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Tips to improve your app performance

A common challenge that most developers face after creating their web application is its performance on users’ devices. Unfortunately, even a well-designed and thoroughly developed brainchild of an experienced software programmer may fail to meet the expectations. It may be caused by the limited speed of the devices or poor Internet connection. As a result, the product that seems to be perfect on the release day appears to be a pain in the neck for the users, leading to bad reviews and poor promotion.

 This overview contains ideas on how to avoid such situations. We have gathered some solutions for the quick performance enhancement of a web or mobile application. They may help to prevent developers from common mistakes and to improve the quality of their projects.

  • Performance budgeting is the key.

Performance budgeting is the limit to prevent regressions. This budget can be applied to file types, application resources, certain general metrics, and so on. We will focus on the time to interactive metrics. In a nutshell, it is the time limit set for the app’s first and subsequent loads.

While developing an application, you should be aware of the target audience. It is essential to know who the potential users are and what devices they own. For instance, a default user has an Android device on a 400Kbps link with a 400ms round-trip-time. In this case, the time to interactive is less than 5 seconds for the first load and less than 2 for the subsequent load.

Any project is unique so the time to interactive is customizable. But the important thing is to keep to the setting. To make it work, there should be a rule implemented that will block all requests to accept changes that do not meet the requirements. And no, there is no place for exceptions. Performance objectives should concern everything in the app, from the design and chosen JavaScript libraries to the configuration of the servers. When the whole team sticks to the common requirements, it is easier to maintain a fast speed of the application throughout its life cycle.

  • Keep the app light.

When a framework or a library behind the product is chosen, there is no way back. It means that the search for the relevant framework is crucial in the initial stage of the development. So be attentive and watch out for large frameworks and libraries that will devour the speed. If the current project is related to a blog, news feed, e-commerce web page, platform for teams cooperation, or something similar that demands mostly text, images, and videos, then the lightest library with basic components is required. A clear ready-made JS library with a few lines of code and the possibility to keep everything in order will be a helpful assistant.

A worthy example here will be Webix JS Library. It is a product created by XB Software. It has been on the market for 13 years already and it has gained loyal followers and a couple of valuable performance rewards. The library is fast and light, it contains more than 100 widgets, some of which are complex widgets that are complete web applications by themselves. All the components are combined and maintained with a convenient Webix Jet microframework. So, it’s the case when you can have the cake and eat it too.

  • Make sure the app is compatible.

It is hard to find a pure web app or an app that is designed only for mobile devices unless we have some very specific products. Most modern web applications should work well on any existing device. We have mentioned already the importance of the target audience while building any solution. And yet again, we emphasize this idea.

Even if the developers have the most modern computers to work on, they always have to check how smoothly the app runs on average desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Android devices are consistently stepping on the toes of iOS according to the latest benchmarks. However, an app should be ready for any mobile phone, while the developers should keep in mind that not all users have brand-new phone models with the highest speed indicators.

  • Use server-side rendering.

This feature is included in most of the modern popular frameworks.  Browsers know how to deal with HTML, that is why users don’t have to wait for the delivery of a massive load of JavaScript and a bunch of API requests. Besides, HTML is easy to cache, so the frontend will not be overloaded with rendering.

Further advantages of server-side rendering include enhanced SEO and distribution. While the main search engines will execute sites burdened with Javascript, you will be able to take advantage of additional benefits. You will get better compatibility with services like Twitter, Linkedin, Pocket, and others, and this part of the product will become more predictable and less error-prone.

  • Think about offline.

The “Lie-fi” situation is unfortunately quite common among users. It happens when the phone says you have a wi-fi connection, but reality shows the opposite. It is impossible to open any link or load an app. That’s where offline functions step in. Most of the frameworks deal with cache invalidation or resource updates, so those features are worth paying attention to. Also, various additional resources can be helpful here, such as Workbox, for example. It simplifies the configuration of offline functions, and it can be easily built into the product and increase the customers’ satisfaction significantly.

Conclusion

Application performance is a difficult yet very important side of any web or mobile solution. Though sometimes performance issues require a deep and careful analysis of the reasons behind them, some of them are quite obvious and demand only a bit of vigilance, experience, and a couple of working tips. We have managed to describe the tips that can become a valuable contribution to any developer’s profile and lead to happy app users ready to pay for a worthy product.


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