PHP performance tuning

In every web application, performance really matters. Users complain about slow loading pages, inaccessible pages, unresponsive links and many other factors that lead to losing those users as customers. In order to satisfy your users needs, performance must be continuously checked and monitored.

PHP Performance Tuning

What Exactly is Good PHP Performance?

Performance and speed are not necessarily synonymous. Achieving optimal performance is often a balancing act that requires trade-offs between speed, accuracy, and scalability. For example, while building a web application, you may have to decide between prioritizing speed by writing a script that loads everything into memory up front or prioritizing scalability with a script that loads data in chunks.

Tips for Optimizing PHP Scripts

Writing good code is the essential first step to creating PHP applications that are fast and stable. Following these best practices from the beginning will save time on troubleshooting later.

1. Working On The Latest Version Of PHP

PHP updates bring with it considerable improvements that can be in terms of speed and overall performance. Older versions may result in lower website performance. So, it is advised to work with the latest PHP programming version if you want to expedite PHP based websites.

PHP 7 has been launched in the market and it claims to be one of the faster version for sterling website development.

2. Take Advantage of Native PHP Functions

As much as possible, try to use native PHP functions rather than writing your own functions to achieve the objective. For example, you can use range( b, k) to get an array of alphabets starting from b to k in sequence, if it is only needed once in the script rather than declaring an array with these values in a function and returning it on its call.

3. Use JSON Instead of XML

Use JSON instead of XML while working with web services as there are native php function like json_encode( ) and json_decode( ) which are very fast. If you are bound to have XML form of data, then use the regular expression to parse it instead of DOM manipulation.

4. Use isset()

When it comes to comparing the returned value with a specific number, you should prefer using isset() in place of strlen(), count() and sizeof(). ISSET is safer and eliminates the developers’ hassle.
For example: If we have a condition (strlen($foo) < 50), we can modify it by (!isset($foo{50})). Doing this, you will see a visible improvement in your PHP code performance.

5. Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Content delivery network (CDN) is one of the most efficient and effective ways to speed-up the delivery of websites with high traffic and websites that have global reach. Many businesses already use CDN when handling large scale websites to increase geographic reach. This technique can reduce latency, reduce bandwidth consumption, and secure applications while it can also block spammers and other data scrappers that may attack your system.

6. Query Optimization

Database queries are a common cause of slow-downs, performing query optimization will likely have more low hanging fruit and give you more benefit than optimizing code.

Query optimization will help performance when generating content caches, as well as helping with the worst case scenario of not being able to cache.

In addition to profiling, there is another option for MySQL that can help identify slow queries, the slow query log. The slow query log will log any query that takes longer than a specified time, and optionally queries that don’t use indexes.

7. Code Optimization

Experienced programmers sometimes save the fine-tuning of code for the end of a project cycle. One of the methods to ensure the quality of your code is to have the best code optimization process and techniques. Your code may be optimized so that it utilizes memory, executes more rapidly, and also performs fewer input and output operations. Even though code optimization is one of the best tuning tips, it does not mean that your code must be complex, or you need to replace any standard libraries. Sometimes optimization takes up a lot of time to trace and maintain the code. Worst case, these optimizations don’t contribute any advantage because you’re wasting a lot of time optimizing non-critical portions of your application.

Performance Tuning

The only nice code is code that never needs to run. Everything else is simply smart code. So, to start out performance tuning, the simplest possibility is to first make sure that as very little code is run as possible.

The Future of PHP Performance tuning

The evolution of PHP is ongoing. The newest feature currently in the works for PHP 8 is Just-In-Time compilation, or JIT, which will allow for the creation of even faster web applications. As the rate of technological advancements increases, so do users’ expectations. Therefore, developers must always keep one eye on the coming changes.

When building web applications, remember that what works today might not work next year. You may have to make adjustments to maintain consistent PHP performance tuning. Focusing on the big picture during the entire development process is the best strategy for building PHP apps and websites that work for the masses.

There are many performance tuning monitoring tools available in the market. Choose the best one to fit your needs in your application.

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