Performance of Web applications is affected by many factors. Database access, file system operations, network bandwidth are all potential affecting factors. Yii has tried in every aspect to reduce the performance impact caused by the framework. But still, there are many places in the user application that can be improved to boost performance.
Enabling the PHP APC extension is perhaps the easiest way to improve the overall performance of an application. The extension caches and optimizes PHP intermediate code and avoids the time spent in parsing PHP scripts for every incoming request.
Disabling debug mode is another easy way to improve performance. A Yii
application runs in debug mode if the constant
YII_DEBUG is defined as
true. Debug mode is useful during development stage, but it would impact
performance because some components cause extra burden in debug mode. For
example, the message logger may record additional debug information for
every message being logged.
When the PHP APC extension is
enabled, we can replace
yii.php with a different Yii bootstrap file named
yiilite.php to further boost the performance of a Yii-powered application.
yiilite.php comes with every Yii release. It is the result of
merging some commonly used Yii class files. Both comments and trace
statements are stripped from the merged file. Therefore, using
yiilite.php would reduce the number of files being included and avoid
execution of trace statements.
yiilite.php without APC may actually reduce performance,
yiilite.php contains some classes that are not necessarily used
in every request and would take extra parsing time. It is also observed that
yiilite.php is slower with some server configurations, even when
APC is turned on. The best way to judge whether to use
yiilite.php or not
is to run a benchmark using the included
hello world demo.
As described in the Caching section, Yii provides several caching solutions that may improve the performance of a Web application significantly. If the generation of some data takes long time, we can use the data caching approach to reduce the data generation frequency; If a portion of page remains relatively static, we can use the fragment caching approach to reduce its rendering frequency; If a whole page remains relative static, we can use the page caching approach to save the rendering cost for the whole page.
If the application is using Active Record, we should turn on the schema caching to save the time of parsing database schema. This can be done by configuring the CDbConnection::schemaCachingDuration property to be a value greater than 0.
Besides these application-level caching techniques, we can also use server-level caching solutions to boost the application performance. As a matter of fact, the APC caching we described earlier belongs to this category. There are other server techniques, such as Zend Optimizer, eAccelerator, Squid, to name a few.
Fetching data from database is often the main performance bottleneck in a Web application. Although using caching may alleviate the performance hit, it does not fully solve the problem. When the database contains enormous data and the cached data is invalid, fetching the latest data could be prohibitively expensive without proper database and query design.
Design index wisely in a database. Indexing can make
SELECT queries much
faster, but it may slow down
For complex queries, it is recommended to create a database view for it instead of issuing the queries inside the PHP code and asking DBMS to parse them repetitively.
Do not overuse Active Record. Although Active Record is good at modelling data in an OOP fashion, it actually degrades performance due to the fact that it needs to create one or several objects to represent each row of query result. For data intensive applications, using DAO or database APIs at lower level could be a better choice.
Last but not least, use
LIMIT in your
SELECT queries. This avoids
fetching overwhelming data from database and exhausting the memory
allocated to PHP.
For a page generated by Yii, chances are that some script files are rendered by components that we do not want to modify (e.g. Yii core components, third-party components). In order to minimizing these script files, we need two steps.
First, we declare the scripts to be minimized by configuring the scriptMap property of the clientScript application component. This can be done either in the application configuration or in code. For example,
$cs=Yii::app()->clientScript; $cs->scriptMap=array( 'jquery.js'=>'/js/all.js', 'jquery.ajaxqueue.js'=>'/js/all.js', 'jquery.metadata.js'=>'/js/all.js', ...... );
The same trick also applies to CSS files.
We can also improve page loading speed with the help of Google AJAX Libraries API. For example, we can include
jquery.js from Google servers instead of our own server. To do so, we first configure the
scriptMap as follows,
$cs=Yii::app()->clientScript; $cs->scriptMap=array( 'jquery.js'=>false, 'jquery.ajaxqueue.js'=>false, 'jquery.metadata.js'=>false, ...... );
By mapping these script files to false, we prevent Yii from generating the code to include these files. Instead, we write the following code in our pages to explicitly include the script files from Google,
<head> <?php echo CGoogleApi::init(); <?php echo CHtml::script( CGoogleApi::load('jquery','1.3.2') . "\n" . CGoogleApi::load('jquery.ajaxqueue.js') . "\n" . CGoogleApi::load('jquery.metadata.js') ); ...... </head>
If your project uses assets a lot you can improve its performance slightly by
using symbolic links instead of
file copies. In order to turn it on you should configure
linkAssets property of
application component using
protected/config/main.php config file:
return array( // ... 'components' => array( // ... 'assetManager' => array( 'linkAssets' => true, ), ), );
Note that it may require additional configuration.