Our Work





Sheplers, the world's leading provider of country & western apparel and accessories, has been synonymous with western wear for over 100 years. As the western lifestyle's global adoption has surged, so has their brand presence. Faced with the need to have their ecommerce technology support a brand that has a continually expanding national and global presence, Sheplers partnered with us to drive their technology to deliver a scalable and responsive experience no matter where the end user may be.


Sheplers, like most retailers, understands the importance of site performance and scalability. More specifically, they understand the relationship between site performance and conversion rate. As such, the focus of this project was highly targeted to improve the performance of their key pages as it pertained to their user's shopping experience. During our analysis we examined the performance of the code itself, its interaction with all 3rd party services and components, and suitability for global distribution. Like many performance tuning exercises that we have lead, there was not a singular magic item that was impacting performance. Our findings were the much more common "death by a thousand paper cuts" scenario. Below is just a sampling of the items that were uncovered:

  • Unneeded 3rd party elements on pages
  • 3rd party features (Google Analytics, Bazaarvoice, etc) utilizing older versions of APIs that were not able to take advantage of edge caching technologies, asynchronous and non-blocking loading, and delivery via Content Delivery Networks. The modern APIs also dramatically reduce the number of external requests and simplify the page's execution for the browser
  • Analytics configuration that required the use of cross domain cookies that resulted in large upload requirements for client web browsers. As the customer gets further from the origin data center or if they have limited upload bandwidth this can dramatically impact performance.
  • Unset cache-headers on portions of pages that did not allow for edge and browser caching to eliminate repeated downloads of static content.
  • JavaScript deferrable calls that were at the beginning of the page. JavaScript downloads block the browser from starting additional parallel downloads and therefore moving them to the bottom of the page allow the graphic and layout elements of the page to load first resulting in a perceived faster experience.


This performance initiative served as a foundational block of Sheplers ongoing commitment to their customers to deliver a consistent, rich, and fast experience regardless of their geography. This commitment to their customer's experience has enabled Sheplers to continue to be the global leader in western wear.