E-Commerce IT Consulting

IT Consulting determines the best way to build the e-commerce website based on the strategy. It is a how-to guide for development, IT support, and compliance with the Payment Card Industry. Deliverables provide:


There are many 3rd party testing tools to validate websites. Using them improves SEO because the website renders correctly in all scenarios, meaning your website can appear in any device's search result. Just because the page appears on your web browser, only assume that is the case for some users. Many websites show a massive number of errors using the following tools. We drive test scores to perfection because we want the best solution for our customers.

Performance Planning

Performance needs frequently get dropped from website development. Many e-commerce sites attempt to improve page load speeds after the fact with a CDN. However, virtually all websites prevent that from working correctly by turning off the cache for the top-level URL on the page. Our solutions analyze design options and develop solutions to make the website fast.

Network Distance

The network bandwidth rarely determines the download speed for a web page. The distance between the web browser and the server matters the most. The following chart shows eighty-one percentage of websites are too far from the local market for optimal performance. The transoceanic connections are so far they cause hanging and SEO issues. Businesses that need a global presence should deploy stand-alone websites to each region of operation. Local companies can deploy in a single location near their clients.
The following chart shows the average distance from businesses in Toronto, Canada, to the web server.
Distance from server to home office

System Tuning

System tuning finds the lowest cost configuration that still provides optimal performance. We start the process by significantly oversizing the hardware and tuning for the fastest response time. Performance testing establishes the benchmark for subsequent testing. Then we downsize hardware and seek to require the same performance. The process repeats until the solution lands on the smallest possible hardware footprint while retaining maximal performance. The approach drives up hardware efficiency to reduce system costs.

DNS Latency

DNS latency is the time taken to get the IP address for the website, which is a delay added to the page load time. The average response time from a primary DNS server is 1/4 second. The following chart shows the distribution of response times across 100,000 websites.
DNS Hosting Latency

Datacenter Connections

The number of parallel links between the internet and your hosting provider's data center impacts the reliability of your website. Highly connected installations make faster connections and have more options when dealing with internet overloads, outages, and maintenance issues.
The following chart shows the number of BGP concurrent connections immediately downstream from the website. It is a proxy of the network concurrency into the hosting data center. It reveals that enormous variations exist between providers.
Internet Backbone Connection for a Data Center

Server Hardware

Practically, one of the parameters drives the selection of the server model. The server in a cloud environment minimizes the number of options the designer has when selecting a model. The main criteria are CPU count, RAM, disk space, and disk speed. Load testing determines the required capacity. Our websites are network bound, so we selected the data center with the fastest network connections. Addition checks ensured the following hardware features on the server to further speed up the network.

Webserver Compression

Compressing, transmitting, and decompressing data sent to the web browser is faster than sending uncompressed data. The process is transparent to website design, and there is no need to compress source files. Web servers should compress all data except JPG and PNG files because they have built-in compression.
Compress Website Payloads

Operational Management

DevOps (Development and Operations) is a modern infrastructure development process that works well in cloud environments and with
Agile Software Development


Monitoring reduces the time between failure and detection of the outage. The design considerations are

Solution Deployment

Modern clouds turned software development on its head. It integrates performance, recoverability, security, and cost reduction requirements into frequent analysis, prototyping, testing, and deployment cycles. The many advantages of the approach include removing human error by fully automating and testing everything before deploying production. The added flexibility supported our total quality management.

Sub-Second Page Response Time

A fast website enhances the user experience. It makes the website accessible to slower clients, over slower networks, and at greater geographic distances from the server. That increases the page ranking. Our designs are the fastest on the web because we factor performance into every design decision.
The websites we build are 100% approved by Google performance per, as shown in the report below.
Google Page Insights Report

Number of URLs per Page

The number of URLs on a web page is the number of separate downloads the browser needs to complete to render the page. The fewer there are, the faster the page loads. The following chart shows the number of CSS files per page across 100,000 websites. Reducing them is critically important because the browser waits for all of them before starting to render the page. So fast sites have zero CSS files, as shown in green. Most e-commerce services are deep into the red.
CSS Files per Page

Payload Efficiency

An efficient payload is faster because it reduces the data sent through the network and the time rendering the content. Failure to keep code efficient leads to bloating. The following chart shows the ratio of visible text on a page over the payload size. It outlines that 13% of websites allocate 1% or less of the payload to content. The 4 to 15% range tends to be optimal because pages should provide metadata for SEO, security, and layout. There are many ways to increase payload efficiency. The most effective are:
HTML Text to Payload

Multi-Regional Deployments

Clients can deploy websites into multiple regions to enhance scalability, system availability, and page response time. Our solution is faster and more robust than a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Selecting High-Performance Technology

The best response times come from websites using the fastest technologies. We find them by analyzing data from over 100,000 local businesses. We look at DNS, networking, programming languages, and everything else that correlates with speed. Then we prototype solutions to optimize the hardware with the configuration settings. The most critical design decisions for performance are: technology decisions are:
Fast Server

Technology Selection

Technology selection is the basis of system design because inferior options severely degrade the solution's potential. Our method starts by gathering and analyzing data from over 100,000 websites. The facts allow us to:

Highly Available Design

The cloud significantly reduces the required investment to obtain high availability. That prevents many outages from happening in the first place and reduces recovery time should it occur. The following sections outline how to increase uptime in a cloud-providing IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

Software Currency

Many issues get fixed by applying current patches. However, most web servers are out of date. For example, WordPress powers over half of the websites but only patches the current version. The following chart shows that 81% of websites are out of support, as shown in the following chart.
Software Currency

Testing Environments

Testing is standard practice to mitigate IT risks, but most website services cannot clone production to build a test environment. Testing becomes increasingly crucial as the sophistication increases. Test environments support:
Testing Environments

Network Redundancy

Network redundancy provides multiple internet connections to the data center. The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) runs core internet routers and is the network protocol supporting concurrency. Hosting websites in a data center with many BGP links improves speed and reliability. However, many data centers have a single connection, while others have over 30.

Blue / Green Deployment

Blue/Green deployment tests a deployed production candidate before sending it production loads. Even if the candidate fails after rolling forward, the load can move back to the old version. The old environment remains in place until the new one proves stable, say after a week. The approach maximizes uptime during deployments which is the most unpredictable IT task.
Web Server Deployment

Hard Disk Redundancy

Hard disk redundancy supports continuous data uptime even when one disk fails. Unlike other types of hardware redundancy, disk redundancy is cost-effective due to the availability of sophisticated technology. If a disk fails, the other disks in the array rebuild the content onto the replacement. It is relevant because disks are a frequent mode of server failure.

Server Redundancy

Cloud solutions changed design patterns for server redundancy. It does not pre-purchase redundant capacity. Instead, it deploys them on demand and leverages the excess resources of the cloud provider. Even if the provider does not have an exact replacement, hardware virtualization ensures the image will run on different server configurations.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is the ability to recover from unexpected events. It's a matter of time before a solution crashes. Planning for that event lowers the probability of failure happening in the first place and minimizes the recovery times when it happens.

Disaster Recovery Requirements

IT disasters have well-known failure modes making recovery planning straightforward. A complete set of disaster recovery scenarios are:
Disaster Recovery

Business Continuity

Business continuity includes disaster recovery and the surrounding business processes. The supporting IT tasks are:

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

The RPO is the maximal possible time between the last backup and the point of failure. It represents the window of data loss. The inability to manage RPO can have a significant business impact, such as losing e-commerce purchase data. The business needs to know what the RPO means and a plan to address the effects.
Recovery Time Objective

Failure Detection Time

The failure detection time is the duration between a failure and the start of recovery processes. A monitoring solution reduces detection times and shrinks outage windows. Although, monitoring does not detect failure modes.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

The recovery time objective (RTO) is the time from deciding to recover to completion. Our designs can recover most e-commerce solutions within 15 minutes. That includes all recovery from all disaster modes.

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