Losing sight of the lead
Online eyewear is a hyper-competitive market. Brands fight hard to out-spend each other for ad space, climb to the top of organic rankings, and earn their customers’ loyalty. Clearly had noticed they were having web performance issues and knew they needed to take action, but were handcuffed by the amount of tech debt in their stack. They needed an external partner to provide the oversight and collaboration needed to ensure everything was done right, and that the impact of any changes could be measured before launch.
Keeping eyes on the prize
Any mature digital business has a staging site to preview code or content changes before deploying to live customer traffic. Monitoring the speed of this site can help validate performance improvements before releasing code into the wild. For Clearly, this was particularly challenging because their staging site is not publicly accessible–it can only be reached through a private VPN. Other performance monitoring tools were unable to help.
We collaborated with Clearly to add the ability for their continuous integration test servers to post Lighthouse test results to our site speed monitoring API. That way, they could monitor the speed changes, compare to the live website, and ensure that code fixes were having the desired impact.
Many of the performance issues uncovered were recurring patterns, spread across hundreds of pages. We identified each opportunity, and helped the developers codify them into reusable, high-performance, CMS components. We then worked with the content management team to migrate custom code into reusable components, making the website drastically more maintainable, as well as more performant.
Taking back tech debt
With our help, Clearly set off with a ranked performance backlog so they could continue to optimize the site even after we were gone. This backlog consisted of both code changes to be made and content that needed to be optimized in the Content Management System. We coached their developers on how to make these changes and also helped get their Core Web Vitals up to speed.