Planning Your Hosting Server Infrastructure

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Building Your International eCommerce Infrastructure

Expanding your international eCommerce business can be a very logistically intensive process. The more nuances you look into, the more robustly your platform will function in each of the targeted regions. One of the more complicated yet potentially vague areas is the technical aspect of hosting an international eCommerce site.

Implementing Only the Most Efficient Servers

The Effect of Server Location on Latency

So, for example, your international eCommerce site caters to different regions spread across the world. Now, depending on how apart they are and what kind of physical infrastructure connects them, some users might experience a significant delay in data transmission. Only going across an ocean or the other side of the world can significantly affect the latency. Ultimately, the traffic that is supposed to be relatively instantaneous is delayed by 400 milliseconds to half a second. All because of the physical distance that the information has to travel. First, the request goes to the server hosting the site. Then the hosting server's response travels back to the client's device.

To sum up, if your hosting server is physically far from the end-user, it will take some time for your site to respond. It can be especially bad if the end-user has a poor internet connection or is using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. These devices generally do not process a lot of bandwidth quickly. If you do not cater to such users and scenarios, it can significantly affect the customer conversion rate.

Therefore, hosting and server infrastructure plays a massive role in the performance of your site. Choosing the right infrastructure can help you effectively reduce the bounce rate and increase the conversions of your international eCommerce site.

So, what are the steps you can take to ensure a robust hosting infrastructure that can help grow your international eCommerce business? We talk about some of the things you can do below.

Incorporating Industry Best Practices

Content Delivery Networks

First off, you may want to take advantage of content delivery networks, optimization, and caches.

Start by reducing the page load time of your international eCommerce site. You need to determine the set of data that generally goes from the hosting server to the end user's browser. And then try and reduce the size of that.

After that, it would be a good idea to set up content delivery networks. These are primarily a distributed network of caches. To put it simply, they are checkpoints that are present across the globe. They store (or cache) your site's data beforehand. So, every time a request is sent out by a client's browser, the information is delivered to them through the nearest checkpoint, via the shortest route. It can dramatically improve the load time of your site, regardless of the region.

As you would expect, CDNs and optimizing data is not the perfect solution to this problem. Content delivery networks can only improve latency for images and content that they can cache. So, they are not necessarily going to improve the latency for data that is coming in dynamically. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind that dynamically generated content on your site may take just as much time to load.

So, while content delivery networks are low cost and an excellent place to start, they are not necessarily a complete solution. You may set up a CDN and optimize your platform initially, though, to get the low hanging fruit.

Creating Multiple Server Locations

Physical Infrastructure Scalability

As your international eCommerce site grows, it is time to consider moving onto the next step. This involves building out web heads or physical infrastructure in selected regions. Optimally, these should be located based on priority. For instance, it would be a good idea to target areas that are associated with more traffic and more potential revenue.

We would encourage having an extended set of servers that are physically located in different regions. These servers can store or replicate your site's resources, similar to a CDN. Again, you need to decide the location based on the expected value and priority for your business and customers. You can determine the regions by checking which regions are responsible for the most revenue.

So essentially, as your site gains traction in newer regions, it can be beneficial to build a physical hosting infrastructure near them or at a center point. You can check which areas in the region have large spikes in traffic to determine the center point. Over time, you can build out a distributed network of resources that all point to a replicated set of data or a central data repository.

How can Clarity Help

Clarity International eCommerce Experts

Naturally, a lot of these concepts nowadays are very common and commoditized. It is very standard to have a replicated data cluster that continually keeps the data updated. All the data, between different production environments all over the world, is kept in sync with each other. Ultimately, the output you get is from the "broker" or the middleman. However, it can significantly improve the performance of your international eCommerce platform. Without this, your site will experience around half a second to several seconds of latency for every single request.

You can probably imagine how unpleasant that might be for a customer. So, if you want users to stay interested in your eCommerce platform, having web pages that take several seconds to load is just not a good idea. It can ruin the user experience and discourage customers from placing orders on your site.

If you have any more questions related to this topic, we encourage you to reach out to our experienced team. They can provide a complimentary analysis. Or answer any questions about the next step in the process of expanding your eCommerce platform internationally. We certainly look forward to answering your question and talking with you about your upcoming international eCommerce project.

As you plan on how to host your eCommerce platform internationally, we encourage you to go through the resources below. Some of these can be helpful if you are looking for in-depth knowledge regarding hosting infrastructure.