help you to crop an image to a smaller size, remove comments on images, and reduce the depth of color on images to an acceptable level. The best image format is JPEG. PNG is good, but many ancient browsers do not support it. Use GIFs for simple graphics, small, and animated images. Avoid using TIFFs or BMPs. If you are sure that the format and size are correct, ensure that you have the right code. Do not use empty src image codes. Use valid URLs in your images, and if you need your images to load fast, add WP Smush.it plugin to your website.
8. Reduce the number of redirects
If a site has many redirects, this leads additional server requests and increases load time. You need to reduce them. If you have a responsive website, you must have redirects that take mobile users from your homepage to their page of interest. If you need to make your website fast in the presence of responsive redirects, use Google’s trick of having an HTTP redirect that sends mobile users to an equal site without any delays. If this seems technical, you can use VerveSearch, and clients will navigate your site without experiencing delays in loading time.
9. Avoid using many plugins
A website that has too many plugins is susceptible to security breaches, slow speeds, technical challenges, and causes undue crashes. It is advisable to delete or deactivate all unnecessary plugins, and remove any plugins that make your website slow. If you are not sure which plugins are slowing down your site, you can disable them selectively, and assess the performance of your website. This way you can identify the plugins causing you trouble.
10. Maximize resources
Some resources seem easy to use as you build, but may lead to messy codes that slow down your site. You need to understand that every piece of code makes your website appear large, and slow to load. Therefore, you need to remove line breaks, indentation, and extra spaces to make your website as lean as possible. This also helps to minify your website code. If you need to minify HTML, you can create an optimized version of your code through PageSpeed Insights Chrome Extensions. Use cssmin.js and YUI Compressor to minify Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Some of the tips given here are technical and difficult to implement if you are not tech-savvy. If you need further help, you can access more information that can enhance the performance of your site. Customers’ expectations are ever increasing, and having a website that meets such huge expectation is a daunting task. Be that as it may, if you focus on the code, optimize functions, and implement the correct caching technique, your clients can experience excellent UX every time they visit your site.
Do you have any further tips to enhance website performance? Let us know in the comments below!