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Sitecore XP | How to code for better ROI

Sitecore XP | How to code for better ROI

21 August 2018 | News and Insights

By understanding the importance of measurement, patterns and process, developers can use code to generate great results

The quality of your website’s code can have a direct effect on the ROI of your Sitecore XP deployment. It’s widely understood that features that don’t work can result in losing you customers. But what impact does the speed of your website code have on your business?

It’s reported that every extra second that an Amazon page takes to load could lose them $1.6bn in sales per year. Aside from that specific statistic, from experience slow websites tend to make me click away. Arguably, a slow website will lose you customers.

At Kagool, we’re experienced in helping enterprise level organisations resolve problems with sluggish sites. I’ve previously talked about this at a Sitecore user group event in Manchester and I’m lucky enough to have been asked to discuss the topic at this year’s Sitecore Symposium 2018.

Performance

Performance is a common problem. Building a website that works well in a test phase is straightforward because this rarely includes the full content structure and the volume of load that will be seen in production. Test are more often checks of the functionality of the site, and they often use “lorem ipsum” content.

But to build a site that continues to perform well when the servers are dealing with the full force of Internet load on the complete content tree, takes the focus and expertise of an experienced team of developers.

When using the Sitecore XP, your team needs to understand three key things. These help to ensure you get the best from your deployment:

  • Measurement
  • Patterns
  • Processes

Measuring

One thing that’s critical to getting the best out of your website is measuring.  Ensuring your developers know about the tools and techniques available to measure the effect that their code has on your website’s servers. Before they start optimising and improving any code, they need to have a baseline measurement of how it performs to start with. This allows two key decisions.

Firstly, at the start of the work it allows them to decide which parts of the site are the best targets for performance work. As they progress it lets them know how big a difference each change makes. Without the ability to measure, they might focus on the wrong areas of the code, or potentially make changes which don’t actually help.

Patterns

Secondly, developers need a firm grasp of the software development patterns involved in their work. They need to understand what patterns in their code can cause bad performance, so that they avoid writing these (or know that these are a good target for improvement when they are found). Some of these patterns are easy to see and crop up regularly.

Poorly written queries against the content held in the Sitecore XP come up regularly when we see sites with problems. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, if every page of your site reads tens of thousands of bits of content when a user requests it, it won’t perform well under high load. Other patterns can be harder to spot and require understanding of the good and bad aspects of an implementation.

Processes

Your overall development processes can help ensure you end up with good performance. As user experience relies on performance as much as content, it’s important to get this right for maximum ROI. Much like bugs, the cost and effort involved in rectifying performance problems increase as the project goes on.

So, ensuring that your development team includes performance work throughout their project will make for much better outcomes. Having a task for “load test the site” in your final sprint will be much harder work than ensuring your developers are all looking out for code performance while they work on individual tasks. Measuring performance as they go along and ensuring that they have test content at the right scale for production will help significantly here.

Find out more in Orlando

I’ll be exploring how developers can apply these three principles to Sitecore XP in a lot more detail in my session at this year’s Sitecore Symposium, it’d be great to have some discussion there. However I will keep you updated with the event in later blog posts if you can’t make it.

Alternatively, if you’d like to find out how your organisation can benefit from working with a Sitecore Platinum Partnercontact us today.

Let's talk more