These days, everyone has an app. But whether you built yours from the ground up or choose to use packaged applications, every app can have lackluster performance if it isn’t well-maintained. These 10 tips will help you get your app in tip-top shape to keep both your customers and your developers happy.
1. Plan for Traffic Spikes
Many industries have certain days of the year when they’re busier than others, such as holidays or special promotions. But even if you can’t plan for a specific day, you should always have a structure in place for unexpected traffic spikes. It’s important to have enough bandwidth and to test app performance for possible bottlenecks.
2. Stress Test Your Database
Your app should also be able to handle an influx of data without crashing. Stress test your app with common situations, ideally with more data than the average user would normally use. Whether you’re uploading massive images or adding a lot of text information, be sure your app can handle anything that comes its way.
3. Benchmark and Create a Performance Profile
To optimize app performance, you should have a solid idea of the way your app usually performs. Keeping a profile of its normal operations will help you determine when something has changed so you can get a more accurate picture of problems or errors.
4. Don’t Share
Many businesses encounter problems when their technological resources are shared by other applications. If you operate more than one app, be sure that one application isn’t monopolizing your storage array, as this can negatively affect the performance of every other process you’re running.
5. Test, Test & Test Again
From load tests to stress tests, there are a variety of different analyses you can use to gauge the performance of your application. As its content changes or updates, you should perform more testing to ensure the app is constantly optimized. It’s best to find a quality assurance service that offers unlimited tests, so you can check your app on your own schedule.
6. Fine-Tune Your Infrastructure
The infrastructure of your system may help or hinder app performance. Look for problems in your architecture that might impose limitations, such as an unbalanced server or improper configuration. Run tests to determine whether your infrastructure can meet the needs and demands of your application.
7. Quickly Address Errors
No app is perfect. But if you address errors and problems as they arise (and even better – long before the app ever reaches an end user), your app might as well be. In the initial testing phase, these problems might not obviously present themselves, so make sure you stay on top of new errors whenever they occur to keep your performance optimal.
8. Configure Your System
Depending on the needs of your app, you may need to re-configure your system to accommodate its technology requirements. This is especially important if you’re using a pre-built application from developers like Oracle, SAP, or others. The same configurations don’t work for everyone, so make sure to tailor yours to your application’s needs, and test!
9. Utilize Caching
If your application uses caching, it can provide a much faster, streamlined experience for users. The app will no longer have to download images or information remotely, and can instead access them from an existing library of stored resources. This will boost your load time and keep your customers happy.
For rich-media, high-bandwidth apps that need to operate at top performance levels around the world, a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a necessity. For a basic low cost (or free!) option, use the Google AppEngine as your own personal CDN.
10. Monitor Closely
Use monitoring systems like Apica WebPerformance to keep a close eye on your app. You can chart their performance on a daily basis, enabling you to respond instantly to problems or traffic increases. If you’re informed about the behavior of your application, you’ll be better able to react decisively and efficiently.
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