Damian Enache - Technical Department
How it started
About 6 months ago when we started to think about redesigning the Hostico website, we decided to talk to some of our clients and to review all the feedbacks we received in an attempt to identify what is important to you as a client and improve those aspects.
Following this process we reconfirmed that technical assistance, availability of services, the speed of applications and response time are the main factors for which we have been chosen as a web service provider.
We performed a general average based on 167 reviews coming from our clients, after which the following points emerged:
- General Score: 9.748 from 10
- Technical Assistance: 9.838 from 10
- Availability: 9.724 from 10
- Response Time: 9.766 from 10
- Performance: 9.664 from 10
All accounts are hosted on 1U or 2U rackmount servers, with two Intel Xeon Nehalem or Westmere processors (x16-x24 cores/thresholds), totaling between 16.000MHz and 50.000Mhz for a single server. RAM memory between 16 and 64GB, EEC DDR III, 1333-1600MHz. Conectivity of 1GB/s, 8GB/s DdoS protection by ArborNet and a Datacenter with 15GB/s connectivity.
The only mechanical component existing on servers were the Raid 10 Arrays with SATA III or SAS hard drives. Although the RAID 1+0 (4xHDD/Server) configuration offers redundancy (information being written across multiple hard drives simultaneously makes it impossible to lose data at the time of a malfunction) and speed (making reading and writing data on multiple hard drives simultaneously) we identified at some point delays due to non-optimized MySql queries on large size databases.
As a solution to this problem we decided to add an additional dedicated SSD (Solid-State Drive) RAID Array for MySQL databases on all web hosting servers. The effects were as expected, the information processing speed has increased significantly and the periods of delay caused by non-optimized queries were eliminated.
We initially chose suPHP as the PHP handler for security reasons and because it offers to each client the possibility to hold his personal PHP directives. We were aware upon implementation that the response time and resource consumption caused by suPHP compared with FastCGI are much higher.
The solution to reduce the PHP response time, was to write an application that would automatically add to each generated account a private file with PHP directives, thus giving us the choice to make the switch to FastCGI, also reducing the response time of the hosted websites. Also we enabled the eAccelerator (PHP accelerator and optimizer) to the new SSD RAID Array. The effects were surprising, the processing time of HTTPD connections and the response time for the websites decreased noticeably.
Why "Flat Design"
We chose the "flat design" because we appreciate the friendly aesthetics and easy forced simplicity of the concept, highlighting the information according to it`s importance, without the need to exaggerate components to make them stand out.
The Redesign Process
The redesign was done entirely "in-house" and had a duration of about three months, during which we went through multiple designs variations. The result is:
- 10.442 CSS code lines
- 4.761 PHP/HTML code lines
- 1.371 Jquery line codes
- 229 pictures and images
We decided from the beginning to give up entirely to the existing website and applications and start with a white sheet. This allowed us to design a modern and flexible website, optimized for mobile devices and common browsers.
The website is designed entirely by variables that allow us to add support for multiple languages and different themes in the future. We also want to rewrite the whole "Knowledge Base" part and add a suggestion section dedicated to Hostico customers.
We wish to thank our customers for their feedback and collaboration!