Google Play Store and iTunes are piled up with mobile applications. The web is flooded with websites and web apps. Increasing competition in the digital era has tensed the competition for every business, so everyone tried to go extra miles to please its visitors or users.
Are you also thinking to start with mobile/web app development for your existing business or new venture/idea?
If yes, thrive towards designing a high-performance front-end. It’s not just important, but essential.
In this article, we will explain why a good front-end is the primary necessity of any digital solution and how can you, as a web/mobile designer or app owner, can be built a performance-optimized front-end for its users.
Why should your Digital Entity/Product have a High-Performance Front End?
Consider these cases:
Kissmetrics says that 40% of visitors close a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, resulting in a high bounce rate. Similarly, a slow mobile app will too result in a bad performance, irritating the users. In a few trials, the user will uninstall your app and download a better app which provides the convenience of use.
Not so good.
Performance of the app is directly related to the convenience of use and user-friendliness of that particular digital solution. If compromised, it affects user experience and reduces the chances of users’ regular interaction or long-term association with the app or website.
On the other hand, web or mobile app development, done keeping front end performance in mind, boosts the chances of success of your product. Hence, fast-loading, SEO-friendly, performance-optimized and well-designed app/website should be your first motive.
Before we proceed towards understanding how to craft a performance-oriented front end development services, let us tell you a few prerequisites for the same –
Minimalist design is so far the best approach for UI and front end development. Be it an e-commerce website, utility app or business website, this approach never fails to impress the visitors and users. Minimal layout not only ensures that the user has least distractions while using the solution but also improves the performance due to fewer UI elements presence on each page/screen.
In the end, careful interlinking and navigation labels result in improving the overall user experience and performance.
Tools and Techniques to Prefer
Technical aids like tools to test page loading speed (e.g. Pingdom) should be used by front end developers to ensure the good performance of the final solution. Similarly, Chrome developers’ tools, performance-trackers, LightHouse, etc. can be utilized to further polish your app and make its operations smoother than before.
In the process, techniques like image optimization, deferring of scripts, code optimization, asset minification, etc. should be done too.
7 Things to remember while Developing Front end of a Performance-Centric App/website
Assuring that your app or website performs as per user expectations or exceeds the benchmark is very much needed in you want to come up as a tough competition for the existing rivals in the same field. To do so, knowing our 7 secret tips may help. Check out our list of ways to improve front end –
1. Utilize CDNs and Compress Files
Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs, are very helpful in building a light-weight front end for your web or mobile solution. These web directories have a global well-performing network. Using files stored on CDNs lets you use the cached files from nearest servers, increasing the load speed for your app. With its help, you can serve more users rapidly and avoid bottleneck issues.
Next thing after using common files from CDNs is – compressing the files to be used. From documents to images (JPEG, PNG), videos, audio clips, and presentations – every file can be compressed, in order to improve the performance of your app. There are plenty of compression tools in the market, which could be used for this purpose.
Once you will perform these two tasks, your application or website will become relatively very responsive to the users’ queries.
2. GET and AJAX Requests
Gone are those days when users were ready to wait for loading of the complete page on every request. In current times, if your app does not allow dynamic section loading of content, users won’t prefer using it. Hence, AJAX and GET become your necessity. Let us explain what these both terms imply for:
- GET Request
Whenever a user fills a form in your app, you have two ways to send the data to the server for querying or storing. One is GET, another is POST. POST method requires two steps to complete user request, while GET needs just one.
GET sends the values of form variables in URL, therefore, visibly. The benefit here is – fast loading while the threat is data security. So, whenever you have to send normal data which needs no hiding, GET can be trusted upon. It will speed up the form submission for you.
3. Bundle and Minify Assets
The sole purpose of doing bundling and minification is to optimize the front end code, thereby reducing the size of files. This step improved the performance of your project and ensures faster loading of elements/pages/screens.
You may also use critical CSS techniques in this step. It divides the critical and non-critical CSS elements into two files. Critical CSS loads at the beginning of page loading while the non-critical part loads thereafter. Due to this, the user becomes able to view the required page elements very quickly, ensuring even better user experience.
4. Don’t ignore the importance of HTTPS
Google’s browser has started highlighting ‘Not Secure’ for websites or web apps, which do not use HTTPS yet. And if you are an e-commerce business or need to make users pay for some service, importance of Secured HTTP (i.e. HTTPS) is even more.
We are counting the use of HTTPS in performance-related aspects as it is potent enough to make or break things. There are high chances that page visitors will leave your site on seeing this. On the other hand, 90% of buyers will not make any purchase from such website. Additionally, integrating a reliable payment gateway will be very tough for you if you don’t have an SSL Certificate. All said and done – always use HTTPS for your website if you want to appear a trustworthy organization or business.
5. Allow Caching
If the script is redundant or repetitive, simply allow caching for it. This practice will improve the performance of your app by manifolds. Caching can be enabled for AJAX requests too. As all the queries are executed numerous times, servers can be saved from heavy traffic by allowing caching.
Content and code files should be cached in order to achieve the best performance. By doing so, you will be able to serve users’ requests way faster and hence, they will experience improved UI performance.
Additionally, you can also enable 3 types of caching or pre-fetching in your projects, namely – Link Pre-fetching, DNS pre-fetching and pre-rendering. The process of pre-fetching is very simple and reduces the page load time significantly. You can pre-fetch URLs, images, CSS, JS, etc. using this technique.
6. Avoid URL Redirects and Empty SRC/HREF tags
Unnecessary URL redirects increase the page loading time and hence, result in degraded user experience. In the case of mobile browsers, this delay could be even more. To prevent this situation, reduce the number of requests for the redirecting URL as much as possible.
Similarly, empty img SRC or HREF tags are bad for the web page’s performance in many browsers. Such behavior sends redundant traffic to the server and slows down the page loading process. Hence, better is to avoid using these tags when these are not required.
7. Remove Every Unnecessary or Redundant element
External requests, DNS lookups, 404 pages, unnecessary code or script files, irrelevant images or media files, unsupported or depreciated components, DOM elements, CSS rules which are not needed – there are so many things which we leave in a project needlessly.
Little did we know, this mistake can degrade the performance of our website, mobile app or web app.
However, this problem can be solved easily.
All you need to do is – remove whatever is not required. Add an optimization step in your front end development process so that you do not forget to remove all such elements from your product. Once done, you will experience elevated performance and better efficiency guaranteed.
Apps and websites are assessed at first glance through its frontend and UI. Convenient of use, smooth navigation and fast-loading are a few factors, which decides that a user will or will not use your digital product in the future. Therefore, it is important to take care of the performance efficiency of a web solution – be it an RoR App or an e-commerce website. With the tips we’ve shared above, you will definitely be able to do so.