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Tips and Tricks for Effectively Using ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a widely used web development platform which helps in developing dynamic web applications, websites and web services for computers and smartphones. It is a part of Microsoft .Net platform. ASP.NET comprises of several controls such as configuring, text boxes, buttons and labels for assembling and influencing to create HTML pages. It was first released on January 5, 2002 as version 1.0 .NET Framework. Here are some tips and tricks for using ASP.NET.

Tip 1. Websites Performance Improves With Caching

tips and tricks for using ASP.NET

One of the significant features of ASP.NET is its caching mechanism which is quite useful in the list of tips and tricks for using ASP.NET.  Besides boosting performance it also avoids server/client process. Caching is beneficial in persevering data memory for instant access to the program calls. There are three type of caching:

Fragment Caching: this is used for caching information of a structured level

Page Output Caching: to extract page level data and information. It helps in storing condensed HTML.

Application Cache: this offers a programmatic way to store random data in memory with the help of key pairs.

Caching lets you save web pages in memory in the server, browser or proxy, individual objects and even parts of web pages. The pages and objects don’t need to be created every time which will give you:

  • Reduced load on database
  • Lesser time of response
  • Lowered retrieval times when the content is served from proxy cache by conveying the contents nearer to the browser
  • Lesser round trips to the server at the time of using browser or proxy caching

Tip 2. CSS and Image Hotlinking Should be Avoided

tips and tricks for using ASP.NET

Another beneficial point to remember in list of tips and tricks for using ASP.NET is to safeguard yourself from hotlinking. Hotlinking is when someone else tries to link someone else’s websites images to your website. Hotlinking increases the usage of your bandwidth. The person who has hotlinked your site images on his will be showing your website images on his while you pay for the additional bandwidth. Besides your server would also get more load. You can try the LeechGuard Hot-Linking Prevention Module to prevent hotlinking. There are other ways also to prevent it which can be looked up on Google.

Tip 3. Monitor the Performance of Your Website Continuously

ASP.NET comprises of performance counters which can be used to track the execution of the application. The built-in ASP.NET locating feature can be used to track code execution for an application or page. Performance of website depends things which you can control and on things which you cannot control. Codes can be controlled whereas server problems or excess web traffic cannot be controlled. Monitoring site will keep you updated about the performance of your website, because we never know when it could become slow. Slow websites are a loss for business.

Tip 4. Reduce Number of Requests Between Server and Browser

The lesser the number of requests sent to the server the better the performance of your website is. This can be done by reducing the number of resources such as moving the inline CSS code of all files to single CSS. The same process should be done for JavaScripts. Another way by which you can reduce the number of requests is by removing the headers which are not needed from requests such as version number ASP.NET driven by. Use CDN so the files can be downloaded from the nearest accessible server and save the simultaneous requests if other sites are exhausting the same jquery plug in files. Caching non-static resources will also reduce the server requests.

Tip 5. Avoid Head Seeks

Avoiding head seeks is another point which is worthwhile to remember in the list of tips and tricks for using ASP.NET. Bytes written in a sequence without moving the read/write head is done faster than random access. If the files are just written and not read then a dedicated disk drive using a dedicated single thread should be used to write them. The read/write heads on the drive won’t be moved by the other processes.

Tip 7. Use Short URL’s

tips and tricks for using ASP.NET

Besides capturing more space on the page long URL’s also use more space in the request message that to the server. Short URL’s help in keeping the website more responsive.

Tip 8. Use Javascript Code on the Browser

Shifting functionality from server to browser instantly improves the performance of your pages. You need to use JavaScript on your browser in place of validating a form in C# or calculating a result. Lesser user action results in the browser having to wait for the response once it sends the request to the server. The load on the server goes down and the responsiveness of the website pages is improved.

Tip 9. Permanent Redirects

On redirecting visitors a permanent 301 redirect should be used. Proxies and browsers will update their caches and the search engines will use them too. This way the traffic to the old page can be reduced. 301 redirect can be issued programmatically.

Tip 10. Reduce the ‘time to first byte’ or TTFB

The time taken to generate a page and the time in which the first byte is moved from the internet to the browser is known as ‘time to first byte’. This time is the time taken to send HTTP request, socket connection time and the time taken to get the first byte of the page. The search engines use the TTFB to rank the websites. The sites which respond faster are used more by the visitors so the search rankings rate such websites higher than the others. Keeping a check on server and application will let you keep the TTFB under control. If there are routing problems or complex firewalls then the time to first byte will be more. This increased time should be reduced else your visitors won’t be hanging around to wait instead will go to other similar websites.

Tip 11. Combining Images

Among the many tips and tricks for using ASP.NET, combining images is also a beneficial tip. A page in a website could take longer to load if there are many images in it as it generates several server requests. Image sprites help to eliminate this problem. When many images are combined and put in one it is known as image sprite. However, it should be noted that even though the images have been combined, originally the images will be seen separately to the viewer. Image sprites improve your web page’s performance as it immediately drops the number of server requests and saves bandwidth.

Tip 12. Build Projects in Release Mode

If a site is web-application instead of website or if the website is a part of solution which comprises of more projects then ensure that the releases are built in the release mode.Release mode is optimized while debug mode isn’t. Once debugging overhead is removed from the code it consumes less memory and CPU.

Tip 13. Cookies

If a cookie is set ASP.NET disables all output caching ensuring that the cookie is not sent to the wrong user. In terms of performance proxy caching and setting cookies don’t go together, the number of cookies should be kept to a minimum in the settings. A cookie should not be set for every request but only very required in an emergency.

Tip 14. Unused Indexes

tips and tricks for using ASP.NET

A negative side of indexes is that they require updates when the data is updated which results in delays. The also capture a lot of storage space. You can identify indexes through scans, seeks, updates and look-ups. Seek is the quickest way to access data and through this you can verify the number of times an index seek has happened for that index. Ensure that you collect the data for a long time to know which index is good enough to be dropped.

Tip 15. Reduce the Number of Reads Executed By Queries

In the many tips and tricks for using ASP.NET another useful way of using ASP.NET to boost its performance is to reduce the number of reads executed by queries. Look up in the ‘Where’ clauses of the queries and see if the clauses are being supported by the indexes in the database. The performance strategy for the query displayed by SQL Server Management Studio reveals the number of reads achieved by the query.

Tip 16. Reduce the Space Occupied by ASP.NET Ids

When ASP.NET condenses server controls like as labels and images it also condenses their ASP.NET IDs. IDs are comparatively lengthy. The IDs can be removed with the help of program once you have finished your purpose with them. They can be set to null. This will save space and make your page fast and responsive.

Tip 17. Resource Management

The performance of an application can be boosted instantly if you follow resource management methods. The resources such as database connections and file handles should be acquired late but should be disposed of early. The code should be written in a manner that the objects are not stimulated to higher generations. The garbage collector performs regularly in the lower generations compared to the higher generations. The dispose and finalize should be used properly to clear the resources which are not managed but are used in the application. The resource intensive code in the application should be enveloped within with the help of a block. This makes sure that the resources are removed appropriately when not required. The code should be written in a way that it makes use of less database connections.

Tip 18. Get Rid of Blank Spaces

Removing black spaces from the HTML boosts your kb. Regular expression can be used to remove white spaces.

Tip 19. Threading

By means of the threads from .NET thread pool the requests are processed by ASP.NET. The thread pool sustains a pool of threads which have sustained the initialization costs already. Thereby, these threads are reusable. Since .NET thread is self-tuning it observes CPU and other resource utilization and trims or adds to the size of the thread pool as required. Threads should not be created to perform manually but they should be used from the pool of threads. Simultaneously it is vital that you make sure that the application is not performing long blocking functions which might starve the thread pool and reject HTTP requests.

Tip 20. Buffering Should be Enabled

Enabling buffering is another important point in the list of tips and tricks for using ASP.NET. The temporary data for input and output is stored in the main memory which is termed as the buffer area. Retrieving data from memory is quicker than retrieving from the disk. Buffering should always be enabled unless there is a certain reason or it is required to be disabled.

Tip 21. Use CDN

tips and tricks for using ASP.NET

Using a CDN helps to speed up a website’s performance. CDN’s reduce the delay which the users go through when a huge file is requested from the data centre that is physically located at a distance. This latency is minimized by the CDN’s by caching files at different locations across the globe.

Tip 22. Precompiling

A website will offer speedy initial response time for users when ASP.NET has been precompiled in it. This is because pages don’t have to be compiled in the first time when they are requested. This comes in as a help when there are large websites which need regular updates. The ASP.NET Compilation tools need to be used for this.

Tip 23. Unused Http Modules Should be Removed

There are several HttpModules in a Machine.Config which are not needed for a specific application. In such times the unused HttpModules should be removed from the application.

tips and tricks for using ASP.NET

The above tips and tricks for using ASP.NET are will always keep the performance of your website up to date. Besides speed, responsiveness and quick loading times your website or web application will be easy to handle and use both by your visitors and you. Your website will thus retain visitors and help you better your business.

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