Introducing Sitelify

Achieving fast page loading with Sitecore used to be a difficult and on-going problem to solve. That changes with Sitelify....

Posted on 4/22/2019 by Adam Conn

Page load time should be your top priority

How fast are visitors able to load pages from your site? Go test your site with this tool from Google.

In a 2017 study, Google & SOASTA looked at how bounce rates were affected when page load time increased. They found:

Increased page load timeIncreased likeliness to bounce1s → 3s32%1s → 5s90%1s → 6s106%1s → 10s123%

What does this mean in the real world? Consider how much lost value this works out to be between a site where pages load in 1 second and one where pages load in 5 seconds:

 Page load (1s)Page load (5s)Visitors (per day)100,000100,000Bounces (per day)30,00057,000Remaining (per day)70,00043,000Conversions  (2% of remaining visitors per day)1,400860Value from conversions  ($1,000 per conversion)$1,400,000$860,000Lost value (per day)--$540,000

Page load time outperforms personalization

Personalization is a valuable tool. In a 2013 study, Monetate & Econsultancy found that personalization can improve conversions by 19%.

But this is 19% of the visitors who didn’t bounce because of slow page loading. Adding this 19% improvement to the real world example:

 Page load (1s)Page load (5s)Visitors (per day)100,000100,000Bounces (per day)30,00057,000Remaining (per day)70,00043,000Conversions  (2.38% of remaining visitors per day)1,6661,023Value from conversions  ($1,000 per conversion)$1,666,000$1,023,400Lost value (per day)--$642,600

Personalization increases conversions, so value from conversions increases, as does lost value per day. But compare the value of conversions with and without personalization (higher value is better):

 Page load (1s)Page load (5s)No personalization$1,400,000$860,000With personalization$1,666,000$1,023,400

Another way to look at the results is by the percentage of increase when add performance optimizations and personalization (higher percentage is better):

Optimized on performance?Personalized?Increased value of conversionsYesYes48%YesNo39%NoYes16%NoNo0%

The elusive goal of a fast Sitecore site

At Altola, we work with some of the largest Sitecore customers. Something we heard from them over and over again was frustration with the performance of their sites, specifically a) how long it takes for pages to load, and b) how many Sitecore servers are needed to handle the number of visitors they have.

This frustration was exacerbated by several factors:

  • Arcane skillset required

    - Finding experts with experience with Sitecore performance tuning and scaling is difficult.

  • Traditional scaling options are expensive

    - Adding more Sitecore servers (horizontal scaling) is often required, and ongoing costs of this grow quickly.

  • Resulting complexity creates new problems

    - Performance tuning introduces one-off changes needed to improve performance in specific cases. This increases maintenance costs and creates upgradability challenges.

How Sitelify improves page load time

Sitelify uses several tactics to improve page load time.

Tactic 1: Pre-building pages

In Sitecore, the biggest factor in determining page load time is how long the page building process takes.

Instead running this time-consuming process every time a visitor views a page, Sitelify runs it before the visitor needs to view. This means the pages can be delivered to visitors immediately.

Tactic 2: Moving content closer to visitors

When you are considering page load time, every fraction of a second counts. The difference in page load time between a website hosted in your own country and one hosted in a country on the other side of the world can be significant.

Sitelify deploys Sitecore websites to Netlify. If you aren’t familiar with Netlify, it is a next-generation CDN (content delivery network). When a visitor views a website delivered by Netlify, the visitor is served content from the closest possible data center.

Tactic 3: Reducing load on Sitecore servers

With Sitelify, Sitecore plays a much reduced role in delivering websites. Sitecore is used to generate the website, but the actual delivery is handled by Netlify.

However, if you’re using personalization, Sitecore continues to play a role in the actual delivery. Instead of generating and delivering complete HTML pages that already incorporate personalized content, Sitecore generates and delivers just the personalized content. The browser injects that content into the page for the visitor.

This lets Sitecore focus on a very specific task during the delivery process, enabling it to handle more visitors.

Other benefits of Sitelify

The customers we talked to want faster page loading, but they aren’t willing to accept it at all costs. For example, they aren’t willing to spend twice what they are currently paying in order to improve performance. A viable solution has to support other requirements, which Sitelify does.

  • Compatibility


    - Sitelify does not require any changes to your Sitecore site in order to work, nor do you lose any Sitecore functionality by using it. It is compatible with any site built using JSS.

  • Incremental deployability


    - Sitelify is not an all-or-nothing option on a Sitecore server. You may deploy some sites to Netlify and have Sitecore deliver others. Once a site is deployed to Netlify, it can be undeployed, as well.

  • Robustness


    - Netlify runs on multiple public clouds and on data centers around the world. Sites running on Netlify stay up even if one public cloud suffers a service outage.

  • Scalability


    - Sitecore is a digital experience platform. While it can scale, scalability is not the product’s focus. It is, however, for Netlify. By deploying to Netlify you get automatic, instant, configuration-free world-wide scalability.

  • Cost effective


    - Scaling Sitecore on Azure is expensive. Sitelify deploys sites to Netlify, which is a much more cost effective alternative.

Learn more

Visit the Sitelify website for more information or to schedule a demo.