Laravel is one of the most popular options for building business apps. Laravel is used to build a wide range of apps such as e-commerce business platforms to information management systems. It also manages several development tasks such as authentication, caching, routing, & sessions.
One of the most interesting features of Laravel is its performance optimization that helps to fine-tune the apps and websites from the aspect of performance.
Importance of Website Speed
You must be thinking that why is it so important to concentrate on the speed of the website? After-all what kind of difference a fraction of second can make in here?
Let us tell you that it can make a huge difference!
Generally, people don’t like it wait on a website if it takes more two seconds to load. How your business will look like to others, user experience, conversions, search rankings, and everything else depends on the speed of your website.
A slow website will decrease the number of visitors on your site. Gradually they will stop coming in. Most important is that even Google is not interested in a website that takes more than two seconds to load & so reduce the number of crawlers that it sends to your site.
How to test Laravel Website Performance?
No matter how perfect the website you have, if it does not load fast then you will not be able to get the best out of it. This means it will fail to address the core purpose for which it was developed in the first place.
While planning to build a Laravel app, you need to be sure it loads fast & it can be only known when you check its speed. Here, Laravel developers make us of performance testing tools such as Pingdom to measure the loading speed of the site.
Generally, the developers give more preference to UI & UX of the website & page load speed takes the back seat. Page load speed is very crucial when it comes to reducing the bouncing rate & boosting SEO rankings. It is important to check the speed of your website as well as carry regular check-ups to keep it optimized using such tools.
There are many website performance testing tool from which you can choose according to your preference. Some of them are given below:
How to Improve Performance of your Laravel Website. To make this happen you need to follow some steps and they have been explained below:
Use the latest version of PHP
While using the latest version of PHP in your project you will be able to see improvements in the project performance. So it will be better to use the latest version of PHP for your Laravel apps.
Use Packages Wisely
GitHub and many other code hosting services offer several Laravel packages to be used. Here you can also add some of the additional functions to your Laravel site when you use Laravel packages.
Your apps will perform better when you make use of a controlled number of packages in your app. There are 203,108 repository results seen on GitHub when you search for Laravel.
Use New Relic
New Relic is a service that is used to monitor the website or application that you or your team has designed and developed. This tool or service will let you know to make sure everything is running here as expected.
By using this tool you can manage the performance of your application, analyze the data that talks about customer experience, identify and troubleshoot issues, and get alert on issues before they affect the users.
Use Eager Loading
To carry out CRUD (create, retrieve, update, delete) operations in an easy manner, Laravel makes use of Eloquent ERM. This helps to easily map the object models with the tables in the database which supports it and thus properly takes care of the database interaction.
Now the issue with Eloquent is that for the data retrieval it makes use of a lazy loading approach which asks for a reference in the code and special query for the action. Now, this can result in the creation of a large number of queries and slows down the performance.
It is more easy and convenient to make use of the eager loading approach. When you plan to build queries for the eager loading, you will able to retrieve the object models which are associated at any point of time.
It is possible to cache all your configuration files in here. To combine all the configuration options into a single file for your application, here we make use of artisan config: cache command. The framework will load this command quickly.
You should use this command only during the time of project deployment. As during the application development, the configuration options will keep on changing. You should not be using this command when you are running the project during local development.
Use CDN for Static files
You will be able to improve the performance of your Laravel application when you load static assets files using the CDN server. Whenever a user visits a website or opens an application, a part of the information is served to the user from the CDN.
This way the page load speed will increase significantly and users will have a better experience. To make this happen, you will have to characterize the static resources which are present on the said application. You can find the list of TOP CDN and compare its Performance from CDNPerf.
During the Laravel development, one thing we want to regularly check is the performance of your application. For the same reason, you must check on different queries and see how they are working.
Once you know that you can look into the areas which need to be optimized. To know which of the queries are invoked, you can make use of the profiler packages like Debugger and then run them on each page.
Using JIT Compilers
The computers can’t natively understand PHP. You can’t have PHP run by machines once you compile it to bytecode. For the same reason, we make use of the Zend engine kind of middleman for the work. Zend engine interprets the PHP files you have and then accordingly executes C routines.
Now, this is a very slow process. This means every time a PHP file is run by the server, it along with the AST parser needs to convert it into tokens and then interpret it. Even if it gets the same result, in the end, it needs to compile it every time.
To make the application run fast, you need to compile it just once and then run it every time. You can make this happen when you make use of a JIT compiler. The JIT compiler named HHVM can be used for your Laravel web app development project.
Optimize your Database
Optimizing the database in Laravel help you remove any unnecessary temporary files which are present in there. You can also clear out the cache and the old backups which are saved in there. This will lighten the database and increase Laravel Website speed & performance.
For profiling the Database query, you can use Laravel Debugger that coordinates a nonexclusive PHP troubleshoot bar package. Once installed into your application you will have a decent toolbar on the base of each rendered perspective. This toolbar will indicate your SQL inquiries that are utilized by the given page and measure of memory they are expending.
Images can come with data that is of no use for the website or application and you can optimize them. To optimize the images, you can make use of JPEGOptim and OptiPNG named packages.
Use HTTP2 with SSL
For your Laravel application and web development, you must secure it first. This is where you need to make use of HTTP2 along with SSL. When it comes to securing the website on the internet, an SSL certificate is considered as the best solution. This protects your website in a way that it will not get Laravel web app development breached over the internet while it gets opened across different computers.
Again, if your website deals with sensitive information then it will not be advisable to use HTTP protocol and it is unsafe to move data and information. This is where it is recommended that you make use of HTTPS protocol for your website.
This will keep the website safe from any kind of malicious attack which can compromise the sensitive information which is placed in there. So keep in mind that you make use of Laravel https redirect in your web application.
It is possible to minify the JS and CSS files in your Laravel using tools like Elixir. It is possible to get it done manually too if you don’t wish to use any tools.
Using Artisan Commands
Artisan command is a very useful tool that comes with Laravel and it is used by developers to enhance the performance of the website. Especially in the case where the Laravel developer is trying to come up with a large number of configurations and routes, this can simply prove to be useful.
This way the developer will only be creating a cache which is in the form of a plain array and so instead of Laravel loading the real object, it will quickly load the cache.
You need to be sure that once you change the route files or config, you should re-run this command. If you fail to do so then Laravel will not handle the changes that you have made as it has loaded them from the cache. Also cache the user data, locations, and settings as it can reduce the number of SQL queries.
Once the data changes, you should invalidate the cache. Moreover, make it a point that your database has good indexes. You also need to have your Forge deploy script have commands as well as cache your routes, views, and config.
Limit plugin usage
Using too many plugins for different features & functions will lead your website to have a very slow speed. In Laravel, you will get a large number of plugins.
Such plugins come with a large number of files & libraries that take up more amount of time for loading. For improving the Laravel performance optimization you get rid of plugins that are not necessary in the project.
Wrapping it up
It is important for Laravel development to keep on improving the performance of the Laravel application throughout the development process. When you keep on optimizing the performance of your Laravel site you will be able to offer a better experience to the users as well as build applications that are search engine friendly.