Building a product that people love isn’t easy, there’s no doubt about that. It takes most start-ups a long time and a lot of money and even then, most of them fail to ever hit product/market fit. For this very reason, we were very excited when we launched our beta and real domain name investors started to actively use Efty to manage their portfolio. When we came out of beta and realized we’ve built something of value we were absolutely stoked. People were buying it and they were loving it. We did it!
What we didn’t know was that the hardest job was yet to come: scaling the platform.
When we had a couple hundred users, quickly building new features was simple. So was testing product changes, or launching a third-party integration. We just did it.
Now, having thousands of users, all using different registrars, email providers, and have more than 1 million domains under management at Efty in almost every TLD imaginable that all impact the way Efty functions.
As we grow, the awesome feedback that we get from our users goes farther and farther. We see it all over NamePros, twitter, and the industry blogs. The network effect of having a lot of satisfied customers is especially valuable, as it helps us reach even more new domain name investors.
But that reach isn’t always great.
When we had a major outage recently and our main site was down for a few hours people knew it. It was all over Twitter and a (rightfully) frustrated user started a forum thread on NamePros within minutes after our site went down. And when our For-Sale landing pages started to take longer and longer to load many of you took notice and voiced your dissatisfaction.
Future proofing Efty.
It’s our promise that Efty helps you increase inquiries and sales. We know why it is so important to have For-sale Landing Pages that load fast. Lightning fast. The fast growth we’ve seen during the past couple of years started to take its toll: thousands of users, managing 1 million+ domains, resulted in hundreds of request per second(!) flooding our name servers. The simple fact was that our infrastructure wasn’t ready just yet to accommodate this large amount of traffic and DNS requests. At this point, during peak hours, For-Sale landing pages sometimes took up to 8 seconds to load. Ouch.
Together with the technical support team at IBM and an outside consultancy firm we worked around the clock to implement massive changes to our infrastructure. After analyzing the type of traffic, optimizing database design, balancing the load over different servers in different locations, optimizing DNS configuration and minimizing the page size of our landing pages we started to see great results. After a 3-day development sprint, pushing our cortisol levels through the roof, we were happy to see average load times drop to a steady 2.5 seconds. Some additional tweaking throughout the next days helped us reach lightning fast load times with an average of 1.5 seconds (measured over time, from 85 different geographical locations using 3 different templates).
While things like these tie up cash and keep us from taking on our product development roadmap as aggressively as I’d like to, it is important we’re making these long-term investments to ensure Efty remains the reliable, fast and stable platform where you want to manage and sell your domain names.
To make sure we stay on top of our game, we also made some big improvements to the monitoring systems we have in place, allowing us to scale pro-actively throughout the course of time, delivering you with continuously performing For-sale Landing Pages.
We hope this update will have a positive impact on our promise to help you sell more domains without paying a dollar in commission!