TL; DR: A surge in online traffic can be a blessing to a business. But not having the right infrastructure during high-traffic events such as Black Friday can result in eCommerce stores going dark and losing potential customers and valuable revenue. Convesio provides SMBs with a highly scalable and secure eCommerce hosting platform. The PaaS company uses Docker containers to help users scale with zero downtime. We spoke with Tom Fanelli, CEO and Co-Founder of Convesio, about the platform’s unique architecture, benefits for midmarket businesses, and next steps.
Most businesses double as tech companies these days. It doesn’t matter if you run a mid-sized sports apparel shop in the Midwest or sell an AI-powered software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution with headquarters in Silicon Valley. Digital transformation has fully disrupted the small business industry, pushing business owners who never thought they would be online to set up shop on the interwebs to survive.
Beyond their typical operations, businesses now have to juggle cybersecurity, compliance, server management, and website monitoring duties. As eCommerce matures, many companies find themselves onboarding more software or migrating to different platforms to accommodate their growth.
If tech is not your background, choosing the right eCommerce solution for your business can be difficult. No web solution is one-size-fits-all, and every company has its unique needs. Companies undergoing a new growth stage can find themselves in the weeds, unsure of which way to move. Fortunately, Convesio is here to help. Convesio is specialized in WooCommerce hosting, so it’s able to help midmarket businesses experiencing growth to scale their business according to their needs.
“We’re typically the last line of defense when growing stores want to switch to Shopify from WooCommerce. People who historically struggled with scaling WooCommerce for large-scale sites, Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, and so on can come to us for support,” said Tom Fanelli, CEO and Co-Founder of Convesio.
The Convesio team understands the importance of a performant and reliable web host for SMBs. It provides business owners with secure Docker-based WordPress hosting so they don’t have to worry about website performance and security. Convesio allows users to autoscale their websites to meet traffic demands without overpaying.
Scaling WooCommerce Sites with Zero Downtime
Before Tom launched Convesio, he had worked with businesses to help them establish and thrive online. So, he understood firsthand the anxiety that came with managing eCommerce websites. Tom said he had to change web hosts several times over the years but could never find one to accommodate his uptime, performance, and security requirements.
So he created Convesio. He said he wanted to veer from the stagnant approach of traditional web hosts and develop an innovative solution that could leverage the newer technologies of the time. “We built a new approach to hosting WordPress using Docker containers. So unlike traditional hosting where you’re on a singular server, we deal in clusters,” said Tom.
The hosting infrastructure behind Convesio is fascinating. When a WordPress site deploys in Convesio’s architecture, its runtime will live in a Docker container. As a site receives more traffic, the site will replicate into multiple containers. So it natively load-balances to scale up.
“We automatically distribute the traffic among those multiple containers. And then it can have either a singular or clustered database behind it, which is also containerized,” said Tom.
Convesio can also scale down when a user has lower demand or a slow season. Thanks to Convesio’s elastic scaling, users can meet their capacity needs and host thousands of customers on their sites with no problems. And customers only pay for what they use. So businesses never need to worry about paying for unused capacity or handling peak traffic events or surges associated with campaigns.
Providing a Cost-Effective Solution for Mid-Market Businesses
Many eCommerce businesses start with a conservative hosting approach. They may launch their websites using shared or VPS servers before migrating to a higher plan. It’s a smart strategy because you never know when or whether your business will boom. But when many entrepreneurs finally get to the growth part of their life cycle, they can often get stuck for direction.
“Many eCommerce stores and businesses started 10 to 15 years ago. Fast forward to now, these stores have undergone significant growth. So there’s this large midmarket segment struggling with their next steps,” said Tom.
When they reach this next step, business owners may struggle with these questions: Do I need a dedicated server? Should I migrate to a cloud solution or hire someone to roll out and manage AWS? Unfortunately, few solutions exist specifically for midmarket businesses, placing them in an even more challenging position.
“There’s no real easy-to-use, cost-effective solution in the mid-market. You have very limited choices once you get to that point. And that’s the gap we’re trying to fill,” said Tom.
Convesio has a team of WooCommerce optimization experts that works closely with companies to help them accomplish their scaling goals. Each eCommerce store has its own processes and business models, so Convesio helps them maximize the potential of their strengths while using Convesio’s hosting platform.
Convesio also ensures the best practices for businesses. Its platform has built-in security with DDoS protection, firewalls, and malware protection. Convesio’s security experts also fix additional security issues. Besides security, users receive free SSL for each domain, fast caching with no plugin required, automated backups, and a site dashboard to monitor website metrics.
Expanding to Accommodate More Open-Source Platforms
The eCommerce space has evolved over the years. More businesses are using SMSl to communicate with users, which can prompt more capacity side effects. Users are looking for cutting-edge payment solutions to add to their storefronts. Compliance has also emerged as an urgent and important issue.
“There’s a lot of med tech transactions happening. WordPress also has a large attack surface because it’s so widespread. So, you need real compliance solutions and security solutions. You can’t do this with bargain basement solutions,” said Tom.
Businesses must navigate PCI compliance and HIPAA to secure site processes and protect customer data. These are features the Convesio team has had on their road map and went on to offer. But as the market shifts and grows, the Convesio team understands that its platform will also need to evolve to meet other needs.
“We’re starting to bring out new Docker container images that we can deploy beyond WordPress because we feel everybody should have access to scalable infrastructure, whether you’re running Drupal or Adobe Commerce,” said Tom.
Because Convesio is a containerized platform, it can take any Docker image and run it on its platform. This attribute has made its next release possible. Convesio has already released support for Laravel in beta and Bedrock. It plans on deploying the full release in Q1 of 2024.
“We make scaling your app easy and transparent with no downtime. When we have this new release, we’re going to be broadening it to the point where people can even bring their own container images and run them on Convesio,” said Tom.