// 28.Oct.2009

Building an E-commerce Website from Open-source Software

The Building of Training Pages: GBdirect write about the design, architecture and build of www.trainingpages.com. This old, yet still fascinating article has much that should be digested by anyone who builds service sites (as opposed to brochure sites) at any level.

In about three months of effort the bulk of the site was up and running. There's less than six staff months of work in the whole thing, yet we think it stacks up better than 99% of all the websites we have ever seen. It's generating increasing levels of traffic, regular training leads for us and the other providers who are listed and on a day-to-day basis we can just leave it running, mostly looking after itself.

Ours is built totally from free software and is extremely reliable. Rough tests show that with no optimisation at all in our code it can probably service 2–3 requests per second — vastly more than our bandwidth could ever support. Running with a load average of 0.01 — i.e. it's 99% idle.

Last Revision: October 28th, 2009 at 10:20

4 Comments for “Building an E-commerce Website from Open-source Software”

  1. 2-3 request per second? That’s hilariously bad.

    I make that as between 172,800 and 259, 20 max requests per day. At my old company, we were handling tens of millions of requests per day, and each web server could do between 10-20 requests per second - and that poor performance was due to the code being very old, and very crap.

    At my next company, we started with Django, and were topping out at about 70 requests per second. For contrast, CouchDB, the open source HTTP database I work on, can serve in the region of 2,000 requests per second on regular hardware. Food for thought!

  2. It is bad by today’s standards, you’re right. But you have to keep in mind that that’s a 10+ year-old article. Towards the end of the article the author tells us that those 2-3 requests per second actually exceeded their available bandwidth.

    There might possibly be an error there, but I suspect not - those figures are for a big app running on hardware that is laughably under-powered compared with what we’re used to today. Heck, even the iPhone has more power than the server GBDirect describe!

    Just out of curiousity Noah, what kind of loads do you see at eBuyer?

  3. Heh, good point. As for eBuyer, perhaps via IM some time.

  4. Oooo - I can hardly wait!