How to Optimize Laravel Application Performance

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With the increasing pace of technology-driven enterprises, software development is accelerating. Many new technology stacks are popping up around the world to make the development process easier, and many of these new companies use PHP as the primary framework for their applications. PHP, with its various version updates, has become popular among developers. Most PHP developers have heard and worked with Laravel at least once. Laravel is best known for building business-oriented applications and ensuring application security. The most important thing that attracts most developers is that it allows them to make micro changes to improve website optimization.

In this article, we will see how we can increase the speed of your Laravel application. So let’s start.

Best Ways to Improve Laravel Performance

Some of the suggestions below may not improve the speed of your specific application, but you can try them all, and with trial and error you will see what works best for you. Let’s discuss each of them one by one.

Use Laravel’s Performance Monitoring Tools

Laravel’s performance monitoring tools help improve your application’s performance using metrics and error reporting. You can use these statistics to predict the behavior of your users. There are many tools available in the market to monitor Laravel applications.

Scout APM helps you get these metrics easily in a single dashboard that helps you see them quickly. You can check metrics like where users leave the app, where users spend the most time, bad API calls, etc. Business teams can review the data and suggest a relevant development path for the app.

Front End Resource Optimization with Laravel Mix

Laravel Mix is ​​used to mix different stylesheets into one set and make it into one file. Larvel Mix is ​​present by default in all Laravel applications. Laravel blending is typically used to compile different CSS files into a single file so that the application doesn’t need to call two different HTTPS APIs. Therefore, the application speed can be slightly increased. Sample code to mix two CSS files using Laravel mix is ​​given below.

1mix.styles([

2 'public/css/vendor/normalize.css',

3 'public/css/styles.css'

4 ], 'public/css/all.css');

Mixing two CSS files usually increases the size of the generated file, which mitigates the benefits gained from mixing two CSS files. To solve this problem, we are optimizing bundles and reducing the size of applications at the production level. This helps in fast app loading and faster response time.

Go back to caching as much as possible

Caching in computing means using information already produced in a previous iteration/execution cycle. In any type of web application, caching plays an important role in increasing the speed of
the website.

For example, let’s say an API is called very frequently in the application. In this case you can just reuse the API response
and use it again and again instead of calling the API again. Caching reduces your application’s API response time and the cost of database queries.

Laravel provides a very useful command for caching, which helps improve performance. It is given below:

1php artisan config:cache

You can use this command to cache the configuration file. Similarly, you can cache the route in Laravel using the following command:

1php artisan route:cache

Working with queues

Queues are crucial data structures that could be used to improve application performance. Most of the time, queues are used to send messages either to the end user or to another service in the architecture.
For example, if you want to send messages after they connect to your app, you can place the messages in a queue and they will be sent one by one. Additionally, using a third-party solution may cause a delay
in sending notifications, but queues will send notifications immediately, giving you better user response.

Make sure you are using the latest version

The latest version of PHP is required to optimize the speed of your Laravel application. The latest version has some crucial changes from the current version of Laravel. So you should always try to install the latest version of PHP and Laravel.

Minification

Minification consists of minimizing the various components of your applications as much as possible. You can optimize various things like code, server-side configuration, and asset usage on the website. In this part, we will discuss the elements that could be minified in the Laravel application.

HTML minification

HTML minification is the process of simplifying code and breaking it into chunks to make the website load faster, minimizing API calls in the frontend. This helps to speed up code compilation and script execution. This method can significantly reduce the loading time and smoothness of the website. Also, it’s useful for debugging bugs because less code is clearer to read.

Minify CSS

CSS plays a major role in website response time. More CSS means more styling; so it would take longer for the website to load. Different types of CSS frameworks can be used to style your website. Minifying CSS also includes removing irrelevant styling, bad code styling, removing whitespace, etc. But while minifying the CSS, you have to be very careful because not all browsers behave the same as the same CSS. Different browsers behave differently towards CSS; therefore, you should properly test your application while minimizing CSS.

Minify Javascript

Minifying JavaScript is primarily made to run scripts faster than unminified versions. In minification, you remove unused code such as API calls, variable definitions, irrelevant imports, etc. If you do the javascript minification carefully, it could dramatically improve performance. It also helps in sending data faster from the website to the servers.

Optimize the performance of your Laravel application with Scout APM

Scout APM is a modern application monitoring system for monitoring applications of almost any type. It supports many frameworks like PHP, Ruby, Python, Elixir, etc. Here we are going to talk about how we can improve the performance of a Laravel application using Scout APM. Scout APM supports all versions of Laravel above 5.5. Scout also handles the N+1 request issue, which is one of the major issues in Laravel Eloquent.

Installing Scout APM in your Laravel application is very simple; you just need to run the following command in your console,

1composer require scoutapp/scout-apm-laravel

When you run this command scout-php is installed.

After that, the next step is to configure the environment variables in the .env file. To integrate Scout into your application, you need to add the following keys:

1# Scout settings

2 

3SCOUT_MONITOR=true

4SCOUT_KEY="[AVAILABLE IN THE SCOUT UI]"

5SCOUT_NAME="A FRIENDLY NAME FOR YOUR APP"

In the case of installation via Heroku Addon, you do not need to set SCOUT_MONITOR and SCOUT_KEY explicitly; it is set automatically.

The third step is to add the config/scout_apm.php using the following
ordered.

1php artisan vendor:publish

2--provider="ScoutapmLaravelProvidersScoutApmServiceProvider"

After this step, you will need to clear and rebuild the cache, otherwise it may give unexpected results. The last step is that after making these changes, you need to deploy your application. It will take about five
minutes for your website results to appear in Scout’s dashboard.

Also, if you want to add the scoutapm PHP extension, you can also do it easily using the following command,

1sudo pecl install scoutapm

You will need to install this extension if you want tools like libcurl timing and file_get_contents.

In this way, Scout APM can help you see all
the metrics of your Laravel application. You can use these statistics to improve your Laravel applications and generate more value for your customers. You can start using Scout APM free for 14 days, even without credit
map. If you want your Laravel application to perform better, you need to start analyzing its metrics now. You can register to start your first application at Scout APM website.

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