Reflection report on web app optimization Introduction Websites are fundamentally important part of business since they make a positive or negative impression of their products

Reflection report on web app optimization

Introduction

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Websites are fundamentally important part of business since they make a positive or negative impression of their products, services and brand image. As we probably are aware, sites are visited more even though the same products can be purchased on the stores. Therefore, a site should be user friendly, easily accessible, and simple to explore. In addition, it should be improved for different devices like smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc. and site traffic. But during the time spent setting up a website, we're so busy concentrating on the huge stuffs like outline, content, and digital marketing that we forget about the most important part of keeping websites operational and fast. All things considered, speed is a fundamental component of running an effective website and should always be at higher priority.
In general web optimization means
How fast does the page loads on different devices.

How well the server responds to increase in traffic.

Why is web optimization important?

According to the study, about 47% of users wants a page to load within 2 seconds. If the page takes longer time to load, 40% of users will leave the page and 46% users will never return to the same site again. Hence it is a well known fact that faster websites increase visitors and user satisfaction.

Therefore, if the business websites expects the users to continiously visit their site, web application optimization should always be a top priority.

Techniques for web optimization

There are various techniques to optimize the websites. Some of them are described below:
Reduction in HTTP request
The browsers are built in such a way where they are limited to open only some simultaneously connections to a single host. The more HTTP request, the slower website becomes. Also most of the browsers supports HTTP/2 instead of HTTP/1. It is proven that HTTP/2 increases the website performance and latency.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is important to optimize the sites in order to improve their ranking on search engines. Most people visit the site listed in the front or second page of the search engine. No one is visiting the website if it is listed on 20th page of google.

File compression
Websites are built using many lines of codes. The code files may have greater file size which directly impacts the page loading speed of website. Such files should be compressed.

Web caching optimization
Cache stores the static data which is accessed frequently in order to serve the browsing request faster. Therefore optimizing cache reduces the server load, latency and bandwidth load.

Code minification
Code minification removes unwanted spaces, comments and unused variables in order to minimize the size of the code and file.

Replacement of vector graphics
Vector graphics has higher file side and hence it needs to be substituted by resolution independent raster graphics.

Image Optimization
Images plays a crucial role in the designing a website. Websites with images are more attractive. But the images with higher resolution may have the higher size therefore it is better to use tools like TinyPNG in order to reduce the image size.

301 redirects
Redirecting a page will kill the performance of the page and also take long time to load the page. Therefore it is best practice to avoid redirect wherever possible.

Database Optimization
Cleaning unused tables, optimizing SQL queries and creating indexes are some ways to access the database faster in order to improve the performance of the website.

A case study for application optimization

A case study was conducted on one of the most used Ecommerce website in Nepal i.e. Daraz.com.np
I used a web optimization tool i.e. Gtmatrix to analyze the website speed and performance. According to the study following results were observed.

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Findings

According to Gtmetrix,

It takes about 6.5 seconds to load the web page.
The total page speed score is 71%
YSlow score is 70%
The total page size is about 3.42 MB
The number of requests is 168
Images are not optimized
To many page redirect
Only some JavaScript codes are minified

Recommendations
The redirects should be minimized
Specify a cache validator
Defer parsing of JavaScript
Browser caching should be used
Optimize images
Serve scaled images
Minify JavaScript files
Remove query strings from static resources
Avoid URL redirects
Reduce the number of DOM elements
Make fewer HTTP requests

Implementation of web optimization techniques in my website

I have recently created an online news portal application which displays the news and information from around the world. Also users are able to post their articles in the site. Since the site is related to the news, it consists of many images. All the images have been optimized to reduce the size without degrading the image quality. For the back-end, SQL queries were optimized as well. All the tables are checked and empty tables were removed from the database. Some minor techniques were used for Search Engine Optimization. For example use of Meta tags, page titles and keyword titles. I have used minified CSS and JavaScript to reduce the size of the code. Therefore using some optimization techniques, I was able to reduce my page loading time to 1.9 seconds from 6 seconds. The total page size of my website is 1.2MB. However the page speed score is less i.e. 59%. The report for my web optimization is attached on appendix below.

Conclusion

Since websites are rapidly growing its important to optimize them for better performance and speed. Optimizing websites has numerous advantages for startup business because users are likely to stay and revisit the site. According to the above case study, image optimization helped me to reduce the page size by 10 %. Likewise, minification of JavaScript and CSS reduced the page size by 17%. Optimizing SQL query reduced the page loading time by 2%. Hence it is clear that using many web optimization techniques can make websites perform faster and attract the customers.

References

How to Speed up Your Website — The Guide to a Faster Load Time. 2018. How to Speed up Your Website — The Guide to a Faster Load Time. ONLINE Available at: https://firstsiteguide.com/website-speed/. Accessed 05 May 2018.

3rd Planet Techies. 2018. Reduce Image Size Quickly: 9 Best Free Image Compression Tools. ONLINE Available at: https://www.3ptechies.com/reduce-image-size-online-quickly-7-best-free-tools-for-optimal-image-compression.html. Accessed 05 May 2018.

Blog. 2018. 11 Tools that Help You Compress Images to Get More Speed – Blog. ONLINE Available at: http://www.younify.eu/weblog/11-tools-help-compress-images-get-speed/. Accessed 05 May 2018.

Think with Google. 2018. Why marketers should care about mobile page speed – Think with Google. ONLINE Available at: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/experience-design/mobile-page-speed-load-time/. Accessed 05 May 2018.

Grace Smith. 2018. 18 Image Compressors to Speed Up Your Website. ONLINE Available at: https://mashable.com/2013/10/29/image-compressors/. Accessed 05 May 2018.

Stackify. 2018. Web Performance Optimization: Top 3 Performance Tips. ONLINE Available at: https://stackify.com/web-performance-optimization/. Accessed 05 May 2018.

Apiumhub. 2018. 16 Web Performance Optimization Techniques | Apiumhub. ONLINE Available at: https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/web-performance-optimization-techniques/. Accessed 05 May 2018

Appendix

Motive News Optimization Evidence

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Figure: Evidence for web optimization report using Gtmetrix

center635 Figure: Evidence for SEO using page title, meta tags and keywords

center635 Figure: Evidence for image optimization (before and after optimization)

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