5 Reasons Your Web Application Isn’t Performing As Expected

aTeam Soft Solutions October 3, 2023

In the fiercely competitive world of digital services, where even a millisecond of downtime can lead to a significant loss in revenue, ensuring the optimal performance of your web application is not just an obligation but a necessity. Is your application struggling to retain users or failing to meet key performance indicators? If yes, you may need to engage a proficient web development company to resolve these bottlenecks. This blog elucidates five critical reasons your web application may be underperforming and offers expert-level insights to rectify these issues.

1.  Suboptimal Database Design & Queries in Web Applications

Database Design & Queries in Web Applications


In an era where every microsecond counts, especially for enterprises operating at scale, optimizing your web application’s database is not a luxury but a mandate. Poor database design and inefficient queries can be the hidden culprits behind an application that frequently stumbles, much to the disappointment of your end-users and the detriment of your business goals. A web development company that neglects these aspects will likely leave you vulnerable to a cascade of performance issues, starting with high latency and slow data retrieval and culminating in a poor user experience.

1.1 Ignoring the Essentials of Database Indexing


Many stakeholders wrongly assume high performance is a natural outcome when they employ seemingly top-tier web development services. However, they often overlook the necessity of optimized database management, starting with the essential concept of indexing. Indexing is a vital part of ensuring that database queries are executed swiftly. Without proper indexing, each query is like a librarian searching through every book in a library, one by one, to find the information you need. As a result, latency increases, thereby slowing down your entire application.

The failure to implement indexing is not an error committed only by novices; even seasoned web developers can overlook this. This happens because the focus is often disproportionately on front-end elements or other back-end components. Inefficient queries can take up unnecessary server resources, which adds to operational costs and still results in a slow application—a lose-lose scenario.

 A Robust Solution: Expert Database Management


The first step to remedying this situation is choosing a web development company with demonstrable expertise in database management. They can work on your database to implement effective indexing, making data retrieval a matter of milliseconds. Advanced database management tools like Explain Plans can be deployed to dissect each query’s operation, allowing your web developer to tune the indexes for even better performance. This isn’t a one-time fix but a continuous process of monitoring and fine-tuning to ensure that as your data grows, the query execution remains fast.

1.2 The Tricky Problem of N+1 Queries


Another dimension of database inefficiency manifests in what’s known as the N+1 query problem. In this common pattern, the application, due to inadequate programming by the web developer, performs one query to fetch a particular set of records and then unwisely performs additional individual queries for each record. In a dataset of hundreds or thousands, the queries can add up, bogging down the system and resulting in a snail-paced application. Ironically, this mistake often occurs when a web developer tries to optimize data retrieval but inadvertently does the opposite.

ORM Frameworks to the Rescue


To extricate your application from this dilemma, you’ll need the skills of a website developer proficient in Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks. These frameworks usually come with built-in solutions to tackle the N+1 query problem, enabling your web application to retrieve the same data with significantly fewer queries. By reducing the number of queries, you cut down on the system’s workload, thereby boosting its performance. An adept website developer can go beyond this and employ additional strategies like eager loading to further reduce the query count.

Making the Right Choices


Both database indexing and the N+1 query problem are not trivial matters that can be solved with quick hacks. They require deep expertise in database management and web development services, which a specialized company can offer. Choosing such a company can make the difference between an application that merely survives and one that thrives in the cutthroat world of digital services. With the right web developer and website developer expertise, your web application can attain the performance levels it was designed for, allowing you to deliver on user expectations and business objectives.

2.  Inefficient Codebase in Web Applications

Inefficient Codebase in Web Applications

When it comes to the dynamic landscape of web applications, an efficient codebase serves as the backbone that can either make or break your platform’s performance. Surprisingly, even in an age where users demand lightning-fast experiences, many web development services still deploy outdated or inefficient coding techniques, rendering an application sluggish and unresponsive. Whether you’re a business owner, a stakeholder, or someone involved in the decision-making process, it’s crucial to understand that the right web development company can be instrumental in remedying code inefficiencies that plague your application’s performance.

2.1 The Overlooked Importance of Lazy Loading


Web development has seen a trend where every resource is loaded upfront to make everything immediately available to the user. While the intention might seem noble, it often backfires by drastically increasing page load time. Why? Because a web developer may preload assets that the user may not immediately need. This front-loading approach can lead to a cascading effect where the system becomes bogged down, trying to load all assets, ultimately causing latency and contributing to a poor user experience.

The Lazy Loading Paradigm Shift


Implementing lazy loading can dramatically improve the initial page load time by dynamically loading only the resources necessary for the initial render. This is a technique that any top-notch web development company should have in its arsenal. Optimizing which assets get loaded and when a website developer proficient in this technique can greatly enhance the user experience without compromising functionality. Businesses need to engage web development services that focus on modern coding practices like lazy loading to ensure a seamless & fast user experience. It’s not just about writing code; it’s about writing intelligent, user-centric code.

2.2 The Pitfalls of Excessive DOM Manipulations


Another area that often leads to code inefficiency is the overuse of Document Object Model (DOM) manipulations. This area is where even seasoned web developers can go astray due to the intricacies involved. The DOM is the interface for HTML and XML documents, and excessive interactions can slow down even the most well-designed applications. It’s akin to having a conversation where every word you say needs to be verified by a third party—such an arrangement would naturally slow down the flow of any dialogue.

Embracing Efficient DOM Interaction Techniques


The need for manipulating the DOM isn’t going away, but how a web developer goes about it can make a difference in your application’s performance. Techniques such as Document Fragments or leveraging the capabilities of a virtual DOM allow for efficient, batched updates, reducing the computational load. These are not just buzzwords; they are techniques that should be in any web developer’s toolkit worth their salt. Utilizing these advanced methodologies can noticeably impact performance, transforming a slow, clunky interface into a smooth, responsive experience.

3.  Inadequate Server Resources

In today’s fast-paced digital marketplace, having a well-designed and smoothly functioning web application is non-negotiable. Many businesses, particularly those less versed in the nuances of technology, may focus on the more visible aspects of web development services like front-end design and user experience. While these are undoubtedly important, the success of a web application also rests on seemingly invisible elements like server resources. An inadequate server setup can cripple your application’s performance and negatively affect the user experience, undermining your business objectives.

3.1 Navigating the Pitfalls of Under-Provisioned Hardware


Cost-cutting is a well-known strategy in business, but pinching pennies can be counterproductive when it comes to server resources. One of the most unfortunate oversights a web development company can make is to under-provision server hardware. This is often based on the false assumption that skimping on server resources can save money without significantly affecting the application’s performance. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Under-provisioned servers can cause bottlenecks, particularly during periods of high traffic, leading to a slow and unresponsive application.

The Auto-Scaling Solution


The silver lining here is that technology offers a solution in the form of auto-scaling, an essential feature offered by many cloud service providers. Auto-scaling dynamically adjusts your resources based on the traffic and load on your web application. During periods of high traffic, it automatically ramps up resources to meet demand and scales down during lulls, thereby offering a balanced performance.

Engaging with a web development company that understands and implements such an intricate setup can make all the difference in how your application handles traffic. A knowledgeable web developer will set up auto-scaling and continuously monitor server metrics to fine-tune the settings. The benefits of such a setup are twofold: you ensure optimum performance and only pay for the resources you use, achieving both cost-efficiency and high performance.

3.2 The Complex Web of Server Misconfiguration


The hardware isn’t the only thing that needs proper configuration; the web server software itself requires expert attention. Here’s where things can get a bit more complex. Even with adequate hardware, a misconfigured server can be a bottleneck for your application. This misconfiguration can range from poorly set caching mechanisms to unnecessary server modules running in the background, eating up valuable resources. Not to mention, inadequate security settings can open up your application to many risks, including cyberattacks that severely degrade performance.

Expert Server Management for Optimal Performance


Addressing server misconfiguration necessitates a dual approach. First, if your current web development company is handling your servers, ensure they have the expertise in server management. Otherwise, you may need to opt for managed web development services specializing in this area. An experienced web developer can thoroughly review your server setup, identify inefficiencies, and implement best practices to optimize performance. Special attention should be paid to caching settings and security measures, common culprits in server misconfiguration.

Furthermore, a competent website developer can conduct regular audits to ensure the server remains optimized, considering updates, increased user numbers, and other factors that may necessitate configuration adjustments. This optimization guarantees that your web application can adapt to an ever-changing environment and continually meet user expectations.

4.  Insufficient Security Measures in Web Applications

The digital age has made our lives convenient in numerous ways but has also opened Pandora’s box of cyber vulnerabilities. In this context, focusing on your web application’s security isn’t merely an add-on; it’s a critical component of your overall business strategy. When a web development company skimps on incorporating robust security measures, you are, knowingly or unknowingly, skating on thin ice. Insufficient security measures expose you to financial and reputational risks and can significantly hamper your web application’s performance. This issue manifests in multiple ways, including unoptimized SSL/TLS configurations and open vulnerabilities susceptible to cyberattacks like DDoS.

4.1 The Perils of Unoptimized SSL/TLS Configuration

SSL/TLS protocols are indispensable for securing data transmission over networks in a world that is hyper-aware of data breaches. While many web development services may claim to have implemented these protocols, the devil, as always, is in the details. Having SSL/TLS isn’t enough; it must be finely tuned to secure data while allowing quick transmission. Poorly configured SSL/TLS settings can drastically slow down your application, reducing the time it takes for data packets to move between servers and end-users. This slowdown is often due to unnecessary handshakes and suboptimal settings burdening the server and client.

Striking the Perfect Balance with SSL/TLS


The key is to employ a website developer adept at optimizing SSL/TLS settings. Tools like SSL Labs’ SSL Server Test offer invaluable insights into your current configuration, highlighting areas for improvement. These insights enable your web developer to balance stringent security and optimized performance. In other words, choosing a web development company that understands this balance can help you secure your data transmissions and keep your web application running smoothly, thus enhancing user satisfaction and trust.

4.2 Open Vulnerabilities: The Hidden Landmines

Another critical aspect of web application security that can significantly influence performance is open vulnerabilities in your system. These are the soft underbelly of your application, susceptible to exploitation by malicious entities. Once a hacker identifies these vulnerabilities, they can unleash devastating attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, that can crippate your application’s performance and integrity.

Adopting a Proactive Stance on Security

The most effective way to address this issue is to adopt a proactive approach to security. A seasoned web development company offering comprehensive services should make vulnerability assessments and security audits a part of their package. This service allows your web developer to identify & patch vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. More than that, it sets up your application to be more resilient against future vulnerabilities by establishing a protocol for frequent security assessments. By employing a web development company that prioritizes security audits, you’re essentially fortifying your application against immediate and future risks, ensuring it continues to run optimally.

5.  Managed APIs in Modern Web Applications

In the complex ecosystem of web applications, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) serve as the connectors that facilitate seamless interactions between different software components. Given APIs’ fundamental role, it’s not surprising that poorly managed APIs can become a performance bottleneck, especially in applications designed for high throughput and low latency. Employing a web development company that understands the nuances of API management is crucial for ensuring that your application doesn’t just look good but performs well under the hood. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned web development services can mismanage APIs, causing issues that may not be immediately visible but can significantly degrade performance over time.

5.1 Navigating the Pitfalls of Inadequate Caching Strategies


When discussing API management, one cannot overlook the role of caching in optimizing performance. API calls can inherently introduce latency into your application, often involving data transfer over the internet or between different system components. Caching is the logical solution to this challenge, as it temporarily stores frequently accessed data, reducing the need to repeatedly fetch it. However, not all caching strategies are created equal, and poor implementations can do more harm than good.

A common mistake is to underutilize caching capabilities or use inefficient caching algorithms. Sometimes, a web developer might cache too little data or fail to refresh the cache at optimal intervals. These mistakes can make your application slower and even introduce bugs that can be hard to trace. In worse scenarios, improper caching can also lead to data inconsistency and errors affecting the user experience and business outcomes.

Tailored Caching Strategies: The Need of the Hour

The antidote to these challenges is to enlist the help of a seasoned web developer with a deep understanding of caching strategies. Techniques like Edge Caching can be remarkably effective in improving API response times. With Edge Caching, the cache is placed closer to the user, reducing the time it takes to fetch data. A savvy website developer can implement this and other advanced caching techniques, such as cache partitioning and time-to-live (TTL) settings, to create a custom caching strategy tailored to your application’s needs.

5.2 The Unseen Perils of Overusing Third-Party APIs


Another facet of API management that warrants attention is third-party APIs. While these APIs can provide significant benefits by reducing development time and adding functionality, their overuse can be a double-edged sword. Third-party APIs often require data to be transmitted over the internet, adding latency to your application. Additionally, you’re dependent on the performance and availability of the third-party service, over which you have limited control. If your web development company does not exercise discretion in integrating these APIs, you risk bloating your application and suffering from performance issues.

The Balanced Approach to Third-Party API Integration

The ideal way to navigate this challenge is to work closely with your web development company and website developer to identify which third-party APIs are critical for your application. Once identified, these APIs need to be optimized for performance. Techniques such as API throttling, batching, and asynchronous calls can be implemented to ensure that third-party APIs don’t become a performance bottleneck. Your web developer should also have a monitoring mechanism in place to track the performance of these APIs and identify any issues before they escalate into significant problems.

In a Nutshell

By paying attention to these aspects, you can improve the performance of your web application. Engaging a web development company with a strong track record can make a difference in achieving optimal performance. Remember, in today’s hyper-competitive digital landscape, even a marginal improvement in web application performance can result in a significant competitive advantage.


Azeez Bijin April 24, 2023