How it started
6 months ago, when we started thinking about redesigning the Hostico website, we decided to talk to some of our customers and re-analyze all the feedback we received in an attempt to identify what is important to you and improve these aspects.
Following this process, we reconfirmed that technical support, service availability, application speed and response time are the main factors for which we were chosen as a web service provider. We performed an overall average based on 167 reviews from you, which resulted in the following score:
- Overall Score: 9.748 din 10
- Technical Assistance: 9.838 din 10
- Availability: 9.724 din 10
- Response time: 9.766 din 10
- Performance: 9.664 din 10
All accounts are hosted on 1U or 2U rackmount servers, with two Intel Xeon Nehalem or Westmere processors (x16-x24 cores / thresholds), totaling up to ~ 70,000MHz for a single server. Memory between 16 and 128GB, EEC DDR III, 1333-1600MHz. 2GB / s connectivity, 8GB / s ArborNet DDoS protection and a 15GB / s connectivity data center.
The only mechanical components on the servers were Raid 10 Arrays via SATA III or SAS HDDs. Although the RAID 1 + 0 configuration (4xHDD / Server) offers redundancy (the information being written on multiple HDDs simultaneously makes it impossible to lose data at the time of a failure) and speed (reading and writing data being done on multiple HDDs simultaneously) we have identified at times delays due to non-optimized MySql queries on large databases.
To solve this problem we decided to add an additional RAID Array SSD (Solid-State Drive) dedicated to MySql databases on all web hosting servers. The effects were as expected, the speed of information processing increased considerably and the delays caused by non-optimized queries were eliminated.
We initially chose suPHP as the PHP 'handler' for security reasons and because it offers the possibility to each client to have personal PHP directives. We were aware, at the time of implementation, that the response time and resource consumption caused by suPHP compared to FastCGI are much higher.
The solution to reduce the response time for PHP, was to write an application that automatically adds for each account generated a private file of PHP directives, thus giving us the opportunity to switch to FastCGI, while reducing the response time of the site . We have also enabled eAccelerator (PHP optimizer and accelerator) on the new Array RAID SSD. The effects were surprising, the processing time of HTTPD connections and the response of the websites decreased noticeably.
Why Flat Design
We chose the 'flat design' because we appreciate the friendly aesthetics and the slightly forced simplicity of the concept, the simplicity that requires highlighting the information according to importance, without the need to exaggerate the components to make them stand out.
The Redesign Process
The redesign was done entirely 'in-house' and lasted about 3 months, during which time we went through multiple design options. The result is:
- 10.442 lines of CSS code
- 4.761 lines of PHP / HTML code
- 1.371 lines of JQuery code
- 229 pictures and photos
We decided from the beginning to completely give up the existing website and applications and start with a blank slate. This allowed us to design a modern and flexible site, optimized for mobile devices and common browsers.
The website is designed entirely based on variables, this allows us to add support for multiple languages and different themes in the future. We also want to completely rewrite the 'Knowledge Base' and add a section of suggestions dedicated to Hostico customers.
We would like to thank our customers for their feedback and for being with us!