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How to - Troubleshooting Azure and Sitecore

While it is difficult to predict where technology is heading, there is one thing for sure: The future of a brand’s digital experience relies on harnessing the best of technology. Emerging technologies like Sitecore allows for brands to maximize their content efforts to its fullest potential.

But what happens when Sitecore’s technical nuances are holding your website content back? Failure to audit and fix technical concerns from a platform like Sitecore can create serious roadblocks in your digital efforts.

Azure and Sitecore: Setting the Foundation for A Highly Scalable Web Application

Our US-based client’s web application is built on Sitecore and deployed on Azure PaaS infrastructure to deliver an immersive digital experience to their customers. Here, Azure PaaS provides an inbuilt infrastructure for the client's web application by managing the entire life cycle starting from development, testing, deployment, and support. It also offers greater stability in terms of workflow, directory services, and security as well.

However, problems arose when Azure's maintenance activity caused the website servers to get removed. This created a major issue for the Sitecore web application: it developed a cold start issue.

Cold start is a term to explain the phenomenon that apps take much longer time than usual to start up. In the context of Azure, a cold start increases the latency for functions which haven't been used recently. Let's go deeper into that!

Handling Complicated Cold Start Issues in Sitecore

In general, a cold start for web application means that the app needs an extra period of time to warm up to get started. This creates slow start time for the app and can be frustrating for the back-end users. To resolve this cold start issue, our team deployed several approaches to which helped the client to achieve:

  • A responsive site for the user that’s manageable

  • A decrease in the slow response of the site

From a technical standpoint, the situation of cold start presented many nuances, mainly due to the lack of tangible solutions. It was difficult to determine what’s causing the slowdown in the client's web application.

Sitecore and Azure: The Main Challenges

Due to the maintenance activities of Azure, there were certain setbacks with Sitecore’s application such as slow loading speed of the website. Low page load speed has a direct impact on a site’s bounce rate. Moreover, it serves as a hinderance to the overall experience and can impact sales negatively. Also, as a result of cold start, managing the server dependency that helps in ensuring the optimum performance of the website can became critical.

After further reviews of the site’s overall analytics, the decline in website loading speed was caught. After several discussions, it appeared that there was one likely factor responsible for the plunge and that is the unplanned Azure maintenance that caused the slow response of the application.

The Outcome: Improving the Odds of Sitecore’s Web Application

Over the next few weeks, several solutions were implemented with no results at all. Finally, our team found a unique solution which is called App Init and we deployed it. This powerful solution helped increase the page loading speed scores while correcting the issues accordingly. We were able to create major performance improvements to the web application backed by Sitecore features.

Elevate Web Experiences to Win Your Customers

Sitecore features are known for bringing compelling experience to users and customers, but it’s not without its fair share of technical hiccups. It is important to know how these issues can create significant roadblocks for development time.

So, what is the best strategy to tackle these issues? Measure and analyze! Using what you have in your tech stack isn't always the key, especially if it doesn't solve the problem at its core. Fueled by our customer-centric approach, research and analytics, our Sitecore experts delivered a solution that will have lasting impact.

Want to shorten the time between a great idea and a great outcome? Connect with us to win in the age of the customer.

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