Don't Fall Into a Trap: Avoiding Slow Web Frameworks

Hermione at Pangea.ai
Vojin Deronjic
Published: 31.01.2023

Slow web server frameworks can be a major problem for any web development project, as it can have a drastic effect on the user experience and a website’s overall performance. If you are looking for ways to improve the speed of your or your client’s website, understanding which web server frameworks are the slowest is an essential step in this process.

In this blog post, we will look at the factors that contribute to slow web servers, showcase examples of some of the slowest web server frameworks available today, and provide tips for improving performance on slower servers.

Factors Contributing to Slow Web Frameworks

While slow servers can be caused by various factors, understanding what contributes to poor web framework performance is essential to improving the user experience and overall website performance.

An photograph of a laptop's screen showing lines of programming code.

Poorly Optimized Code

Poorly written code can lead to inefficient database queries and page loads, resulting in slow page loading times.

It also takes more time for the server to process requests, meaning that websites built with poorly optimized code will be much slower than those built with properly optimized code.

Inadequate Server Resources

Another factor that can contribute to slow web frameworks is inadequate server resources.

If a website receives a high volume of traffic at any given time but is running on an underpowered server, it’s likely that the website will become sluggish or even crash due to insufficient resources.

Ineffective Caching Strategies

In addition to needing sufficient server resources for optimal performance, caching strategies are also essential for speeding up web pages loaded through a particular framework.

By caching certain elements of pages (such as images or JavaScript files) browsers can speed up page loading times by not having to load these elements each time they are accessed.

Not utilizing effective caching strategies (or not utilizing them at all) can significantly decrease the overall performance of your web framework leading to slow page loading times or even crashes when too many users try accessing the site at once due in part to lack of cached elements ready for use.

Outdated Framework Versions

Another major contributor towards poor speed performance in web frameworks is obsolete versions of said frameworks being used for development purposes instead of newer versions available today — which often include faster components such as improved CPU usage efficiency or improved memory management techniques.

Top 3 Slowest Web Server Frameworks

In this section, we will be looking at the top three slowest web server frameworks so you can avoid them in your own projects if needed.

An zoomed in image of a computer screen showing lines of programming code.

Java Server Pages (JSP)

Java Server Pages, or JSPs, are a type of web server framework based on the Java language.

While they provide developers with the ability to write dynamic content for websites, they also come with a number of drawbacks that can slow down website performance significantly. For instance, JSPs require developers to write code that is difficult to read and understand due to its complex syntax and structure.

Additionally, each time changes are made within the codebase, developers must manually compile the entire project before deploying it live. This compilation process can be incredibly slow and time-consuming if a project contains a large number of files.

JSPs often rely heavily on physical resources such as processors and memory which can result in sluggish performance if not sufficiently provided.

ASP.NET

ASP.NET is another type of web server framework used by developers today that has gained notoriety for its slow performance issues.

Unlike other frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or NodeJS, ASP.NET requires a lot of manual coding in order to get up and running - something which can take hours depending on how complex the underlying project is.

Because ASP .NET is written in .NET languages such as C# or VB (which are interpreted at runtime), it can be quite slow compared to compiled languages like Java or Python when executing certain operations such as accessing files stored within the application’s architecture or reading/writing data from/to databases.

CGI Scripting

CGI scripting is an older form of a web development framework that relies heavily on physical server resources in order to work correctly and efficiently — something which can significantly slow down websites built using said framework if not adequately provided.

This is because CGI scripts execute differently than many modern-day frameworks do in that they require more processing power each time they run due to their interpretive nature — something which can become problematic when dealing with high volumes of traffic at any given time due to insufficient resources available for utilization by the script itself.

Additionally, because CGI scripts need to be re-run after each user interaction (such as clicking a link or submitting an input form), this can lead to significant delays in page loading times if too many requests are being sent at once partly due to a lack of caching capabilities present within this type of framework.

How to Improve Performance on Slower Web Servers

For website owners and developers looking to improve the performance of their web servers, there are a few key steps that can be taken in order to do so.

Optimizing Code

Optimizing code is one of the most important steps when it comes to improving server performance as inefficiently written code can cause serious slowdowns.

By taking time to review existing codebases for potential areas where optimization could take place (such as reducing unnecessary loops or using more efficient algorithms), developers are able to significantly reduce the amount of processing power needed by the server in order to execute operations correctly — resulting in faster page loading times.

Not to mention that refactoring legacy code or converting it into modern languages such as Python or NodeJS may also help improve overall performance depending on how complex said project is.

Caching Data

Caching data is another way developers can increase website speeds by storing commonly used information temporarily within memory rather than having it reloaded from disk every single time it’s accessed.

This process helps reduce latency issues caused by waiting for files/data from disk, allowing users to access information faster than before.

Also, caching can also be used to reduce the load on database servers by storing frequently requested information in memory which takes significantly less processing power compared to having said data retrieved from disk.

Load Balancing

Load balancing is another tool that developers can use to ensure their website’s performance remains consistent and reliable even when experiencing high volumes of traffic.

This process involves distributing requests across multiple servers so that no single one becomes overwhelmed with requests — thus reducing latency issues caused by a lack of resources available for utilization.

This method can also help increase uptime as any broken/inoperative server(s) will not affect the other connected ones due to the fact that they are all being treated as a single system.

Conclusion

Overall, the slowest web server frameworks are Java Server Pages (JSP), ASP.NET, and CGI scripting. These frameworks can have a significant impact on website performance if not properly maintained or optimized for speed.

Fortunately, there are steps that developers can take to improve their site's performance such as optimizing code, caching data, and load balancing — all of which will help minimize latency issues caused by a lack of resources available for utilization.

By taking these measures into consideration when choosing a framework for your project, you’ll be able to ensure that your website is running at optimal speeds without sacrificing any features or functionality along the way.

Slowest Web Server Frameworks FAQs:

Q1. Why is my website suddenly so slow?

There can be many causes for a suddenly slow website, but one of the most common is a poorly-performing web server framework.

The slowest web server frameworks are Java Server Pages (JSP), ASP.NET, and CGI scripting, which are all notorious for their lack of speed and scalability when compared to modern-day features such as scalability or built-in security measures.

Q2. Does CSS make a website slow?

No, CSS does not make a website slow. If used correctly, CSS can reduce page loading times as only one call is needed to render your site’s styling across all pages — instead of downloading every individual asset needed for each page separately.

However, if too many style declarations are included in your CSS files or they become too complex, this can result in slower page loads as the browser needs more time to interpret them, according to Ezoic.

Q3. Do animations slow down websites?

Yes, animations can slow down websites depending on how they are implemented. If an animation is not optimized for performance, such as if it uses excessive memory or CPU resources, then it could cause the website to become slower and less responsive.

Animations should always be designed with the user experience in mind and optimized for speed so that they don't affect the overall performance of a website. Developers should use caution when adding animations to their websites as too many can lead to decreased page load times for users, according to Pluralsight.

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