Best practices for optimizing Ruby on Rails performance

Best practices for optimizing Ruby on Rails performance

Ruby on Rails is a popular web development backend framework based on the famous Ruby language. This framework can be used to build all types of web applications and is fast on its own. But when it comes to building enterprise applications, optimizing your code and all related aspects is essential. This article will explain the best practices for optimizing Ruby on Rails performance for your subsequent enterprise applications. But before that, let’s look at why performance optimization is needed.

Why is Performance Optimization Needed?


Search engines promote web apps that are highly optimized and load web pages faster across all devices. When your apps are optimized, your SEO rankings will improve, and you will gain more organic traffic, resulting in higher usage growth.

Better User Experience

A website optimized for performance will load faster than the ones that aren’t. Such websites provide a better user experience as they can provide information quickly and also allow users to navigate between pages faster.

Saves Costs

An optimized web app requires fewer resources to run and efficiently serve incoming requests, which leads to decreased costs and significant savings in hosting and other infrastructure. Moreover, an optimized app also requires fewer resources to scale, so even if the incoming requests increase rapidly, your cost to build a web app will stay the same.

After learning why performance optimization is important, let’s look at some popular performance optimization practices for Ruby on Rails.

Performance Optimization Best Practices for Ruby On Rails

1. Optimize server

Different types of servers are available for other operations, and you should choose the most optimal server configurations for your tasks. If your web application is client-facing and you expect many users to use it continuously, you should select a server with the highest configurations for the best price. You should also check out cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud for better pricing for optimized servers. This can also save you money while providing significantly better uptime and support.

2. Use Load Balancing

When multiple servers are in your application, yet only a single server receives all incoming traffic and responds to requests, your performance will be better. In such scenarios, you should adopt load balancing to properly utilize all the servers in your application infrastructure.

Depending on your infrastructure and incoming traffic, you can set up load balancing to follow a round-robin pattern, weighted load balancing, or any other pattern. This will help you distribute loads across servers and provide optimal app performance.

3. Optimize Ruby Code

Optimizing your Ruby code will give you the best performance benefits. If you don’t follow clean coding practices, SOLID fundamentals, and other best practices, you won’t be able to develop and deliver highly optimized code, and it will take longer for such code to run. Hence, you should always follow coding best practices and optimize your Ruby code by minimizing loops, avoiding redundant calculations, and simplifying your algorithms.

Once your code is optimized and you have followed the best practices, your app’s performance will significantly boost.

4. SQL Indexing

A primary reason for slow Ruby applications is unindexed databases. When the database does not have an index, it is much slower as it has to work through the entire dataset to fulfill a query. You can improve your app’s performance by creating an SQL index on your database. When making a database index, find the columns accessed frequently and create an index on them to increase the performance significantly.

5. Use Libraries and Plugins

Every language has significant community support, and Ruby is no exception. Its large and active community constantly rolls out newer libraries and plugins for help. When building Ruby on Rails applications, you should focus on using existing libraries and plugins without reinventing the wheel. This will ensure you get the best performance, as various developers use libraries at different scales, and the code is also more optimized.

6. Cache Data

When building enterprise-grade applications, caching becomes an essential feature. Caching the data whenever a request is fulfilled helps decrease the rework for upcoming requests of the same type. This setup increases your app’s performance significantly and returns responses to users at blazing-fast speeds. When building a cache, you should find the frequently accessed items and populate them to avoid frequent cache misses.

7. Use Smaller and Compressed Files

Many times, developers and designers end up using larger files on the Ruby on Rails application, which results in a laggy application that takes a lot of time to load. To tackle this problem and gain performance in your app, you should always use smaller files for images and videos wherever possible.

With smaller files, the pages will load faster, and you will have a better and more optimized application. Also, the creatives being used should be optimized, like disabling animations, which is a crucial approach to improving Ruby on Rails Test Suite Performance.

8. Efficient Query Design

The execution order of SQL also impacts the performance of your Ruby on Rails application, which is why you should have an efficient query. It would be best to have a well-designed database structure and stronger relationships between tables to create optimized queries for your app.

To significantly boost performance, design queries optimally, utilizing techniques like selective retrieval, efficient joins, eager loading, etc.

9. Performance Monitoring

Monitoring your app’s performance is an essential part of optimizing it. It would be best to use monitoring tools like New Relic and Scout to profile your Ruby on Rails applications and determine their performance in real-time. Performance monitoring also helps you identify bottlenecks in the code so you don’t have to spend time fixing other things and can directly improve the unoptimized code.

10. Expand Server RAM

You may have the best processor and storage for your server, but if the RAM is less, it can quickly become a bottleneck for the application. You can improve your application’s performance by quickly expanding your server’s RAM. When the server has more RAM, its IO decreases as more data can be stored in RAM, boosting the app’s performance and response times.


Optimizing your Ruby on Rails application’s performance is crucial to its success, and you should not undermine this. If you have an underperforming application, it is time to create a checklist based on the above-discussed ideas and optimize your application for speed.