ShopSite Handles Large Ecommerce Stores with Ease

We sometimes hear that ShopSite ® can take a long time to complete a full publish of web pages for large ecommerce stores. By large I mean stores that have 50,000 or 100,000+ products in ShopSite. By a long time, it’s usually one hour or more.

In fact, we recently received an email from a ShopSite store owner hosted somewhere else that said a publish was taking over 2 hours to finish! The store has around 100,000 products.

None of this gels with what we’ve seen…

The beauty of the publish

One of the great things about ShopSite as an ecommerce application is it creates physical web pages for all category and product pages. This makes the site “blazingly” fast for customers (typically 2-4 times faster than a dynamic cart), and it’s much easier to index by Google and Bing.

Think of the publish feature as a server-side cache system (for you WordPress fans, think WP Super Cache). The files are only updated when changes occur to a product (price, image, etc…). The rest of the time, they are regular web pages that are already created, so the web server can push them to customers without any processing.

Translation: No overhead = a super fast website

Publishes are normally fast

For most stores with under 20,000 products, these publishes complete in seconds or a few minutes at most. For our clients, this is always the case, as our servers are deliberately underloaded and use high-end hardware and multiple 15k SAS hard drives using RAID-10 (geek speak for ultra fast file creation).

When a store’s product count starts getting into the 50,000 to 100,000+ level, a publish can take longer to complete.

If your store is with a host that does not provide an ultra high-end platform, this gets exacerbated by slower drives, less CPU speed, and fewer resources to devote to the publish. Publishes can take an hour or hours to fully complete. And in some cases, these publishes can cause the website to appear slow until they complete.

This is true in both shared hosting and dedicated hosting where the server is not set up to optimize a publish.

For our clients, we provide a managed dedicated server for these large stores, and the server is routinely beefy enough and optimized to minimize publish times. A publish never impacts website performance as far as the shoppers are concerned.

A publish in under 12 minutes for 120,000 products

We recently help migrate a ShopSite merchant that was experiencing 1 hour or longer publishes, a slow search interface for customers, and the site was quite slow during these publishes. The store had 120,000+ products and 16,000+ category pages.

We setup a highly optimized dedicated server (both hardware and software) for the client. We were able to reduce the publish time from over an hour to 11 minutes! With search indexing enabled, that added 12 minutes to the publish time.

So a full publish of 140,000+ web pages and an updated search database now only took 23 minutes. And during this time, server performance was not affected in the least!

Customers would now not notice any slowness at all during a full publish/re-index. And online shoppers love fast websites.

When managed properly, ShopSite can easily handle 100,000 or more products for an online store without any performance issues. It takes experience with ShopSite to set up a server in such a manner to make this possible. But it’s definitely achievable.

If your ShopSite store isn’t performing as you’d like at your current web host, talk to us. We can help seamlessly move your site with no downtime, and make your site snappy as it was meant to be.  :)

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