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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Speed Improvements

Sometimes I take a little bit of time off from reading and cogitating to work on important stuff -- stuff like speed improvements for this website.

This is incredibly nerdy stuff. It actually takes my mind off harder things. Don't ask!

The biggest improvements came in database queries. Some of the queries I was using were executing more slowly than I would have expected. In researching this problem I discovered something called prepared queries. I had no idea they would improve execution speed of certain queries by nearly 10x! On the back-end of things, that's a considerable improvement. On some pages it reduced the overall server load of each page by half -- to 35ms from 65ms! On the front-end, the site will probably feel a tiny bit snappier. Overall your average page load will reduce from about 160ms to about 130ms (since it takes about 100ms for intercommunicative data to traverse the internet from your computer to the server and back). That may not seem like much on your end (a 15% drop in latency) but on the server side it's quite dramatic (a 50% drop in latency).

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