40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Websites are typically viewed on a large variety of devices with various systems, it may be handheld device or desktops, might run a Mac OS or have Windows but the bottom line is when a visitor is on the homepage of your website or loading items on the e commerce portal or using some other functionality on the website they expect it to be fast and move with the speed of their finger swaps.

What affects Website Performance?

Performance of a website depends on a lot of factors, the performance of the code, factors that have been kept in mind while making that code, number of visitors currently viewing the website, connections to database and so on. To ensure smooth functioning of a website according to expectations it is necessary that it goes through performance testing.

Performance Testing gives the power to analyze your code and find bottlenecks and determine which parts of your code needs a tweak to boost the speed. It helps to determine the points of breakage of the technology stack used in the development of the application. It also helps to find the limit to the number of users the website can handle in case of a spike, like media and publishing websites when Presidential Elections were running.

How does performance boosting help?

  1. Wal-Mart trailed its competitors online until they made improvements. For every 1 second of improvement to load time, the site experienced up to a 2% improvement in conversion rate.

  2. Intuit cut load time in half and saw an increase of 14% in conversions.

  3. GQ decreased its average load time from 7 to 2 seconds and saw an 83% increase in traffic.

Source

You might have added some new functionalities to your website and now the server load has increased and also the memory usage and also the page is slow to load. But does that mean you change the hardware? Even if that is an option it is not a viable solution and this is exactly where performance profiling comes into the picture, to analyse and understand what makes the system slower and fix them.

Performance profiling is to investigate and analyse a code’s runtime behavior to understand the areas that need improvement and how to optimize a program’s performance. The data collected during the execution of a program helps developers to analyze the code.

It helps apps run faster, at different stages of deployment, Performance Testing helps to determine which particular feature addition to your web application has made it slower or analyse the behavior of apps.

How do Profilers work?

Developers say that different profilers work in different ways, however in general profilers examine programs during the runtime to find which assembly instruction is currently being executed (the program counter) and which routines called the current function (the call stack). This kind of sampling profiler can work with standard binaries, but are more useful if you have debugging symbols to work out lines of code given addresses in the program.

As well as sampling regularly, you can also use processor performance counters to sample after a certain number of events such as cache misses, which will help you see which parts of your program are slowing down due to memory accesses.

Other profilers involve recompiling the program to insert instructions (known as instrumentation) to count how often each continuous set of instructions (basic blocks) are executed, or maybe even record the sequence in which basic blocks are executed, or record the content of variables at certain places.

The instrumentation approach can give you all the precision and data you might want, but will slow down the program and that will change its performance characteristics. By contrast, with sampling based approaches you can tune the performance impact against the length of time you need to run the program against the accuracy of the profile data you obtain.

Why Profiling for Performance Benchmarking is necessary ?

Performance profiling is pivotal to the performance of the website it helps to understand the client-server response time. Performance issues during a spike or in peak times. It helps to understand if any database connections or the technology is a holdup in your web application and help change any components causing so. It also determines behavioral changes in applications caused with a new release.

Performance profiling works as a benchmark against coding changes and efficiency  of the website.

 

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