Local & Co - Case Study

From 20% Downtime to Zero: How Local & Co Boosted Its High-Traffic Ecommerce Client’s Success with Cloudways Autonomous


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Weston Crewe
Weston Crewe

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Today, your local handmade jewelry shop in San Francisco transforms into a global sensation. A potential customer in Tokyo, intrigued by your unique handcrafted necklaces, finds your website. Within moments, they’ve selected their favorite piece, added it to their cart, and completed the purchase. This is modern e-commerce today – your products are accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

The rise in global e-commerce is huge, with sales predicted to go over $5 trillion this year. But with all this growth comes a big challenge: ensuring your website can handle surging traffic without slowing down or crashing.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss how Weston Crewe, the founder of Local & Co, a web development and design agency that helps businesses establish a strong online presence, overcame this challenge with Cloudways Autonomous.

Local & Co: Balancing Client Success with Sustainable Agency Growth

local and co homepage

Local & Co, as solution architects, provides a comprehensive set of services. These services include web development, design, consultation, and shaping of their clients’ digital strategies for PPC, SEO, and content marketing. They build these strategies on data insights so their clients can make informed decisions.

In their day-to-day operations, their mission revolves around effecting meaningful change within businesses. They forge performance-driven client partnerships, actively collaborating to foster brand growth and success.

Weston, the agency’s co-founder, oversees its strategy and direction and leads his team to deliver excellence on clients’ expectations. With a strong background in web development, he handles code and other technical aspects of projects. His expertise spans WooCommerce, WordPress, and various web development tools.

Local & Co’s overarching goal for their agency is to ensure client success and sustainable growth for themselves. So Weston also invests his time in finding ways for his agency to sustain its growth. This includes expanding their client base, increasing their service offerings, and fostering long-term client relationships.

He continuously explores new technologies, tools, and strategies to enhance their services, maintain financial stability, and gain a competitive edge in the digital industry.

To measure their team’s effectiveness and growth, Local & Co sets specific targets and key performance indicators such as client retention rate, website traffic and conversions, ROI from digital marketing efforts, revenue growth, and service expansion.

Through continuous monitoring and adjustment of these KPIs, Local & Co commits itself to achieving these goals and driving both client and agency success.

As they strived to meet these objectives and ensure client success, Weston and his team faced challenges managing high-traffic websites. Read on to learn how they cracked it with Cloudways Autonomous.

Challenges Weston Faced Managing High-Traffic Websites

Smart strategies like load balancing, caching frequently accessed content, optimizing databases and code, and continuous monitoring are necessary for managing high-traffic websites.”

At Local & Co, Weston encountered several significant challenges when dealing with high-traffic websites before finally getting introduced to Autonomous. Let’s take a closer at those issues:

Scalability: One of the most critical things Weston struggled with was making sure websites with high traffic had the right amount of resources. Especially during promotions or viral content, it was hard to gauge exact resource requirements. The problem wasn’t just scaling resources and the strategy to scale them effectively.

Even with vertical scaling, there’s a ceiling to how much you can upgrade a single server, and the cost can skyrocket. Plus, there’s always a point of diminishing returns; you can only make a server so powerful before looking at other solutions.

Performance Optimization: If your website has the right amount of resources but heavy content, it might still load poorly. Weston employed techniques like compressing images, minifying JavaScript and CSS files, and implementing lazy loading, which significantly decreased page load times for users.

Though content optimization was only one part of the overall website performance, and while Weston could optimize content and server performance to a certain extent, achieving optimal load times and responsiveness for high-traffic websites remained challenging.

Load Balancing: Load balancing is important to keep high-traffic websites running smoothly. It means distributing traffic evenly across multiple servers to avoid overloads and downtime. Local & Co found this process quite complex.

Traffic Security: With a surge of visitors comes lots of attention for cyberattacks. High-traffic websites are often targeted with things like DDoS attacks and hacking attempts.

For Weston, mitigating DDoS attacks and ensuring website security was a complex task that required additional third-party services.

Content Delivery: Ensuring the website loads quickly and consistently for users in different parts of the world wasn’t as smooth as Weston hoped. Getting things like images and videos to load fast, especially for users far away, can be tricky.

Database Optimization: Databases can slow down busy websites with high traffic. Optimizing database queries, indexing, and caching is extremely important to keep the site running fast and responsive.

Backup and Recovery: High-traffic websites cannot afford extended downtime. That’s why implementing strong backup and disaster recovery solutions should be prioritized if something unexpected happens.

Weston stumbled upon Autonomous while tackling all these challenges and considering hosting solutions for a particular client’s high-traffic website. He saw Cloudways’ new shiny offering on their new interface and thought of giving this seemingly all-in-one package a try.

Case in Spotlight: Hydraulics Stores, A High Traffic Ecommerce

Among the many projects undertaken by Local & Co, the Hydraulics Stores e-commerce platform stood out as a beacon of potential yet was faced with significant challenges. With its growth this high-profile e-commerce site struggled to provide a consistent good shopping experience to its increasing website visitors.

Established in 1993, the brand has evolved from a single ‘Hydraulics concept store’ to a prominent name with seven upscale multi-label stores across South Africa, including in premium locations like Menlyn Park Shopping Centre and V&A Waterfront Mall. Their e-commerce site, built on WooCommerce and known for high-value transactions, faced difficulties scaling with its increasing popularity.

High traffic volumes, essential for driving sales, became a double-edged sword. Scalability was particularly problematic, with the existing hosting solutions unable to dynamically adjust resources to accommodate traffic spikes. Performance issues, such as slow load times and frequent crashes, instability with point-of-sale system stock, and sales integration, compromised the user experience and operations of the business.

Going Autonomous for Hydraulics Store

hydraulics homepage

Weston was introduced to Cloudway Autonomous during his search for a robust & reliable solution for his client’s high-traffic website. To him, it seemed like a no-brainer.

It promised a truly managed WordPress experience backed by a robust Kubernetes infrastructure that offered autoscaling and high availability straight out of the box. The clincher? This complex Kubernetes technology was all set up and managed behind the scenes by Cloudways. This means that Weston only required him to launch his application in one click to tap into its power and never look back!

To Weston, Autonomous, despite being in beta then, showed great potential and clear direction, with support being one of the deciding factors. It looked like a promising solution with its integrated security measures, enterprise CDN, and database caching, all of which were solutions to troubles Weston faced with high-traffic websites.

Price considerations also played a role. Lastly, Cloudways’ offering of both hosting solutions, Flexible + Autonomous, for the varying needs of his clientele sealed the deal for him.

The Outcome: A Revolutionized E-commerce Experience

Switching to Autonomous Managed Hosting was a game-changer for Hydraulics Stores. Now, this website can seamlessly handle high traffic volumes without compromising speed or performance. Load times also reduced, and the site’s overall performance was remarkably boosted. Integration with retail POS systems became more efficient, dropping from an average of 4 minutes to just 10 seconds. Most impressively, the website experienced zero downtime during peak traffic periods, a remarkable improvement from the previous 20%.

This led to an increase of over 100% in revenue for Hydraulics Stores during the sales period.

A key challenge was integrating the website with the point-of-sale system for stock and sales synchronization. The team successfully achieved this, streamlining Hydraulics’ operations and ensuring real-time updates.


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This transformation not only bolstered the reputation of Hydraulics Stores but also underscored Local & Co’s commitment to leveraging innovative solutions to drive client success. Weston Crewe’s strategic decision to use Autonomous Managed Hosting not only solved the immediate challenges but also positioned Hydraulics Stores for sustainable growth in the competitive digital marketplace. It laid the foundation for Hydraulics Stores to provide customers with a smooth, secure, and scalable online shopping experience.

Cloudways Autonomous Changes the Game for Local & Co

Read in Weston’s own words how the adoption of Cloudways Autonomous has revolutionized their operations at Local & Co, yielding significant enhancements across various fronts:

Scalability and Flexibility: Autonomous gives us the power to scale up, eliminating the fears of handling high-traffic websites. We feel assured that our websites perform well even during peak traffic. This flexibility means we can handle projects of any size or complexity easily.

Cost-Efficiency: By using Autonomous’ automated resource allocation, we only pay for what we actually use, saving us money. This smart approach to managing resources helps us offer competitive prices to our clients while still making a good profit.

Reliability and Uptime: Thanks to Autonomous’ features like high availability and load balancing, our website stays up and smoothly at all times. This means our clients can count on their websites being accessible 24/7, which builds trust in our services.

Global Reach: By collaborating with Autonomous and Cloudflare’s CDN, we can quickly deliver content to users worldwide with low latency. This wider reach has enabled us to take on international clients and projects and improved our users’ website performance.

Security: Autonomous’ strong security measures, including DDoS protection, strengthen our hosted websites against cyber threats. This assurance is particularly important for clients handling sensitive customer data or online transactions.

Streamlined Operations: Autonomous’s automated features, such as server scaling and real-time monitoring, have reduced manual workload, allowing our team to focus more on value-added tasks like website development, optimization, and client support.

With the success we’ve experienced using Autonomous for Hydraulics, we’re actively exploring opportunities to expand our client base and take on more high-traffic websites. We aim to establish ourselves as a go-to agency for businesses seeking reliable and scalable web development and hosting solutions!

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