How to have faster mobile apps?

December 18 2017

Living in the hyper-connected modern world, if your appdoes not download quickly or your site does not respond instantly, you are gone! You have lost your customers to your competitors. With the number of options available today, the patience of customers has gone down. If your app  is taking more than 2 seconds also to download then there are very fewer chances that the customs would like to wait for this long. Top e-commerce websites reported that for every second delay after first three-seconds, about 4% of users abandon. A study conducted by Amazon by almost 10 years ago proved that even a 100-millisecond decrease in their page loading time resulted into a decrease of 1% revenue for them. Now, imagine how crucial it is to be fast and effective. And for this what all you need to do is as follows.

First of all, choose the right server. A server which has a good CPU, adequate RAM, ample storage and load balancing qualities can be said as a good quality hosting server. By this, we mean that the server should be able to handle hundreds or thousands of queries per second at the time of peak traffic and resume to normal when the traffic is low. Remember, the quality of scalability without compromising performance is must to check while choosing the server.So, now when you have chosen the server, don't think this the end, the hiccups are bound to happen later. It is always better to be prepared for it from the start. Here are the ways to optimise your server performance.

Reverse proxy server

It is like a helper of your server which offloads some of its tasks to do itself. A Reverse proxy server sits in front of the machine that is running the application and handles internet traffic. It is connected to the internet and therefore able to create an internal network which handles the communications faster. As a result, the main server gets free from the pressure of waiting users and start concentrating on building pages to which the reverse proxy server will send the users to. Thus, through this division of labour, both servers get to work at their optimum speeds.

Load balancer

Instead of using a single big server, it is advisable to use small servers and add a load balancer to it. The load balancer runs on pre-defined algorithms and distributes the incoming requests evenly to these small servers. This prevents the load on one server and helps in proper functioning of the app without interruptions. The load balancer also helps with caching static files, SSL termination, and supporting HTTP/1.x and HTTP/2.

Opt HTTP/2 or SPDY

The key attribute of SPDY and HTTP/2 is the use of single connection rather than multiple connections. And owing to the multiplexed trait of the single connection, it can carry multiple pieces of requests and responses simultaneously. It saves time and money from setting up multiple connections and then managing them.

Cache the content

Caching involve several strategies; preprocessing content for fast delivery when needed, storing content on faster devices, storing content closer to the client or a combination of these. The sole purpose of it is to provide the client with the content faster. Even if a user hasn’t recently accessed a file and it is stored in the browser cache, that content can be cached on a server nearest to the user instead of making a trans-continental transfer. Thus, if it is done well then the loading speed and user engagement will increase drastically.

Compress data

Since more than the text, the visuals appeal to users now, it is always better to compress them and then upload. For photos, PNG and JPEG, for music MP3 and for videos MPEG4 can be used. These compression standards reduce the sizes of the file to a great extent, making it easier and faster to transfer. Further, you can also use smart content compressors like Javascript, CSS, HTML and others to lower the bandwidth requirement of text content.

Optimise SSL and TLS

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and its successor Transport Layer Security (TLS) have become an important criterion by Google for higher ranking. Although it slows down the performance and speed greatly but is essential as it encrypts the data transported from origin servers to users for the purpose of site security. Optimising them is very important in order to keep the app functioning at a high speed. Using open SSL, running on standard commodity hardware, session tickets, session caching, OCSP stapling and IDs are some ways to accomplish this.

Update software versions

Software keeps upgrading and in order to have an engaging and effective performance of the app, always update the software. The developers are constantly fixing the bugs and adding new capabilities to the software. A quick response to updating the software will boost the overall app server performance.

Regular Check

After putting in time and money in doing all the above steps, it is crucial to monitor them in real time so that the app server keeps working optimally. “Server overloaded and drop connections,” “server is down,” “server sending incorrect content” and etc are all very common issues, which whenever seen must be addressed then and there. Rather regular monitoring avoids these situations and lets you deliver a faster and efficient app to your users.

Thus, developing a feature-rich app is easier but maintaining it later is a task. Take all the above steps to ensure that your app server is in sync with your requirements, only then you will be able to deliver a great experience to your app users.