A DhiWise Guide to Building/Making Scalable, and High-Performance Web Application
What if your application is slow and unable to scale with the growing number of users? To avoid such problems business owners and developers want to build scalable, and high-performance websites.
A typical website is more than just a few web pages, it comprises a front-end, server, APIs, and other services. Building a successful web application that is scalable, delivers high performance, and fulfills user expectations is a complex task.
This article guides you through the key factors to keep in mind for building your next high-performance and scalable web application.
But before that, let’s understand the meaning of scalability and performance of web applications. Though both look similar, in reality, web performance and scalability are completely different aspects.
Web performance and Scalability
What is web performance?
Website performance helps you to drive user engagement and retention. According to research, 40 % of the users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load and don’t wish to come back.
Website performance means the raw speed of an application. It is measured using average page loading time, domain lookup time, server connection time, and server response time.
What is scalability?
Scalability means the ability of an application to deal with a sudden increase in demand. So when you say scalable application, that means it can handle a potential number of concurrent users and resources at a time. It is specifically called load scalability.
Also, in a scalable application, you can easily add new resources and functionality while keeping its structure completely intact. It is called structural scalability.
But there is a twist, Increasing the scalability may negatively impact the application performance sometimes. Therefore we can’t say scalability is directly related to performance. A scalable app may or may not be performant.
According to teach experts, developers must focus on scalability first so that they can easily work on the performance with ease.
Key factors for building high-performing and, scalable applications
A good web developer must take care of the following aspects while building a successful website.
1. Choose a right technology stack
Several technologies can be used to build a good web application such as Node.js, Asp.NET with MVC, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Go, Python, and so on. Some are good for data-heavy operations while some are good for multiple devices.
The choice of technology selection completely depends on the application requirement. However, to build a large-scale web application it is always good to go with the most preferred technologies such as Node.js, React, Angular.
It is important to note that most web and mobile applications are rewritten for scalability, as no single technology can fulfill all your requirements.
Caching can help you to improve website scalability and application performance but it doesn’t solve all the problems related to scalability and performance. Before implementing caching you must evaluate your caching options either by database or local storage.
Caching is a better option if your data is rarely changing, but if it is changing in minutes never cache it. Also, to reduce cache misses you can implement multiple layers of caching with the participation from both the client and server-side.
3. Design databases carefully and use multiple databases
Database design can impact how SQL query works. It is important to analyze databases and fix the design issues for faster performance.
According to the survey conducted by scalegrid.io, using multiple database combinations is useful to fill the gaps in your data needs. In the survey 75.6 of the multiple database types are made up of a combination of both SQL and NoSQL databases.
Using the functionality of multiple databases helps you to maintain data consistency, reliability, and integrity and thus helps to improve scalability and performance.
4. Make communication Asynchronous
Going asynchronous enables you to handle thousands of requests at the same time, without memory overhead or blocking any request. Also, it lets you do more with the limited resources.
Application with asynchronous code implements a loosely coupled design, based on the principle of separation of concern which leads to the implementation which is easier to scale.
5. Store your data on a remote server or cloud rather than storing it locally
The traditional approach of using a file or block-based storage fails to achieve scalability. On the other hand, with object-based storage, you can achieve a high level of scalability and can store and manage a large volume of data.
For the user, uploads such as static media files use object storage( for example, Amazon’s S3) rather than a local disk as it is hard to scale.
6. Optimize your web pages for higher performance
Web page optimization reduces the loading time of your web pages and makes your app faster to load. You can optimize your web pages by performing the following actions,
1. Optimizing HTML, CSS, JS
2. Enabling prefetching
3. Optimizing images
4. Compressing large files
5. Implementing CDN and caching
6. Using lightweight frameworks
7. Automate repetitive tasks
With automation, you do not need to manage every instance in your web application. As the application grows it is hard to manage everything.
Automating processes and actions in your web application improves performance. For example, you can automate filling out web form fields, help desk with RPA, extracting and transferring data between applications.
In simple words don’t waste your time on the things that can be done by machine.
To build a successful web application you need to consider a lot of things. The above guideline focuses on the important aspect of building high-performance and scalable web applications to get a quick understanding of critical things in web development.
“If you want to build a high-quality and scalable web application, try DhiWise!”
DhiWise is a 100% developer-centric platform to build web and mobile applications faster”