Ecommere website performance and scalability

In: SEO and Internet Marketing

23 Dec 2011

How to make your ecommere website robust, scalable and perform well under pressure:

Scalability and Robustness

Running a successful Web site that generates a vast amount of traffic will obviously be very good for business and potential advertising revenue. However, this is only true as long as the Web site keeps functioning at a reasonable rate. Many successful businesses have run into problems because they did not expect such high volumes of traffic.

The basic rules are simple and apply to the amount of bandwidth need, not (necessarily) the number of visitors you have. A kilobyte file being accessed by one thousand people is the equivalent to one person accessing
a megabyte file. If your business is selling mp3 files (a music compression format) then you will need to develop the infrastructure for people to download 3-6 megabyte fifes. If you do not have sufficient bandwidth
and your user base grows dramatically you may well find your service grinding to a halt and your users going elsewhere.

Some Internet services (like information databases) rely on software running on the server to perform search functions and the like. These, too, can radically slow down the performance of a service, and sufficient processing capacity should be planned for. So you need a server or hosting package that is up to the challange of keeping up with your ecommerce website’s demand. The most common 5$/month linux hosting fine if you are selling 10 products and have less than a hundred visitors per month.

But if your online store is big and it is developed with a complex php/mysql framework such as Magento you better start with a VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated server with ample RAM and Processing powers. You should also ensure that your hosting company is top level and has the means to let you upgrade your package easily.

Reliability

There is a saying that you ‘pay for what you get’, and this is especially true in the realm of Internet service provision. You need to understand what levels of reliability you need in order to keep your readership/customers
happy, and ensure that you have a service level agreement with your supplier that will fulfil this. You will also want to ensure that they have contingency plans in the case of a systems failure (some companies run dual systems
and have remote servers backing up their client data so that, if there were a problem, they can be back on line-almost immediately).

Various parts of the Internet are owned and managed by different companies and it is not always obvious where a fault has occurred. If you are dialling into a small ISP via a modem on a home computer, the problem could be:

  • your domestic line;
  • your modem;
  • your local ISP:
  • the backbone connection your ISP uses.

It has not been uncommon for services to go down for several hours at a lime because a water company has dug through a cable!

On the other hand, it could be your unresponsive hosting company who let your website stay down for hours in end. Ensure that the web hosting company is reliable by checking their reviews throughout the internet. Find out what other users of their services have to say before buying into them. See what kind of supports they provide and how responsive their support is. Do they have a public forum where they share their problems and solutions? Do they have live chat support and ticket system?

Meeting Future Requirements

As you can see from the above it is vital to get the right infrastructure to support your business and you must permanently keep an eye on your requirements. The Internet population is growing all the lime, and it also is expecting more and more sophisticated applications and user interfaces on Web sites. These all take up extra bandwidth, so it is worth remembering what your prime objective is: offering products or services in an intuitive
and easy to access way.

1 Response to Ecommere website performance and scalability

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Dennis Holloway

May 2nd, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Yeah ,thats really important to keep maintaining site and make it perform well under pressure (more traffic). I liked the post and mainly its presentation. Good work author. Kepp going.

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dna88 blog is a place for some rants about the web design and development technologies, internet and everything else in the universe! Blog posts may include but are not restricted to xhtml, CSS, php, mysql database, ajax, jquery, apache server, physics, super string theory, brane multiverse, parallel universes, philosophy, movies, TV series, music, heavy metal bands and whatever pops into my mind.

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