Case study

Speeding up the front-end of Helikon-Tex.com eCommerce platform

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Challenge

The platform needed 4 seconds on average to fully load the homepage, and even 7 seconds to load the category or product sub-page.

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Results

We’ve shortened the time required for the homepage to load from 4 to under 2 seconds, and in the case of the product and category sub-pages – from 7 to 2.5 seconds. When implementing optimization measures, we found a way to reduce the costs of maintaining the infrastructure in an AWS cloud system two times.

Pride

We’ve added a caching layer on the server-side, which makes it possible to instantly feed the users with pages they have previously visited – without the need for the application to dynamically generate the content of the entire website.


References

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Quality :

Schedule :

Cost :

Willing to refer :

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“I’m positively surprised by the fact that Webini’s team went the extra mile to deliver more than agreed on. We contacted them with a request to speed up our platform. We didn’t expect to receive a bonus tip on how to reduce the costs of upkeep of our infrastructure. The entire project was carried out smoothly and efficiently, and the persons responsible for the implementation kept us up to date on the progress made. I’m glad to be able to say that Webini really does make the effort to ensure a positive customer experience.”

Krystian Niedźwiecki
Marketing Manager

Scope of work

Helikon-Tex is a Polish brand manufacturing and distributing military and paramilitary clothing as well as survival and outdoor accessories.

checkmark optimization of performance and processes on the platform side
checkmark optimization the costs of infrastructure maintenance
checkmark consulting
Obraz case study
Based on an in-depth analysis, we’ve managed to improve the loading time of the helikon-tex.com platform on different subpages two – and sometimes even three – times in just under 40 hours.
 Marcin, Senior Developer w Webini Marcin, Senior Developer w Webini
from 4 to under 2 seconds
from 4 to under 2 seconds

speeding up the loading time of the homepage

from 7 to 2.5 seconds
from 7 to 2.5 seconds

speeding up the loading time of product and category subpages

63% faster
63% faster

DOMContentLoaded event

USD 2K per month
USD 2K per month

reducing the costs of infrastructure maintenance

under 40 hours of work
under 40 hours of work

under 40 hours of work to make subpages load two or even three times faster

Jingle
THE CHALLENGE

Seconds too long

The role of an eCommerce platform is not only to support retail sales but also to act as an image-builder – to be an online catalogue showcasing the available products.

Despite the work of development teams, the platform was still loading from 4 to 7 seconds, depending on the type of subpage and the content on it.

 


Krystian Niedźwiecki

You can make all the effort in the world to build a strong, consistent image, but the outcome of the campaign will still depend on the number of seconds required for the page to load. And even a few can be way too many. Helikon-Tex’ customers are mostly determined and disciplined people. We wanted to make our platform just as disciplined in order not to make its visitors take a dislike to the brand, with the sense of irritation growing on them when e.g. navigating through particular subpages of the shop

Krystian Niedźwiecki
Marketing Manager at Helikon-Tex

Helikon-tex.com uses Cloudflare’s CDN and an AWS cloud solution.
The main service server is located in Frankfurt.
THE SOLUTION

40-hour investment

Before proceeding with the planned tasks, the developers performed precise website speed tests using inbuilt browser tools (Chrome DevTools, Lighthouse) and third party apps (Page Speed Insights, Pingdom, Dareboost). 

Logo Google Chrome
Logo Google PageSpeed Insights
Logo dareboost
Grafika przedstawiająca latarnię morską
Logo solarwinds pingdom

Project Team

Senior Developer

Regular Developer

Linux System Administrator

Quality Assurance

Project Manager

Using Google Analytics, they selected four most popular subpages to check their loading times. These included: the homepage, the category subpage, the product subpage, and the content page including text-based resources.

Based on past and current data from Google Analytics, they determined the time frames with the highest, lowest, and average traffic volumes

They conducted several series of measurements and determined average values to arrive at the most reliable result. They also arranged for the right testing environment – the settings of the testing device remained the same throughout the entire testing period. Plus, they performed the same sequence of actions on the platform before each test and measurement.

Considering the locations of the majority of Helikon-Tex’ customers, the developers decided also to use NordVPN to check how fast the platform ran and responded in East Europe, Asia, and North America.

The result?

It took 4 seconds on average for the platform to load the homepage fully. The subpages featuring text-based content loaded slower – in 5 seconds. The product or category subpages took the longest to load, i.e. about 7 seconds.

Homepage 4120 ms
Homepage + Content 5347 ms
Category subpage 5648 ms
Product subpage 7834 ms

Optimization

The members of the team, apart from working on the source code, have also taken their time to optimize the server environment. The combined efforts of the developers and the Linux Sysadmin have borne fruit in the form of another caching layer on the server-side. It makes it possible to instantly feed the users with pages they have previously visited – without the need for the application to dynamically generate the content of the entire website.

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The entire operation was accomplished successfully in less than the originally agreed 40 hours. The team commenced their work on 27 March 2019 and made the optimized version of the platform available to Helikon-Tex developers on 31 March.

THE RESULT

The homepage loads in under two seconds

The developers made tests and measurements according to a pre-arranged plan also during the performed work in order to see which element contributed to the shorter loading time of the page to the greatest extent. Adding a caching layer on the server-side turned out to be an unquestionable milestone.

Once all the optimization measures were implemented, the average page loading times were as follows:

Homepage
Acceleration image
4120 ms
1987 ms
52%
Content subpage
Acceleration image
5347 ms
1754 ms
67%
Category subpage
Acceleration image
5648 ms
2467 ms
56%
Product subpage
Acceleration image
7834 ms
2348 ms
70%

This means that the team shortened the full page loading times two – and in some cases even threetimes, as initially estimated and intended. They also made the DOMContentLoaded event fire 63% quicker.

Reduced subpage loading time… and infrastructure maintenance costs

The story doesn’t end with making the platform work faster, though. When improving Helikon-Tex’ server performance, our Linux Sysadmin found a way to reduce the costs of maintenance of the client’s infrastructure two times. The ‘discovery’ helped the company save almost USD 2 thousand per month.

Krystian Niedźwiecki

The difference was huge. Webini’s improvements were felt immediately. Before that, I had to wait for the platform to be fully operational. Now it’s ready to use virtually right away. Switching from one subpage to another is smooth and quick. At last, the visitor doesn’t have to wait with growing irritation for the next subpage to load. The only thing that has changed is the moment when we make the payment to Amazon

Krystian Niedźwiecki
Marketing Manager at Helikon-Tex
A QUESTION TO KRYSTIAN

What made you most impressed with Webini’s performance?

Krystian Niedźwiecki

I’m positively surprised by the fact that Webini’s team went the extra mile to deliver more than agreed on. We approached them with a request to simply speed up our platform. We didn’t expect to receive a bonus tip on how to reduce the costs of maintenance of our infrastructure. The entire project was carried out smoothly and efficiently, and the persons responsible for the implementation kept us up to date on the progress made. I’m glad to be able to say that Webini really does make the effort to ensure a positive customer experience.

Krystian Niedźwiecki
Marketing Manager at Helikon-Tex