Hosting

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Magento eCommerce
Rough network diagram showing the journey a website visitor would take, from accessing an eCommerce website, through firewall to web server Rough network diagram showing the journey a website visitor would take, from accessing an eCommerce website, through firewall to web server

Hosting Partners

There is no one size fits all solution for hosting your eCommerce site, so iWeb have partnered with three major providers. We do not use off-the-shelf control panels or sell shared hosting. Everything that we do is supported by our professional operations team and tuned to your needs.

All of our hosting providers are PCI and ISO 27001 compliant and, unless you want otherwise, all of your data will reside within the EU.

Amazon Web Services

With points of presence over the globe and the ability to rapidly scale to meet with demand, Amazon’s AWS is almost synonymous with Cloud Computing. iWeb layer our performance tuning, security and monitoring on top of the compute services that Amazon provide and bring our multi-server Magento experience to help you scale your website out to more servers to deal with demand.

iWeb usually provide services out of the EU West (Dublin) Amazon location, but can operate your site in the USA, South America, Australia, Singapore or Japan.

USP: Global reach.

Telecity

iWeb have our own secure suite at Telecity in Manchester, where we manage over a hundred dedicated servers for our clients and run our own Private Cloud. Our Telecity site is served by three bandwidth providers, delivered over diverse fibre-optic. Of course, we have uninterruptible power in every rack, as well as generator back up, and through Telecity we have state of the art physical security in place.

Because the infrastructure is our own we’re able to build bespoke solutions for our customers and not rely on what’s available from our other partners. Our Telecity option is best suited for customers with specific requirements not catered for above.

USP: UK Based, iWeb operated infrastructure.


CDN Partners

A content delivery network takes over the burden of serving all of the static parts of your website: images and scripts, and in some cases, whole pages. The best CDNs have points of presence all over the world: this means that a visitor in Germany only has to fetch data from Frankfurt, and not cross the channel to the UK.

Even at the speed of light, it takes 1.3 seconds for a full browsing session from Australia to the UK to start* - so everyone that’s selling worldwide can benefit immediately from using a CDN.

* 10,000mi between London and Sydney, 56ms at the speed of light. Each connection requires three packets (56ms*3 = 168ms) and the browser connection limit in IE10 is 8 (8*168ms = 1.344s)

Fastly

Many content delivery networks are available on the market and we will help you integrate with any of them, but Fastly are the only provider we wholeheartedly recommend. The CDN of choice for people who want total control, Fastly powers Twitter’s build and images, and let us make our customers’ sites as fast in Melbourne or Montreal as they are in Manchester.


Monitoring

iWeb’s Operations department runs a blend of monitoring software which has changed over the years. At the highest level these make sure that your site is up and not serving an error - but we go much further: we know when your servers are filling up too quickly, when your site has suddenly gotten slower, and if any unauthorised access has taken place.

Pingdom

Even though we run our own checks on your website, it’s important for us to get an outside perspective on your site’s availability. Pingdom provides an impartial web check that runs independent of iWeb’s infrastructure and notifies us (and, optionally, you) of a problem in the unusual case that our internal monitoring hasn’t already.

We believe building in layers of protection is as important in monitoring as it is in the production of your site.

PagerDuty

We trust PagerDuty to deliver notifications of any problems to our on-call engineers, 24 hours a day. If for any reason an issue isn’t acknowledged in a timely manner, we automatically escalate to other operations staff, their manager and our directors.

New Relic

For customers with a keen eye on performance optimisation, we use New Relic to measure the entire experience a customer has with your site: through “Real User Monitoring” the whole life-cycle of a transaction on your site, from database to Magento to Javascript running in the browser can be captured.

We can help you use this information to know what parts of the site can be improved and what the implications are.


Caching

Redis

Even before Magento officially decided to support Redis, we have been using it in multi-server Magento deployments to provide the fastest Magento cache performance, by far.

Redis is also a key part of our ability to scale your Magento eCommerce site out across several servers: the session information and cache can all be kept consistent across dozens of web servers using it.

Full Page Caching

For the best performance, Magento relies on multiple layers of cache which work together. Full page caching lets us serve unpersonalised pages to new visitors of your site, decreasing the time that it takes for the all-important first page to load.

And when a user starts to transact on the site it may still be worthwhile caching parts of the page which haven’t changed, to provide a snappier experience.

Full page caching is a fully supported Magento Enterprise feature, but our Community Edition customers do not need to be left out. iWeb can install and configure NBS System’s Nitrogento to perform the same task.

A cache is not appropriate for every site and an incorrectly configured or unnecessary cache can actually hurt your site’s performance. Our technical sales process helps to identify what levels of caching are appropriate and helpful for your site.

Varnish

To deal with extremely high levels of traffic, iWeb will deploy Varnish, the HTTP accelerator trusted by BBC and many of the largest websites on the planet. We have significant experience in tuning Varnish and our developers have contributed plugins and guides for Varnish back to the community.

As with full page caching, there is such a thing as too much cache. We recommend Varnish only where appropriate for a site’s requirements.

No Outdated Advice

iWeb’s Operations team prides itself on a rigorous approach: we don’t just copy other people’s guides from websites, rely on marketing copy or follow trends in our industry. Every solution that we offer has been tested and tuned by us before entering production.

Our configurations are based on 10 years of experience operating busy retail websites, but they are always evolving based on our own research and feedback from customers.

We run PHP with FPM under Apache in threaded mode. You may have heard that Apache is too slow, and without the proper configuration it can be, but iWeb have tried and outgrown hybrid Nginx and Varnish deployments.

We no longer recommend APC, the performance gains that it used to bring are matched by PHP 5.5’s built-in “Opcache” extension.

Years of people running Magento on untuned platforms have caused hundreds of articles on the Internet to be written about magic bullets that will make Magento fast. No bullet exists and no piece of software that you can install can replace a bespoke approach that looks at your requirements and recommends the right solution.


24/7 Support

iWeb have a 24/7 team ready to respond to support issues.

In Office Hours:

You can ring our support number and be straight through to a person who can help you. We do not have any phone menus or queuing systems. In many cases we can deal with your support query immediately, if we can’t then we give you a time frame for when we can get them answered and that individual is responsible for your query all the way through to resolution.

Out of Office Hours:

Over 99% of all operations engineer calls logged out of hours are raised automatically by our own monitoring systems: a disk filling up, a site running too slowly, a security patch needing to be applied. If you have a concern, you can ring a number to be put directly through to a full-trained system administrator: not an answering machine or a messaging service and never to a help-desk person reading from cards.

Want to discuss a project?

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