10 Best Practices for Building High Performance & Scalable Web Applications
Updated: August 17, 2021
If you’ve ever had to deal with a poorly constructed web application or been unlucky enough to be saddled with the “tech support” for your company’s IT department, you know just how annoying a substandard performance can be. Building a high-performance and scalable web application development is challenging because there are so many factors to consider. Fortunately, you can avoid many common pitfalls that lead to a poor user experience and wasted resources by following the best practices outlined in this article.
Read on to find out what you can do to ensure your web applications perform up to scratch. It’s time to end poor performance on your web applications and start building out applications that will keep customers coming back for more.
Best Practices for Building High-Performance & Scalable Web Applications
Requirement Analysis Early on, work out what the application will need to do and what it will look like. Ensure that these requirements are met. Once you know the full scope of the requirements, you can move on to the rest of yourweb app development process. Involve stakeholders and your team in this phase to kickstart the process.
Use Best Feasible Technology stack You can use the best technology stack your organization is comfortable with, whether using LAMP/WAMP stacks, XAMPP, or other web server platforms. If you want to ensure compatibility, use a hardware-based (as opposed to software-based) load balancer. Ensure that the application works for your users as amazingly well as possible. If you wish to use a database other than the default MySQL, plenty of plug-ins are available.
Implement Best Security Practices Although there is no way to guarantee complete security, as unforeseen circumstances can happen, however, there are methods that you can implement to help reduce the chance of running into web application security problems. The top line of defense against hackers is a good firewall. A firewall is used to block anyone outside your company from accessing the application. Another essential security practice is to configure the user directory so your application can check for and update the user’s information in real-time. Another essential factor is implementing authentication in your application. Apply role management along with authentication to restrict the application access to authenticated users only.
Focus on Scalability of the Application Scalability means designing your application to handle high levels of traffic, including periods of peak monthly usage. The performance of your web application will degrade if you block access to the database during peak usage, so you need to make sure that your application remains available during these times. You should build an application that can scale to meet future demands and increase its performance without increasing complexity.
Align the Best Development Team You need to ensure your organization’s development team is the size and skill-set to complete this project. If you don’t have the right developers, you could find that your site doesn’t meet the expected performance levels. These teams must be able to support your application and fix any bugs that arise. It’s best if your development team is self-sufficient and able to manage its tasks and workloads.
Follow Coding Guidelines, Standards & Convention Good coding standards and conventions will make your code easier to maintain and more readable. There are several coding conventions and guidelines that you can use, including those published by the PHP WhatsApp Foundation or the CodeIgniter Framework. These are worth following because they include best practice advice to ensure your code is easy to read and maintain.
Think From the End-User Perspective Don’t just think about how your application looks and works. Always try to think about how it is going to be used from the user’s perspective. For instance, if you create an app with a contact form, think about what you want users to do when they use your app (make new contacts, transfer existing ones, and so on).
Choose the Feasible Code Architecture Deciding how to structure your application is a critical part of developing a scalable and maintainable codebase. It involves thinking about the functionality your application provides and how users are going to interact with it. You could have a vertical or horizontal scaling architecture or one that can scale both vertically and horizontally.
Optimizing the Network Infrastructure for Application Performance The network layer is often neglected in virtualized environments thanks to running multiple servers on a single low latency network. However, it is crucial to examine the network settings in this environment and optimize them for performance. Network-aware database systems like Memcached or Redis can be used to cache data between servers. If this data becomes stale, it can cause a bottleneck in the network as traffic is shuffled around the web to move around the caches. By tuning these caching systems to use as much memory as possible (and disabling unnecessary interfaces), you can keep track of what is being cached and prevent traffic bottlenecks from becoming an issue.
Focus on Testing the Application Once the web application is complete, it’s time to test it. Use mock users to see how well your application performs under high levels of traffic. This can be achieved using a load test tool such as WebPageTest.io, which will allow you to test and explore your application under a realistic load pattern and simulate the different scenarios that would occur. Suppose you are testing an existing or legacy application. In such a case, it is recommended that you use a legacy testing tool such as JMeter to make sure the application works properly in all implementations. Remember that if your app isn’t scalable, this high traffic could degrade the performance of real users.
Building high-performance web applications is very challenging. There are multiple ways to do this, but the key is to understand your data and the process you want to be optimized for. It is certainly possible to build a high-performance web application, but you’ll need to learn how data is stored and managed and know about the common factors that can lead to poor performance.
Finding out about other developers in your organization who are also interested in improving the performance of their applications will be an excellent start. Another good way to start is by asking yourself, “what does the customer want?” This will help you solve your specific problem and put your money to have the best impact.
Moreover, if you still need help building a high-performance & scalable web application, please do not hesitate to contact us. We, at Bitcot, will provide you with the best solutions and assistance on your web application needs. You can discuss any questions and concerns you may have whenever you are ready to work with us.
Need help? We design, build, and grow digital products across Android,iOS, and web.
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Author: Raj Sanghvi
Raj Sanghvi is a technologist and founder of BitCot, a full-service award-winning software development company. With over 15 years of innovative coding experience creating complex technology solutions for businesses like IBM, Sony, Nissan, Micron, Dicks Sporting Goods, HDSupply, Bombardier and more, Sanghvi helps build for both major brands and entrepreneurs to launch their own technologies platforms.