The E-commerce IT team had already implemented web performance optimizations, bu BUT.fr CTO decided to take things to the next level to save time and improve website security. In record time, Fasterize solved a problem that had been going for too long: make the web site fast while maintaining performance over time.

 

Market
Home - Furniture

Traffic
10M visits per month

Speed
Speed Index -45%
Start Render -40%

CMS
Custom


Context

But.fr is an e-commerce website for furniture. The site receives 70% of its visits from mobile devices. But.fr also enables customers to find products and then go try them out in one of more than 310 retail locations throughout France. The website’s main purpose is to generate traffic and thus generate revenues in shops.

A cache system (application and HTML) was already in place, as were other improvements, such as minification of JS and CSS, GZIP compression and image compression, etc.

The integration team also followed best practices, such as optimising fonts so that only the absolutely necessary page elements have to be loaded. The development team looked out for the size of objects and used compression, minification, and compilation of JavaScript.

On the server side, But.fr has an application cache layer.

Still, in spite of their best efforts, loading times continued to slow because of pages weighed down by advertisements, A/B tests, and certain features.

So, the CTO of But.fr turned to Fasterize to automate the application of web performance optimisations and to efficiently maintain them over time.


Goals

Web performance relies on many interdependent elements, and even when you carefully follow best practices, maintenance needs are still significant. With each new change to the website, the level of performance would drop because of side effects on optimisations. So, But.fr needed a way to keep their webperf actions working well.

Additionally, one of But.fr’s major goals was related to mobile loading times – they wanted to reduce their Speed Index by 1,000 points, or 1 second, for the homepage.

On the technical side, But.fr also wanted to take advantage of a greater level of compression with Brotli, which the Fasterize engine makes easy to deploy.

Web performance is something you have to work on every day! Using an agile development method, we dedicated several sprints to optimising our front end, but we couldn’t find the time to work on it daily. With each new development cycle, when we added in third-party services or when our marketing team or web service provider made changes, we ran the risk of undoing our previous improvements. We wanted a SaaS solution that would do the work for us while making the website faster to improve conversion rates.

Rémi Guignard - CTO

Deployment

Deploying Fasterize was very fast: it took less than three weeks!

It took:

  • 2 technical meetings
  • 2 weeks of pre-production tests

involving:

  • 2 people from the quality department
  • 1 lead developer
  • 1 technical project manager
  • the CTO

… and the optimisations were activated! But.fr was able to immediately benefit from the front-end optimisations, but also from an additional security layer thanks to Fasterize’s web application firewall (WAF).

The turning point was when we realised that we weren’t able to advance with our webperf projects. Having formerly been a lead developer architect, I thought that using a third-party solution would take away my control of my website and that the solution would be like a ‘black box.’ In reality, it’s the exact opposite! Fasterize works like a content delivery network (CDN). I can activate and deactivate optimisations, or even the engine itself, at any time. The other advantage of Fasterize is that we can also take advantage of shared infrastructure, with a layer of protection that’s superior to what we could implement ourselves.

Rémi Guignard - CTO

Support

What But.fr likes most about Fasterize: independence and transparency.

Teams are able to easily use the platform to perform tests both with and without optimisations before actually deploying them.

Fasterize has become our front office! We are totally independent thanks to the plug-in, which allows us to figure out the sources of problems when we encounter them. This plug-in is very easy to use and it saves us a lot of time before opening support tickets. What’s more, our dedicated Customer Success Engineer (CSE) is always there to help us and advise us. That autonomy is essential for enabling us to advance quickly and efficiently and for making our work flow better

Rémi Guignard - CTO

Implementing Fasterize at But.fr gave them a turnkey solution for the very technical needs encountered by their development teams. Our front-end optimisation (FEO) features have also helped ensure that all web performance best practices are followed. They have also helped But.fr go further thanks to, for example, the smart cache, DeferJS to time third-party services, and optimisations made with HTTP/2. Rémi and his team quickly learned to use our dashboard, giving them independence in configuring our engine. This means our solution can easily adapt to changes on their website.

Nicolas Hodin

Nicolas Hodin - Customer Success Engineer, Fasterize

Results

The IT Department had planned for several projects in the year ahead, including development of a smart cache, implementation of HTTP/2, Brotli compression, and a CDN. All of these were done at the same time thanks to Fasterize, which made it possible to deploy in just three weeks what But.fr had planned to do over 12 months. But.fr IT team thus saved valuable time: the website is now faster, with less effort and fewer resources. Additionally, optimisations continue to work over time. Performance tracking has also been simplified since teams can now focus on observing results and high value-added development projects, instead of spending all their time on fixing bugs. The indicators monitored are mainly the speed index and start render, with special attention paid to the homepage, which is the most important landing page.  For the homepage, the following improvements have been observed:  
  • Desktop
    • Speed Index -66%
    • Start Render -50%
  • Mobile
    • Speed Index -25%
    • Start Render -30%

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