Spellbinding performance

How many times have you been to see a play or a musical piece but it hasn’t quite lived up to your expectations? The stage is set, the scenery is in place and the actors or musicians are on stage – but the performance is somehow not up to scratch. It leaves you disappointed and inclined to leave a negative review…

This is how poor performing websites can leave you feeling – that ticket you want to buy is tantalisingly close, yet the website lets you down or you simply sit there waiting for a page to load...

There are many ingredients that can lead to slow website performance, including technical debt and bad practice. As with any type of debt – the more it is ignored, the more that debt builds up and the bigger the knock-on effect… Not only do customers then experience poor user experience (UX), leaving them feeling frustrated, likely to withdraw their custom or leave a poor review, but it can also cost the business in terms of SEO, PPC costs, scaling and hosting costs.

At Lake Solutions, we continually work with our clients to ensure that the performance of their Sitecore site is the very best it can be. This means that we regularly audit and test the sites we look after and, on an ongoing basis, routinely fix any issues which crop up. This sustainable approach leads to increased customer engagement and reduced ongoing costs – as we’re not trying to sort out escalating issues caused by ignored technical debt and bad practice. The results speak for themselves.

A new client approached us recently with a challenging issue. Its Sitecore based website was slow and not performing well and, as a result, the client was having to scale hosting to facilitate traffic demands being made of it. Often bad site performance is a symptom of deeper issues and the impacts can be felt well beyond the bottom line of the hosting bill each month.

The site was a large and complex implementation, which was a number of years old. As with any IT solution like that, many technicians had worked on it over time – and many hands don’t always make light work… The impact of this was that technical debt had been building up within the solution, resulting in a negative impact on the site’s performance but also making the costs of change higher for the client.

When we are called upon to trouble shoot a site like this, our approach is to carry out a comprehensive review of the solution and identify areas for improvement. Our team are experts in problem solving and will often find that performance has been impacted by a small element of code – which is having a profound impact across the whole site. As it turned out for this new client, this was indeed the case and even very simple content pages were being affected.

Once we’ve identified and resolved an issue, we utilise a number of testing tools and techniques to measure ongoing performance and the impact of any fixes we’ve applied.

We don’t just sort out issues; we always look to improve sites too. So, through our testing process we came up with solutions to increase performance which, when instigated resulted in a throughput increase of up to 663%. We are now working with this client on an ongoing basis.

If your performance isn’t up to the level it should be, then give us a call.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
30 January 2018