Optimising web performance with third-party services

17th July 2019

Balancing functionality with performance

Few e-commerce sites run without any third-party services – and the more complex the site, the more likely it is to rely heavily on multiple third-party solutions to deliver a dynamic user experience (UX) with content-rich functionality. Third parties are increasingly employed to facilitate back-office services such as card processing, as well as intelligence-led tracking and analytics operations plus those that are designed to improve the UX, like personalisation.

But, while third-party services can elevate your web functionality, they can be a double-edged sword, each representing a potential point of failure that could affect performance. Even those services that don’t impact the UX may affect data collection – so you’ll definitely want to be sure you’re getting the performance you’re paying for.

How can you more easily manage third-party services?

Build close relationships with your service providers so you can resolve issues quickly. Choose a monitoring solution that includes a rapid alert system so that providers can address issues relating to their infrastructure or content without delay.

The key third-party services are those that have the greatest potential to negatively impact the UX and disrupt revenue opportunities, so make sure you prioritise those components that impact site speed, payments and other crucial stages of the shopping experience.

Remember that your peak sales periods will also be the busiest times for your third-party providers, so do your research to ensure potential suppliers are robust enough to cope and are prepared to commit to guaranteed service level agreements (SLAs).

Use a tag management tool that will allow you to switch third-party components off if they become problematic. You’ll need to consider how third-party scripts load so that you don’t impact page speed, though.

Synthetic Monitoring will:

  • Flag performance issues dynamically
  • Ensure sure third-party solutions are operating as promised
  • Provide an honest overview of your site’s performance
  • Help to hold third parties to account
  • Prioritise those issues that require immediate action
  • Measure the impact of third-party solutions on the UX
  • Track performance over time so you can build an accurate picture of performance

Download the Jigsaw case study to learn how this leading retailer uses monitoring to gain insight into the performance of third-party components on its busy e-commerce site, check out our monitoring services page or browse through blogs that cover these issues and more.