Building your website’s infrastructure to handle maximum growth
is a 3-step process that we are going to walk you through.
1. Get your product right.
Make your minimum viable product speak right to your audience. As an entrepreneur, you already know who your audience is and what their needs are, but you don’t want to stop there. You want to build a software that initiates an enthusiastic response from them. To do that, follow these steps:
- Create a sketch of your product on paper. Show it to a few potential clients to check if they would be interested. If they are, continue working on it. If not, know the reasons and how you can enhance it to meet their needs. This will help you envision how exactly the software would look.
- Show it to a proper designer. Avoid spending a lot of money on design at this point. Simply have a designer turn what you have on paper into a good-looking design.
- Show it to 10 other people. Ideally, choose potential clients you don’t have a close relationship with, because here you don’t want someone who would always agree with you. Instead, you need someone to be objective. This way, you will get critiques and feedback to know basic preferences like whether they prefer a mobile or desktop app.
- Modify your design based on the feedbacks and create another prototype. After 3 or 4 iterations, you will know exactly how your product will look.
- Once you get the ultimate positive reaction, then you can move on to coding. Do not start coding before being sure of what the market needs and what you want your product to look like. Otherwise, you would be wasting money.
2. Choose a technology stack that can scale up and not give you problems.
Do some research, compare different platforms, study the pros and cons, know what’s more expensive and what’s more scalable. Ideally, you want something that is easy to develop with and highly scalable.
WordPress is very easy to develop, but not highly scalable. It can create problems and requires a lot of maintenance, especially if your business is growing fast. If your growth is parabolic, WordPress will be a headache. We personally recommend Laravel because it’s a framework on PHP, which is the most supported language and the one most developers use. Since it’s a framework, it forces developers to write code in a certain way which makes it very hard for them to mess up. Even if they do, you can easily get a senior developer who would quickly fix the code.
3. Optimize your servers and code for performance.
Once you figure out what your technology stack is, you need to figure out how to scale. You need to have a plan about what your setup will be for the first 10k users, the second 100k, and for a million user or more, depending on how fast you plan to grow your traffic. Steps for preparing your setup are:
- Look at the server’s infrastructure. What servers will you be using? Will you be using a shared hosting (not something we recommend), VPS, a dedicated server, or a Cloud Hosting? If you choose the latter, will you use Digital Ocean or AWS? To answer those questions, get a system administrator or a DevOps engineer and explain your need to scale for 10k at first and how many users you plan to reach.
- Based on the answers, write a proper plan. Then let another system administrator examine it and give you their feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Ideally, you would want someone who previously worked on projects similar to yours. If you’re using Laravel, you want someone who has optimized websites that are built on Laravel. If you have a platform that involves a lot of API’s you want someone who has experience with that.
- You need to have monitoring tools in place. Monitoring tools serve to monitor your server. Once you start having more users, you want to keep your website as optimized as possible. Therefore, you want a monitoring system that alerts you whenever your website is being slow, and you want your developers to instantly find what exact function or code is causing this. It’s important to have a monitoring software since you can’t afford losing time having an issue with your website. We recommend New Relic which might be a bit expensive, but it’s one of the best out there unmatched.
Now you have an MVP that works really well, you chose a technology stack that can scale, you have a good server setup, and you have the monitoring tools in place. With those 4 pillars in place, you can get anywhere if you have the right marketing attitude and the right mindset of an entrepreneur. So, all you have to do now is start building and getting traffic:
- Build and test, using an iterative process and an agile development methodology. Don’t let your developer disappear for months and come back with a product. Be proactive and follow up.
- Start marketing your product the moment your MVP hits the market. You will quickly find flaws to fix. You don’t want to spend money on a marketing campaign and later discover the flaws in your software that you would have noticed if you had worked on an early marketing campaign. You don’t want to lose money, your customers, and worse, create a bad brand image.
We just provided you with a big roadmap, but we will be elaborating on each of the discussed points in later articles. We will also be creating a series of detailed videos that we will be posting on our website! Anyone can learn through those videos so stay tuned, watch them, and if you still need support, contact us and we’ll be happy to work together.