Deploying a React Store on BigCommerce

Deliver a sub-second React website on BigCommerce with Layer0

Created and developed by Facebook, React is one of the most popular open-source JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces or UI components quickly and easily, using a component-based approach. React offers great runtime performance and is fit to be the backbone of complex, revenue-generating websites with heavy traffic, such as eCommerce and Travel websites.

React offers some benefits compared to the other popular frontend frameworks out there, including:

  • Virtual DOM: Nodes are re-rendered only as needed. React compares new data to original DOM and updates the View automatically. This enhances the performance of all-sizes applications that need regular content updates.
  • One-way data binding: React uses one-way data binding with an application architecture called Flux controls. React helps update the View for the user and Flux controls the application workflow.
  • Support for bundling and tree-shaking: This helps minimize the end user’s resource load.
  • Built-in server-side rendering (SSR) support: SSR offers speed gains in specific implementations.

BigCommerce is an eCommerce platform for small or enterprise level businesses. The platform offers a wide range of free and paid customizable templates for their traditional server-rendered frontend. There are a key features that have increased the platform's popularity, including 12 free templates, a drag-and-drop page builder, a built-in content management system(CMS) with SEO features and image optimization tools along with the ability to tweak CSS and HTML.

There are several BigCommerce APIs that let you manage store data and make client-side queries for product information including REST, Storefront, and GraphQL. In terms of performance, the platform has a few built-in features that help businesses deliver a fast and optimized shopping experience. Akamai Image Manager is included with Stencil themes, which will automatically optimize each uploaded image for the best combination of size, quality, and file format suited for each image and device, saving businesses time and effort. There are a few key built-in SEO features, such as the ability to create short URLs and AMP support. Additionally, BigCommerce supports SSR via the Next.js Commerce Integration and provides the ability to build a headless frontend based on APIs.

Layer0 lets you deliver a high performing React storefront on BigCommerce in hours. You can get started in minutes on Layer0 and see median speeds of 320ms, as measured by Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). But Layer0 does more than speed up your site, it is a Jamstack platform for eCommerce. The platform was built specifically for large-scale, database-driven websites, such as eCommerce and Travel, and provides the following benefits: 

  • Jamstack for eCommerce via both pre-rendering and just-in-time rendering
  • Zero latency networking via prefetching of data from your product catalog APIs
  • An edge that can be configured natively in your React app (CDN-as-JavaScript)
  • Edge rules that can run locally, in pre-production and production environments  
  • Automated, full-stack preview URLs from GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket with every new branch and push
  • Performant split tests at the edge and A/B tests that do not slow down the site, canary deploys, and personalization
  • Serverless JavaScript that is much easier and more reliable than AWS Lambda

With Layer0, your React BigCommerce store will run in sub-second speeds and your developers will be empowered to control edge caching and reduce rework.

Kate Spade, Planet Blue, and Shoe Carnival are impressive examples of what's capable on Layer0, as these are React stores are delivering sub-500ms page loads for their customers.

Layer0 is also a contributor to React Storefront, an open source eCommerce framework which powers over billion dollars in eCommerce revenue a year. Check it out if you are looking to re-write your eCommerce site into a blazingly fast site. Or if you're currently using React for your frontend, use the this guide to deploy your React application on Layer0 and get sub-second loads in as little as 1 hour of work. 

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