7 Tips for Performance Optimization in Web Development

February 8,2021 - 5 min read
top tech trends post COVID-19

The digital world is all about million users accessing a million of websites for a variety of reasons. Companies are looking for creative and interactive ways to create their websites and web applications in order to expand their business and increase their reach.

However, not all websites out there are able to make the mark. Many of them are clunky and bothersome to use. It simply means that these websites are poorly optimized and hence they have slow loading times, are not compatible for mobile screens or certain browser incompatibilities and face a lot of other performance issues as well.

This blog is intended towards all those developers who aspire to curate user- friendly websites. We keep in mind the fact that there are many factors that play pivotal roles in the making of efficient websites other than the basic concepts of web development. In today’s blog we discuss about performance optimization in web development. It is basically a compilation of seven useful techniques to help improve performance optimization in web development. Let’s get started!

  1. Clean Up Code

    A clean code is the backbone of every user friendly and efficient website you see out there. When you are developing a website or any application for that matter, it’s very important to ensure that the code you are working upon is clean and crisp.

    HTML, CSS and Javascript are the most Important languages of the web. They form the basis of the front- end of majority of websites. When talking about efficient or clean code, one needs to understand the various tips and tricks of writing good code in HTML, CSS and Javascript. In this segment we discuss all three languages how to write efficient code in some of the most important languages of the web.

    HTML, or hypertext markup language allows you to format webpages with some useful text-organizing features like headings and paragraphs and you can also adorn your website with some attractive graphics with the help of HTML5.

    HTML code should be both concise and effective apart from following all best practices when it comes to referencing other resources within your HTML document.

    Apart from HTML, another important language of the web is Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). One important tip to keep in mind is to preferably put CSS components at the top of your HTML document's header in order to ensure progressive rendering. If it doesn’t necessarily improve the loading speed of your website, it will definitely prevent a blank screen from appearing or an unwanted flash of un- styled text.

    In case of slow network speed, visitors are more likely to wait is most of the webpage's visual elements are already loaded. Hence, your website is said to be optimized and will boast efficient performance.

    Another important point to note is proper JavaScript placement. Placing JavaScript attributes at the bottom of your HTML will not block the loading process of HTML and CSS elements and hence, it will not result in users abandoning your website. Also, while you are using Javascript make sure you use async script loading whenever possible as it will prevent any <script> tags from blocking the HTML rendering process.

    When you use HTML, CSS and Javascript combined, avoid embedding the code as it increases the amount of HTML code that must be loaded each time the particular webpage is refreshed.

    It was mentioned earlier that HTML, CSS and Javascript are crucial for the work of web designers, however, if not used correctly, they can also slow down websites. You should take special care while working with these technologies that can change your website for the better. These were some of the good practices that we hope you keep in mind, the next time you work with HTML, CSS and Javascript.

  2. External HTTP Requests

    We are talking about performance optimisation in web development and a majority of performance optimisation comes from a website's load time. Therefore, when talking about performance optimisation in web development, it is necessary to keep a check on the website’s load time.

    There are many factors that affect the website’s load time; however, one major factor is external HTTP requests. The fact is that the loading speed of an external resource varies depending on the infrastructure location and other factors associated with the hosting provider's server. However, as a developer, who aims to maximise its reach, you should look for reducing external HTTP requests. You should spend time in exploring your website in order to eliminate any unnecessary feature like images that do not add to the quality or utility of the webpage, redundant code, excessive Javascript and CSS additions, plugins that are no longer needed. The next step after eliminating the clutter is to trim the weight of the remaining content of the webpage.

  3. Prefetching

    Prefetching is an important term in web development. There are mainly three type of prefetching, that is, Link Prefetching, DNS Prefetching and Prerendering

    Prefetching improves the browsing experience as it fetches necessary data or resources before they are needed. The URL, Javascript and CSS code and images are gathered for each link even before the current webpage is left. Prefetching ensures easy navigation between pages using links with minimal loading times. Prefetching is easy to enable by simply adding a code syntax that specifies the type of prefetching you want on your website.

  4. CDN and Caching

    CDN is an abbreviation for content delivery network, it can be used to improve the speed and performance of your website. CDN is the process where the website’s static content is linked to an extended network of servers across the globe. CDN becomes very important if the website caters to a global audience as CDN allows the website's visitors to load data from their nearest server and the website's files are automatically be compressed for rapid delivery across the globe.

    A CDN is basically a method of caching that greatly improves the website performance. Nonetheless, there are other caching techniques also that can help the performance of your website. Browser caching is very important as it allows the browser to store certain files within its own cache so that the delivery is fast.

  5. Compressing your files

    In the previous point, we discussed about Content Delivery Network. If you use the CDN, another advantage is that it will compress your files. However, you can’t compress your files if you don’t use CDN by using a file compression method on your origin server. File compression greatly improves frontend optimization as it makes your website's content light and easy to manage. There are many methods used for compressing files like Gzip, Brotli and others.

    These file compression methods are best for shrinking documents, audio files, PNG images, and other bulky files that need to be compressed in order to optimize websites. There are a couple of other methods and algorithms that can be used to compress file and other documents on your website.

    File compression is one of the easiest and most impactful method to improve and optimise the website performance. Make sure the contents of your website are well compressed in order to provide the best experience to your users.

  6. Using a Minimalistic Framework

    If you are building professional websites, it is best to use a good framework that suits your project. There are many frameworks out there but some of them may contain a bunch of additional features and options that your web project may not require. Hence, it’s important to invest time and choose the best framework for your project.

    In order to choose the best framework, you have to determine the important features of your project and then choose the perfect light weight framework for your project. Some examples of minimalist frameworks providing fast loading times are Pure, Skeleton including others.

    Also, remember that a framework is not a way to escape careful web design, coding or programming and maintenance. A framework is like a new house which is clean and presentable, but empty. When you add features and customisations, it is your responsibility to ensure that the website doesn’t end up becoming cluttered and is not ruined by redundant codes, large images, and excessive unnecessary HTTP requests.

  7. Eliminate unnecessary plugins.

    Too many plugins on the website can unnecessarily slow down webpages and the website. Outdated plugins on your website pose security threats and compatibility issues that will majorly hamper performance. You should minimize the number of plugins you use on your Website by simply disabling and deleting any plugins that you don't use.

    You should review the plugins first that you have installed in order to evaluate how many are necessary and how many are not. When you review some plugins, you realize that some tools are no longer relevant in respect to your website.

    The most important thing is to identify plugins that reduce the page speed by first deactivating all plugins and then testing all plugins separately by turning them back, one by one.

Performance optimization in web development can be an intimidating endeavour, however, if done carefully, it can greatly improve the loading speed of the website and hence render better user experience to your visitors. Therefore, performance optimization is very necessary in order to expand your business by reaching more and more audience. We hope that the compilation of these 7 tips for performance optimisation in web development helps you build interactive, user friendly websites. Also, we would love to know if you have in mind some other performance optimization tips in web development.

If you want to become a proficient web developer and grab a job in a company of your dreams, we recommend you to take a professional web development course. The course you choose should be able to help you in making projects and hence a competitive portfolio. While there are several courses available out there, you should choose the one that best suits you.

The course that we would recommend is Konfinity’s Web Development Course The course is well-researched and is one of the most beneficial training courses out there. It is developed by experts from IIT DELHI in collaboration with tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. It is trusted by students and graduates from IIT, DTU, NIT, Amity, DU and more.

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