Share your Soft Site's page speed!

My site is very slow, and I feel like the way Softr structures their API requests to Airtable can be streamlined. I believe right now it is one or many API requests per block on a given page, when a better design would be to identify the requests needed, combine duplicate or similar requests, and then load the results to the respective blocks.

A call to action for the community is to share your page speed below so that we can see if there are best practices on making your page load faster. You can do it using the link here:

https://pagespeed.web.dev/analysis/https-www-rentsmart-fyi/j234w1kvpz?form_factor=desktop

https://www.rentsmart.fyi/

I’ll go first:

Those tools are pretty focused on server-side rendered static sites… for dynamic sites/apps, they show a pretty low number…

We are prioritizing more web app and business app functionalities vs. website functionalities…

Regardless of how you market the product, Softr loads pages at a very slow clip and there is a huge opportunity increase to web performance.

I’m not sure I understand your comment on the speed number, If you click around my site, the pages load incredibly slow. The number seems accurate, regardless of how that site measures performance.

Based on your comment, it sounds like page speed and feedback from paying customers is not a priority for you. If you have internal company apps with a lot of data, their internal sites will load slow too.

If a customer has a lot of Hubspot /Airtable / Google sheets data, their sites will load slow due to how Softr renders the pages and does the API requests. Your team mentioned that you don’t use the filter function in the Airtable API requests so you are pulling an entire table / view anytime a list is being loaded, even if you have the linked list configured. These aren’t crazy things to fix that I am highlighting that would result in a better experience for your paying customers.

I think you are making a lot of assumptions here… performance measurement is not done by simply throwing out a single number…

We do a lot of optimizations to improve the speed. Keep in mind when one talks to the Airtable team, they say API can return data in 120 seconds… (and that’s ok for them), so those are the APIs we work with… for web apps, we prioritize working with APIs real-time vs caching, static data, with delayed updates…

Our user base is diverse, and with many requirements, we need a balanced approach and do our best to improve the speed without sacrificing other functionalities such as update speeds and security just to name a few…

Anyway, your site most of the time loads for me in 1-2 seconds, which IMO is great given that it’s showing dynamic data…

If you have specific pages that load slowly, ping me to set up a call and troubleshoot together…

And there is nothing wrong with focusing more on web apps, business apps, and internal tools, even if we have paying users who build websites… We will not be optimizing a lot for websites but keep the focus on improving the performance and functionalities of the non website cases…

–Artur

Your home page is loading almost instantly.

Visiting from Colombia / south America.

Great app and request! I’ll try a speed test on an app I’m working on once it’s launched and share it here.

Right now, it appears to load fairly quickly on my mobile. However, it’s text heavy with basic configurations and stock images. I would like to not only see how fast your homepage loads, but see how fast it is with lists and list details pages and modals with a lot of items and images other than stock graphics. For instance, there are no photos of the properties on your pages. It would be interesting to see how fast it loads with hundreds or thousands of actual photos to pull from your database along with more custom graphics or images on your pages.

As a business user paying thousands of dollars a year to use Softr as well, I agree that these requests should be addressed, rather than disregarded as builder ignorance. Unless Softr plans on builders or experts simply building demos with said basic configurations, graphics, and limited items to pull from, when a reliable speed tester says the performance can be improved, Softr should simply focus more on improving the performance and speed of web apps built on their platform.

Hey, @aar0n

Just wanted to chime in and let you know your site is loading instantly for me, as well. But I understand your position and it’s always interesting to hear different perspectives.

as @artur noted, performance can indeed be a subjective matter, and I know from experience various (sometimes seemingly ethereal) factors can contribute to the overall experience. In our case, we’ve integrated Softr.io as the front end of our intelligence platform, dealing with massive amounts of data from diverse sources and running resource-intensive geospatial features and integrations like maps, communications, and charts, and at times have struggled with performance issues ourselves. Over the past year, however, we’ve actually noticed significant performance improvements.

It’s also worth mentioning that testing websites may not always reflect real-world scenarios accurately. And for what it’s worth, we have experienced issues over the past couple of years originating from devices, browsers, cache, and internet connections even when receiving really good Lighthouse performance scores. Experiences can and do vary based on individual setups and usage patterns.

@Ben performance is a key topic for us, and almost every single day, we work on certain aspects of it… those can’t be ignored by us… :slight_smile: I’m also happy to jump into a call with clients who have particular performance issues to troubleshoot and find a long-term solution… also adding more data sources like XANO, SQL, and Supabase hopefully will give you alternatives to work with some real databases…

Thanks @artur for the heads up. If I’m to use Softr 2.0 with said databases, essential User Account management features like email verification, email address changes, and other improvements to existing functionality
would need to be deployed. If this and other essentials aren’t there by the time you connect with them, there’s no point for a huge segment of no-coders.

As you guys say, the worksite loads quickly on some pages (slower on others) but it does not load elegantly. Now I understand there are multiple API requests firing to load the page, but when the page loads, you see all the blocks almost violently pop up, each loading individually, you see fonts change from some default type to another font you selected too.

Here, I am loading a building page that highlights what I describe here, plus it takes 40 seconds for the chart to load, only to show that there was no data for this particular page.

When all the top page speed sites say softr sites are slow, it’s just something I can’t ignore, while also experiencing the slow loading myself…

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Yes this happens when softr attempts to load more than 100 records (the clock starts ticking)
The airtable API limitations are impacting user experience when using the charts block or the calendar block.

I have a project making heavy use of the calendar block but once I learned (the hard way) how this block works, I had to start replacing it with airtable native calendar views.

The maths were obvious

Calendar block loading time: 30 - 40 seconds / 5.000 records
Airtable calendar view loading time: 3 - 5 seconds. / 5.000 records

Of course, this can be seen as an airtable ‘move’ to keep users in their ecosystem.

We must have a clear understanding that airtable is not a database, but a collaborative app to organize and share information that can also be accessed via API.

In the case of the calendar block, a custom caching system could improve the user experience since past events usually turn into static data, and the API could make the call only to load future events.

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With charts and blocks like kanban and calendars we hit Airtable limitations and need to process huge data… The only solution we have and we are exploring is doing deep caching of the data… read and store for some time in our system which is not ideal but that’s the only way… we will be looking into it…

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@acjnas

Definitely understand. It’s a technical tradeoff for sure.

@artur

Two thoughts:

  1. The chart is based off linked records. I’m not sure how you are structuring the API request, but there are only 6 records I need out of 30k in airtable. I can use the airtable filter parameter in an API request and it is much faster. Does the API request you send a filter parameter based off the linked record? This also would apply to any block that uses linked records, for example, maps. I think a filter would be less technical work than deep caching?

2.What would be most ideal is if I can use airtable for pages only, and google sheets or a postgres DB to store the many records that go into the charts. Right now, I sync necessary records from Postgres up to Airtable that feed into the chart.

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