Performance isn’t a one-off process

Performance is the effectiveness of a computer system, as measured by agreed-upon criteria, such as throughput, response time, and availability. – Zeev Suraski

But why are we talking about performance?

Because performance is important to your business, your bottom line, and most importantly the experience and satisfaction of your users. It’s been determined that performance issues (application downtime) in Fortune 1000 companies average around $125M – $250M annually. This is an extraordinary cost … especially when downtime can be prevented.

In our recent webinar, “Optimizing performance,” Zeev Suraski talked about ways to help measure and optimize performance. The first step is to recognize that performance isn’t a one-off or one-stop process. It’s a combination of actions taken through several phases – development, measurement, optimization, monitoring – that bring forward measurable improvements on your performance, bottom line, and customer satisfaction.

Let’s walk through each phase.



Setting expectations for performance is critical. Define expectations by considering what users expect, what load your system can handle, and design benchmarks for the application to fit the needs. As you develop, pay attention to performance but don’t optimize prematurely as you don’t want to make your code overly complex to see only minimal gains.


Measuring performance is hard. It’s easy to get data but really difficult to get accurate results to make meaningful choices. In the webinar, Zeev discussed the challenges, how to perform useful measurements, and listed best practices. Which started and ended with: AUTOMATION.


There are several layers within your web stack to implement change that optimize performance. Each technique varies in terms of the amount of gains you’ll see and the difficulty to implement. In the webinar, Zeev specifically discusses:

  • PHP layer: Opcode caching and benefits of moving to PHP 7
  • Web server layer: Configurations and type of hardware
  • Layer between application code and data services: Data caching
  • Layer between web server and PHP: Page caching


Finally, the key component is to monitor your application in production. Because production is never the same as your development environment. There are lots of tools, including Z-Ray (check it out here), to help keep your finger on the pulse, and allow you to react to performance issues before they happen and triage issues faster after they occur.


Remember that nothing is faster than a frustrated user clicking away from your site or abandoning your service. Using the principles, tips, and tools discussed in this webinar, help tune your application towards lightning-fast page loads and response times.

If you missed any of the webinars in the “Building the perfect PHP app for the enterprise” series, you can watch them on demand now.

Bonus webinar!

You can register for our bonus webinar – Deploying PHP apps on the cloud – if you’re looking for ways to improve or automate your code deployment methods in the cloud.

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    Kara brings together her broad technical marketing experience and innovative project management skills to drive content marketing efforts at Rogue Wave Software.

    About Kara Howson

    Kara brings together her broad technical marketing experience and innovative project management skills to drive content marketing efforts at Rogue Wave Software.

    • Ines

      Kara, I have the feeling that not many online business owners understand how crucial is performance of their site! It’s the first impression of a business and we all know how rare a second chance is given to someone who failed to meet the user’s expectations the first time!