An Introduction to Designing a Reliable and Responsive E-commerce Website

Worried about the reliability and responsiveness of your e-commerce website? Being an online business and running a successful e-commerce website can be daunting, especially when users expect top speeds even when website traffic is heavy.

When users shop they actively search for items on sites and demand quick results. The performance, reliability and responsiveness of your e-commerce website cannot be downplayed at any cost.

To enhance these aspects of your website, you need to consider two key areas. These are your web development platform and a database management system.

Web Development Platform

First, you’ll need to evaluate and choose the most appropriate development platform for your website, especially for an e-commerce website that needs speed and reliability. Your platform will directly impact the stability and operability of your website.

The most popular and stable platforms that are used by mostly developers globally include:

1. Java

Java is a popular open source programming language used in developing free standing or standalone programs. In web development, Java is used to develop complex applets. It features object oriented paradigms as well as functional programming, making it easy to learn and use. It’s also suited for more complex software development, such as the financial sector software for example.

Its main benefits include:

  • It is independent of platforms and can run on most hardware and operating system platforms such as Windows, iOS, Linux.
  • It’s a highly scalable programming language.
  • Access to a wealth of libraries from peer developers and support on many online forums, a benefit of being an open source programming language
  • Most hosting providers support Java applications
  • It can be used to develop web components that allow for non-relational and unstructured data such as images

2. PHP

Developing elements for e-commerce sites in PHP for is popular because it is easy and simplifies the integration of communication components like SMS and email capabilities. It also allows easy integrations of payment platforms into the website.

PHP is a server-side scripting language, unlike other scripting languages which are client-based and require you to develop code for the server side in addition to client side interactions. With PHP you can directly interact with the server side.

Some other benefits of PHP include:

  • Easy integration with most database management systems such as MySQL, Oracle and others.
  • Compatibility with webservers like Apache and IIS, which are widely used
  • Operability on most platforms such as Windows, Linux and iOS
  • It’s easy to learn and has clearly defined functions that you can customize for your website
  • Integration with most CMS including Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and others.

Database Management System

E-commerce websites are highly dependent on databases to organize the huge amount of data in e-commerce websites, as well as providing the first level of data manipulation and processing. These databases process functions in the background, letting you concentrate on the actual presentation and performance of the website.

To enhance the reliability, availability, speed and performance of your e-commerce website, it’s important to ensure your database is tuned for database load balancing. This is an attribute that many developers often overlook, but it is important to ensure your database is replicated or mirrored to mitigate downtimes.

Adding load balancing also gives you the flexibility to scale up with ease and enhances the security of your data. In case your system is under attack, you will able to recover the data from one of the mirrored data or replicas.

The good news is that most relational database management systems, like MySQL, Oracle and Sybase support these features. You’ll also find utility software that specifically designed to help you configure your database for load balancing, as well as enhance the performance of the database.

By focusing on your development platform and database management system, you are well underway to ensuring your e-commerce website is built well and one that your users will enjoy.

About the author: A self-proclaimed tech geek, with a passion for ScaleArc’s disruptive technology innovation in database load balancing, Tony has a passion for dissecting tech topics such as transparent failover, centralized control, ACID compliance, database scalability and downtime effects. On his days off, he can be found watching sci-fi movies, rock climbing or volunteering.

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