Friday, September 28, 2012

All About ASP.NET Website Performance Improvement

In this article i will be explaining some of quick, easy and must use Asp.net Website Performance Improvement tips.

Asp.net Performance Improvement checklist is divided into 4 broad categories

  1. Identifying which part of asp.net web application requires optimization.
  2. Optimizing Asp.net web project to improve website performance
  3. Tips for writing code in order to enhance performance.
  4. Database Optimization to improve performance (I will be explaining for SQL Server but same tips will also apply to MySQL, Oracle or any other DB by changing syntactical meaning respectively.)
I will be discussing each of asp.net performance improvement categories in detail.

Identifying which part of asp.net web application requires optimization.

It is very important to identify which part of your application requires more attention in order to improve website performance.  

1 Using VS.Net 2010 Profiler
2 Tracing asp.net web application
3 Extension (Firefox Firebug, YSlow, Google Chrome Speed Tracer, IE9 Developer Tools)
4 Monitoring tools like fiddler will also be helpful.


Optimizing Asp.net web project to improve website performance.

In order to improve asp.net web page performance most important thing we should consider is
  • Reduce asp.net page size - By reducing page size page it will get download quickly and thus load quickly on user's browser.  It will also reduce bandwidth consumption of your website.  
  • Reduce number of HTTP request -  It is very important to reduce number of HTTP requests on your server, it will help in reducing the server load and allowing more visitors to access your website.
  • Avoid round trip to server.

In order to reduce asp.net page size.

1) Avoid viewstate - viewstate is used to persist data of web page on page postback.  This increase page size.  I always prefer to turn off viewstate at page level and only turn on viewstate to specific control whose data i need to persist over page postback.  

You can do so by <%@ Page  EnableViewState="false" %>

Situation in which you must avoid viewstate.
  • Only page which take user input or control whose values you want to persist on page postback will require viewstate.  Example: If user press submit button and if there are error on page we should persist user input, so in that case we should make EnableViewState="true" for those control or may be at page level.
  • Display pages or asp.net page which will not require page postback.  Example: Page on which you are displaying customers information in datagrid, doesn't require viewstate so in this situation you can turn of viewstate.
2) Use div instead of table. - Make use of div and css to replace table.  Combination of div and css is much more faster than table.

3) Avoid big name for asp.net server control and CSS class tag - Do not give big name for ID field of asp.net server control,  specially to ContentPlaceHolder  asp.net server control in master page.  ContentPlaceHolder ID name is appended to each and every asp.net server control inside child page, so if you choose a big name for your asp.net server control it will increase html file size.

Similarly if you choose a big name for CSS class tag, it will have long name on every instance you make use of that class tag and in return it increase html size.

For this reason, I prefer to choose very short name for any controls or css tag definition.
Example: <asp:ContentPlaceHolder ID="CC" runat="server">

4) Remove unnecessary white space (Compress generated HTML Size)
  • Remove white spaces between tags and lines of html render by asp.net page.  In order to remove white space dynamically on all page, you should put "render" method inside master page class file.
  • Remove unused tags from CSS file and also remove unused script from Javascript file.
  • Remove white spaces from CSS file while deploying to production server.  Remember, Comments and whitespace inside your CSS and Javascript file are not needed for execution; Removing them will speed up css rendering time and script execution times.  You can add this step to your deployment checklist. You can take advantage of online compress css tool and online javascript compress tool.

5) Make use of JQuery instead of Ajax Control toolkit.  
I have observed that JQuery can do the task with less code and light weight, while Ajax control toolkit is bulkier and increase page size.  Find more on JQuery vs Ajax control toolkit.



Reduce number of HTTP request
With help of Firebug, Firefox extension, you can find out how many resource request was made by your asp.net web page.  It is very important to reduce number of HTTP requests on your server, it will help in reducing the server load and allowing more visitors to access your website.

1) Make minimum use of Images.  Images are good for UI but can increase size of web page and also results in too many http request.

2) Combine multiple db request into single db request.  Find more details on How to avoid multiple database request to improve performance

3) Combine 2 or more css file into 1 file, since most of modern browser do cache css file, it will only take little more time for 1st request, all sub subsequent request will be super fast.  Combining multiple css file into 1 will reduce number of http request.

4) Combine 2 or more javascript file into 1 file, since most of modern browser do cache javascript file, it will only take little more time for 1st request, all sub subsequent request will be super fast.  Combining multiple javascript file into 1 will reduce number of http request.

5) Special tips if your web application is using JQuery
    • Try to use Jquery from CDN (Content distribution network) link for google CDN http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.2/jquery.min.js
    • While adding JQuery try using min version (Example: jquery-1.6.2.min.js), which is less file size, since space and line break are removed from that.  This will help in faster loading of file and also improves performance of web application.
    • Avoid too many third party jquery controls rather make use of JQuery UI, which supports too many control within one js file.


Avoid round trip to server
In order to give user a lightning fast effect, it is important that you avoid round trip to server.  You can use:
  • Caching
  • JQuery Ajax

Tips for writing code in order to enhance performance.

1 VS.Net 2010 Code Analysis


Database Optimizing tips to improve website performance.
1. Thumb rule decrease as many joins as possible.  It will be very helpful in improving search query performance.
2. In order to avoid too many joins, make optimal use of "xml datatype".  That will help you to reduce needs of number of tables for small data structure, also be helpful in storing complex data-type.  (In summary, I am in love of xml datatype, If you know correct way to use that, you can optimize performance.)
3 Check out DB Optimization tricks
4 Use PL\SQL Programming instead of making too many DB Request.
One of the most resource efficient and performance improvement technique is to make use of PL\SQL Programming inside stored procedure to avoid round trip.  But be careful with this technique if you don't know how to use it efficiently, it may adversely affect performance.
Example: To Improve Performance through


Finally i want to say it is also important to check your asp.net web application architecture.  Try to identify what all bad architectural design was taken in past and how to rectify those in order to improve performance of your web application.  Its very important to design architecture of web application nicely.  I understand that it is not always possible to design things right at first point, but it is continuous improvement process, you should always keep on identifying things and correct it asap.  Hope my checklist had helped you too.

Please note: I have been writing this article since long and I am still in process of improving this article on regular basis.  Please share your suggestions and comments here so that it will help everybody to improve their website performance.  At present most of performance improvement topics here are purely related to asp.net web forms, but i will be going to make a list of asp.net mvc specific performance improvement checklist in my future article.  Thank you. :)

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