How to improve the Ruby on Rails development performance?

Ruby on Rails, which is popularly called Rails, is an open-source server-side web application framework. Rails, as a framework, uses all popular web standards such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JSON and XML etc.

In other words, Ruby on Rails is an almighty tool for web development. Seamless database creation and migration with web apps make Rails an excellent tool for any web app.


Ruby on Rails has made a great impact on app development since day one and the same heritage has continued since then. Even the more popular web and mobile app development frameworks, like NodeJs, borrowed from the basic idea of Rails, to begin with. They continue to be influenced by Rails’ cutting-edge innovations.

As a developer, I understand Rails' importance to our profession. But there may arise some unnecessary situations where the performance of Ruby on Rails development may be felt on the lower side. So, for the sake of better productivity, it is essential to boost the Ruby on Rails development performance.

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First of all, Ruby on Rails hasn't been in the list of fastest frameworks. And then since Ruby on Rails is in the continued development and, like any other open-source tool, it always will be. Every update brings new features and also new bugs to the core, making the Rails development even slower.

In this article, I will discuss how you can improve the performance of the development process by optimizing both the backend and front-end.

Do not expect high performance.

Ruby is not the fastest programming tool, so don’t wish Ruby on Rails to be among the fastest of the lot. Always remember that you are not going to get the best to speed with. So temper your expectations and then try to get at least the classic hundred milliseconds turnaround.

Do Database Indexing.

While database indexing is a slow operation, it boosts your web app by making data fetching easier and faster.

What is database indexing?

Database indexing is an operation in app development that creates a data structure that improves the speed of data retrieval operations at the cost of additional writes and storage space to maintain the index data structure.

Solve N+1 query performance problem by Eager Loading.

N+1 query performance problem is caused by poor use of child objects in Ruby on Rails programs. You can use Eager Loading to solve this performance problem.

Eager loading is the exact opposite of lazy loading in web applications.

Use the 80-20 rule.

80-20 rule is also known as the Pareto principle. 80% of the work is completed by 20% of the hard work. What I mean to say is that you should not spend your time on little things but rather focus on the bigger problems. This will improve your workflow and also help you complete the projects quickly.

Thin Controller and Fat Model.

Make sure to limit the amount of data and make controllers as light and thin as possible. Controllers with limited data will have the upper hand in performance and the model you’ll render in the end will be worth working upon.

Selection of correct session storage.

In Ruby on Rails, various session storage options are available depending upon your programs’ needs. You can either choose to store all data on the client (CookieStore), on DRb server (DRbStore), in MemCache (MemCacheStore) and in a database using Active Record (ActiveRecordStore).

App Cache

Caching is possibly the best way to improve the performance of a Ruby on Rails application. There are dozens of ways you can allow app cache on the client devices as well as on the server, including asset cache, page cache, OPcache, fragment cache, SQL cache, and action cache.

Make use of Content Delivery Networks.

A content Delivery Network or a CDN is a great way to boost any web app. CDN boosts app performance by caching up static files on cloud servers located in different datacenters and then service those to users from the nearest datacenter. The use of CDN makes content delivery fast and that results in a way faster app performance.

Minification and compression of files

Last but not least - you can improve your Ruby on Rails app performance by minimizing scripts and compressing files. This will result in way faster load time and speed, improving the application's development and delivery.