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Server Optimization: How to Increase Server Speed & Performance

Server optimization provides a way to improve the performance and speed of a server. Server optimization techniques are practiced extensively by companies to meet expectations such as accessibility, availability, and functionality with their websites.

In this article, we discuss server optimization, its benefits, and trusted techniques for optimizing servers.

Read more: Server Management

What Is Server Optimization?

Server optimization is a set of methods used to improve data processing efficiency and application configuration, along with the overall performance and speed of the server. Server optimization methods allow companies to maintain a highly efficient and operational application delivery network that functions at an optimal level.

The optimal functions of any website are directly related to server optimization. Also, the best practices of server optimization include physical hardware stabilization inside the data center with server virtualization.

Benefits of Server Optimization

When an end user enters the webpage of any site, then a web server gets a request for the page. The server processes the request and generates a response to the end user’s needs. The speed and performance of such a response procedure depend on the characteristics of the server performance.

Using hardware equipment with powerful features does not always meet expectations, and doesn’t solve all the problems of the server. To meet expectations, server optimization is necessary.

Server optimization is necessary when:

  • Web pages load slowly
  • Website is not responsive, even intermittently
  • Applications like VoIP cannot be used effectively
  • Website conversions decrease
  • Server goes down during the user flow

These situations all indicate that the server is overloaded and cannot perform direct functions. As a result, the website availability will worsen, and the server cannot handle the traffic flow.

Server Optimization Techniques

There are many different techniques of server optimization to improve the performance and speed of a server. Commonly used server optimization techniques include the following.

Virtualization

Server virtualization is the process of dividing a physical server into multiple virtual servers via software. The virtual servers are unique and isolated and can run their own operating systems independently. Server virtualization allows the physical server to run multiple operating systems and services at the same time.

Website Caching

Enabling caching is one of the best ways to achieve server optimization. Caching is the process of storing the current versions of a website on the hosting server and presenting these versions until the website is updated. Because they’re cached, web pages don’t need to send database requests each time. There are many locations to enable caches, such as:

  • OpCode cache
  • Memory cache
  • HTTP cache
  • Application cache

Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a group of servers distributed geographically and working together to provide fast delivery of internet content, such as:

  • HTML pages
  • JavaScript files
  • Stylesheets
  • Images
  • Videos

Nowadays, most web traffic is served through CDNs, including Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon. CDN with proper configuration may also protect websites against common malicious attacks, like Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.

Database Optimization

Database optimization is a strategy of reducing response time from database systems. It is an effective way to increase website performance. The databases provide information stored within a hierarchical and related structure that helps to extract and arrange the content easily.

Read more: Best Database Software & Systems for 2021

Reduce the Number of JavaScript and CSS Files

A website with a lot of JavaScript and CSS files leads to a large number of HTTP requests when visitors want to access particular files. These HTTP requests are harmful to visitors’ browser and website speeds.

Reducing the number of JavaScript and CSS files helps improve website speed and performance. Grouping all JavaScript into one and all CSS into one will reduce the overall number of HTTP requests.

Optimize the Size of Images

Images increase the weight of web pages, causing them to slow down. ​However, images are an important part of every website’s value, visualizing data and illustrating concepts. Fortunately, image optimization helps to improve a website’s speed and performance. It reduces the amount of space to store images and also consumes less bandwidth for end users.

Reduce the Number of Plugins

The plugin is a common component of the website that adds desired features from third parties. But more plugins require more resources to run them. As a result, the websites become slower, and also security issues can appear. Deactivating and deleting unnecessary plugins helps to improve overall speed and performance.

Prefetching Techniques

Prefetching is a common technique of reading and executing site instructions before a user’s initiation. Modern browsers allow prefetching by default, as this is assumed user behavior. Although prefetching is effective, it requires a deep user behavior analysis to make precise assumptions. There are three main types of prefetching:

  • DNS prefetching
  • Link prefetching
  • Pre-rendering

Read more: Best DNS Benchmark Tools 2021: DNS Server & Speed Testing

Reduce the Number of Redirects

Redirects are necessary to move and delete pages, and it is the best way to eliminate issues with broken links. But too many redirects can create additional HTTP requests that harm speed — particularly on mobile devices. Deactivating and deleting unnecessary redirects helps to improve overall speed and performance.

Choose the Right Hosting

It is essential to choose a fast web host to ensure better optimization. There are three different options for hosting, which are:

  • Shared hosting
  • Virtual Private Servers
  • Dedicated servers

Shared hosting is the cheapest and most popular hosting model. But shared hosting isn’t as fast, because they share server resources with other websites. Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and dedicated servers are much faster.

The Business Case for Optimizing Servers

With improving speed and performance, server optimization techniques help companies achieve their overall business goals. There are a lot of different techniques that help to achieve site speed goals. Server optimization also creates a positive impact on overall site performance, which ultimately affects the company’s reputation with users and customers.

Read next: What Is a Server and What Do Servers Do?

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