The Importance of Profiling Your Website
When you’re working on a greenfield project from scratch, your objective is to ensure the website has exceptional performance. During the developmental stages, you won’t have to worry about measuring performance and profiling your website.
However, as you add more code to the frontend, you’re likely to experience lagging in performance. This is quite okay because you can’t foresee the impact of the codes and logics you add to the frontend. This together with legacy code and piled up features can cause issues to crop up along the way.
The problem with old features and legacy code is their delicate nature. These are dusty parts of your application that can easily break down and because of this many developers would rather not deal with them. Luckily, you can access DevTools to help you look into the deep corners of your code base and speed up performance.
Why you should Profile Your Pages
We’ve already established that it takes the tiniest changes in your code to cause serious performance lagging. A few lines could be the difference between a fast website and a slow one. Here is how to profile your website and increase its performance.
Establish a Baseline
To establish a baseline, you can use a simple application called a color sorter. This gives you a grid with rainbow colors that appear as dots.
You can use colors to determine how fast your website is before you begin optimizing its performance. The baseline will notify on how much progress you’re making with the performance improvement project. JS profiler will not only help you profile code, but it will also show timelines and trace events throughout the project.
You will need to record the timeline when you click on a page and stop the recording when the page finishes loading. Consider recording three times to find the average loading time because pages tend to load slower the first time.
Create a Profile
While the timeline shows you how long a code takes to run, it doesn’t shed light on what’s going on when it’s running. Marking changes without knowing what to target is like shooting in the dark.
This is where a profile comes in; it gives you a peek into what’s going on when a code is running. JS profiler will show you the functions that take the most time when your code is running.
Once you identify the reason behind the slow loading time, you need to isolate the codes you want to change.
Isolate the Problem
To isolate the problem, make another version of the color sorter that waits until you press a button to load. This way, you can isolate the problematic codes from the main document.
Bind the new color sorter to a clickable button and use the performance indicators to change the application. Once you’ve made the necessary changes, run the profiler to ensure you’ve not accidentally made unnecessary changes. Now create a new baseline to see if your page’s average loading time has improved.
Remember to run the timeline three times to get the average loading time. Thus far, you know where the problem is and what to do to fix it.
Make It Faster
To fix the problem, you not only need to know what is causing it, but also what the code does to slow down the page. The colors on the color sorter take a hex format on the background, allowing you to use the color values on the page. You can manipulate these numbers to increase the speed of the page.