As a powerful server side scripting language, PHP is used widely by developers across the world to build high traffic websites. In comparison to conventional scripting languages, PHP offers a set of innovative features that can easily optimize the performance of all types of web applications. But each programmer must understand various ways to boost the performance of his PHP application by reducing CPU usage, and network overhead. The simple practices will further help him in writing highly optimized code to deliver improved user experience. Some of these simple tips can also be incorporated in the PHP scripts without putting any extra time and effort.
5 Simple Ways to Optimize PHP Web Performance
- Use Local Cache: Often the performance of a web application depends on the way it accesses the disk as well as network. As databases use both, you need to manage memory efficiently to reduce the load on disk and network. You can always use a distributed memory object caching system called as memcached that was developed for LiveJournal, a Perl-based blogging platform. You can even use memcached to boost the performance of your application designed with distributed data sources. However, you also have options to eliminate additional load associated with each user request by using a set of simpler caching techniques like storing the information in a temporary file or serializing the data. It is also a great idea to manage cache data in the memory by using shared memory helpers in the Alternative PHP Cache.
- Avoid Using Error Suppression Operators: The way you use the error suppression operators will also have a huge impact on the performance of the PHP application. For instance, the slow nature of the @ operator can affect the performance of your code negatively by requiring more memory. Further, PHP automatically set the value of error_reporting to 0 before executing the suppressed statement. But it immediately reset the value of error_reporting according to your code. The time consuming process affects the website’s performance adversely. Also, you may find it difficult to identify the root cause of a performance related problem, despite using the error suppression operators. So you must use the operators properly to optimize the performance of the PHP application.
- Check the Impact of Big Loops: Many programmers consider loops to be an integral part of all types of coding. So they often include loops in their code out of habit. Despite being a powerful coding tool, loops can always affect the performance of the web application adversely. If a single slow operation is executed once, it may not have a significant impact. But the bottleneck will be significant if the sentence is placed inside a loop. A developer must not stop using loops just because the bottlenecks. But he can always identify and fix the performance problems caused due to nested loops. Along with deciding how big the loop is, he also needs to explore, a programmer also need to explore options to cache the performance inside the loop.
- Enhance Worker Connections for High Traffic Websites: Most web browsers are, nowadays, designed with features to open multiple sever connections at a time. The widely used browsers can easily open up to eight server connections simultaneously. As the multiple connections will remain alive at a time, you must explore options to reduce the number of connections per second. If you are designing a high traffic website, it is a good idea to restrict the number of connections that individual work process can maintain at a time using worker connections. Based on the nature of your PHP application, you can set the default number of worker_connections in the Nginx.conf file.
- Use Absolute Path: You have option to refer to resources through their absolute or relative paths. The term absolute path is used to represent the full path. In comparison to relative path, use of absolute path can optimize the effect of your PHP code. Often a number of PHP operations like include and require face problem while working with relative paths. On the other hand, the absolute path can work seamlessly with all PHP functions and operations. Further, the use of absolute path will make it easier for the server to quickly resolve the path on its own. As the full path of a resource will make it easier for the server to locate the file, it can respond to user requests in a much better and faster way.
5 Things You Should Check Now to Improve PHP Web Performance