The fastest bank website on the Polish Internet
Santander Bank Polska SA
Faster loading of main product pages by 300%
For over 6 years now we have been a technological partner to Santander Bank Polska SA, part of the Spanish Santander Group. Within the framework of our steady cooperation we are responsible for the maintenance and development of the bank's portal founded on e-point CMS.
In a close collaboration with Santander, e-point's team has been maintaining and optimising the website in the e-point Private Cloud environment, responding to the current trends as well as continuously meeting technological and business needs.
Strategic investment in the digital experience
Last year, together with Santander, we managed to implement a multi-stage strategy aimed at a significant reduction in the main website and product sites loading times, stable reception of the higher traffic and an enhanced computing capacity of application servers. All of these were supposed to turn the santander.pl portal into a Digital Experience Platform able to live up to modern business challenges, and we believe the results have exceeded expectations.
"A modern technological base, stable systems and an optimised frontend are absolutely key and they constitute a starting point for the development of santander.pl. We keep investing in the digital experience – our goal is to have the most cutting-edge and the fastest online platform on the Polish banking market. We want to offer to our users the best digital experiences".
Dedicated teams, 12 months of work and a composition of projects delivered in various models
The implementation was quite non-standard – firstly, because we did not deliver one project, but a number of projects comprising the entire strategy. Secondly, some stages were implemented using the Fixed Price model, some with the Scrum model. On the part of e-point the engaged interdisciplinary teams consisted of: Java developers, frontend developers, a system architect, a business analyst, testers, web administrators and a project manager. They were further complemented by a team of business and technological experts from the Digital Competence Centre of Santander Bank Polska SA.
Optimisation analysis and setting the scope, hosting, backend and frontend changes
We introduced all changes step by step and measured the results achieved on a regular basis.
Analysis and setting the scope of work
We built the santander.pl website some years ago, based on the paradigm of all libraries loading continuously with the first site, which extends the time of its loading. Over time, Google had changed its algorithm of website positioning and indexing. Today, only the sites that open the fastest during the start-off are promoted the most. We have accounted for this situation.
In response to that, a dedicated e-point team along with the Santander team conducted a detailed application and business study with a view to proposing such development paths which can render the best results.
Hosting and backend changes
The hosting environment has been extended with two additional application server nodes, two http nodes, we expanded operational memory on all servers (from 6 GB to 8 GB), as well as increased the number of process cores on application servers (from 8 to 12). Thanks to this, the website can easily receive the increased traffic owed to redirected users shifting from e-banking to a dedicated landing page on the portal.
In the application itself we optimised the use of memory through components and moved marker replacers from the session to the application. We also optimised requests to the data base and implemented data caching for the frequently downloaded data.
In September 2022 the santander.pl website ranked first on the list of the fastest-loading Polish bank websites. By way of comparison, in February 2021 it occupied the fourth position (based on Web Vitals Leaderboard)
The main product sites have been loading by 250-300% faster (according to the measurements by WebPageTest and PageSpeed Insights).
Carbon footprint reduced by 75%.
For years now Santander Bank Polska has been consistently implementing the strategy of responsible banking and sustainable growth. Reducing the carbon footprint generated by the bank is one of the goals in the strategy. The project of accelerating the speed of the portal has allowed to reduce the carbon footprint produced in a single website view by 75%. It constitutes a significant progress in the bank's strategy.
Conversion higher on average by 10%.
Conversion, understood as a ratio of website process hits ("Loan application", "Account Request") to the number of website views is a key factor affecting sales in the portal. In a nutshell, it shows what proportion of users visiting a given site decide to make a purchase. The website loading speed has a strong impact on conversion – studies run by the Santander team found that after the portal's speed was accelerated, conversion in selected sites increased by as much as 10%. The increase has been sustained – monthly observations indicate a stable trend at a much higher level.
Higher SEO indicators.
The results for 3G Fast mobile traffic are as follows:
- a 65% reduction in the LCP rendering time (Largest Contentful Paint),
- an 18% reduction in the sum of TBT (Total Blocking Time) long tasks,
- a 46% reduction in the time needed to render the first website elements,
- a 43% reduction in the Speed Index, achieving a dynamic and stable rendering process of the Above The Fold space,
- a 50% reduction in the overall size of the files downloaded on the website.
Additionally, we have achieved excellent results in the proportion of high quality URL addresses.
- from 19.2 % to 50.9% - a rise in the number of URL addresses assessed as "high quality" for the mobile traffic by Google,
- from 89.9 % to 94.3% - a rise in the number of URL addresses assessed as " high quality" for the desktop traffic by Google.
We have also observed a significant rise in the values of FCP and LCP indicators.
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