Call on our Performance Team for optimal performance
When your website, application or software is not working properly, it is sometimes difficult to figure out how to solve the problem. But did you know that Combell gives you the opportunity to call on experts who will help you identify the issues at stake and find ways to solve them? Meet the Combell Performance Team!
More resources is not always the answer to performance issues
Your website, app or web service is not performing as it should. Slow response, whether or not during traffic peaks, will cause irritation among your users, and you are afraid that they will leave. Or you want your collaborators to be able to work more efficiently and focus on your core business instead of waiting for screens to load.
Your first reaction will probably be to engage more resources – additional servers and more RAM. As a hosting company, we can of course provide you with more services and infrastructure – after all, that is our core business. However, we would rather invest in our long-term relationships than sell more in the short term.
Experience has taught us that 80% of performance issues cannot simply be solved with more resources. More resources will not help in the long run (or will not help at all) if the problem is with the code or the databases. Or if other techniques can help get a better result for less money, like caching technologies for example.
80% of performance issues cannot be solved with more resources. That is why Combell has put together a special Performance Team: together, we will look at the underlying causes.
So, our mission is not to just give you the extra infrastructure you need, without any explanation, with which the problem can allegedly be solved, in the short term. This really does not fit into our philosophy. Because we are only satisfied when you are too.
Performance Team offers great relief
That is why we offer the services of our Performance Team in case of performance issues. These experts will discuss the situation with you, and even dive into the code if necessary. They will expose the problem and give you tips that you (or your web developer) can implement.
Browsers treat slow websites as if they were down, which means that it is as bad as being offline. So, we do not expect you to settle for this. Not only do we go for 100% uptime, but we also strive for the best possible load times.
Application Performance Monitoring enables our experts to find out if there are any hotspots in your code that are slowing down your app or website. Although the negative impact may be caused by third party services…
If you work with databases, they will also be examined: are the SQL queries optimised? Is the database well structured, with the appropriate indexes? Maybe you are not using the best database technology?
If you are not using caching technology, or if you are not using the right one, our experts will help you devise a good caching strategy. They will also assist you in developing a Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery strategy. This will allow you to continuously adjust and update your application without it going offline.
The Performance Team investigators at work
To give you an idea of the challenge that the Performance Team is facing, here is a glimpse into what is happening behind the scenes, as well as a brief explanation of how the team is doing its job.
When a customer comes asking for advice because his site is too slow, the team performs a thorough analysis of the situation. It does not immediately focus on one conclusion or on adjusting a particular configuration, but it does complete the full analysis. After all, there are several possible causes that may require different adjustments.
In most cases, the problem is not caused by Combell's own infrastructure. After all, a decrease in performance would immediately be picked up by our constant monitoring. Although Combell is often not the root of the problem, the team still takes on the task of resolving the situation. Or, as a member of the Performance Team puts it: “We will not let go until we have identified the cause with certainty. Our motto is: ‘We are guilty until proven otherwise’”.
In concrete terms, a delay can occur on 3 levels:
- the front-end (the website, the application with which the user or visitor comes into contact)
- the code of the back-end (the underlying system that processes the user's input) and the database
- the infrastructure
In order to carry out an accurate analysis, we first check with the customer when the delay is occurring. Is it always or only during traffic peaks or when campaigns are being run? Or did the site or application work well in the beginning and become slower over time? These are important indications to find the best possible solution.
The experts then get down to work taking the analysis into account. In a mainstream browser, such as Chrome, they use developer tools on the website or application. Hypermedia, for instance, provides them with a lot of information about the front-end, and for the code and the infrastructure, they look at the Time to First Byte, among other indicators.
If issues are encountered at the front-end, several solutions can be adopted. If resources are too numerous or too large, compression can be a solution. Sometimes the problem with non-optimised code lies in the front-end, and it may suffice, for example, to use tools that make images more compact.
Very often, the problem lies with the back-end code and database, which have a negative impact on the infrastructure. The team already has a great deal of experience in identifying and resolving such issues. And although it is actually the customer's code, the team goes the extra mile here and dives into the code. These are often common issues, such as too many active modules in WordPress. In the event of more complex problems, our experts will log in to the database to check the load and conduct a thorough analysis of the queries.
And if the problem can be traced back to the infrastructure, our experts will look at the server load. Are the resources (RAM, CPU, etc.) insufficient? Can the web server handle a sufficient number of simultaneous requests? Then indeed the solution could be to add more workers and to upgrade the hosting package. However, we are only doing this as a last resort.
Performance experts with extensive knowledge, who complement each other
It is clear from the above that the reasons for reduced performance can be complex, and that highly specialised knowledge is required to be able to pinpoint the cause. We have had this expertise in house for years now. You can therefore count on a whole team of experts to go the extra mile for an optimally performing website or application.
To make this extra service even more accessible, we have put a spotlight on 3 experts who manage this team. Each of them has its own areas of expertise, which means that they complement each other seamlessly. Jachim has in-depth expertise in data strategies, databases and PHP. As for Vic, he specialises in Varnish caching and MySQL (among other things). And Wesley knows all the ins and outs of setting up Combell platforms and is also an expert in web servers. But feel free to meet the specialists of the Combell Performance Team yourself.
We are quite proud of our experts. Thanks to their expertise, you are always in good hands at Combell. Not only can you contact them to get started with your website or application/SaaS on the Combell platform, but after that, you can also turn to them to solve any problems you may have. They will help you make your ideas come true and will even proactively advise you on how to further optimise your application so that you are prepared for future growth. Allow yourself to be convinced by the testimonials left by Combell customers.
Do you have any questions about the performance of your website or application? Feel free to contact our helpdesk. We are here for you!