What is blackfriday-deals.at?
Blackfriday-deals.at is the most popular online platform for Black Friday in Switzerland. Every year, up to one million customers inform themselves about the best offers from Switzerland's largest shopping event for around eight days.
Who is behind blackfriday-deals.at?
Behind the internet platform blackfriday-deals.at is the Samani GmbH of the two brothers Julian and Nicolas Zrotz. Julian has been following the Black Friday trends from abroad for years, when the shopping event was still practically unknown in Switzerland. When Manor was the first Swiss retailer to bring the discount day to Switzerland in 2015, Julian was in various local branches and saw the fascination that the bargain event exerted not only on him, but also on many other people.
Why was the platform founded?
As Black Friday became more and more known in Switzerland, but there was still no platform on which consumers could inform themselves about the best offers, the Zrotz brothers decided to set up the blackfriday.deals.at website.
In its first year of existence, the platform was already visited over 500,000 times during Cyber Week, had a presence on SRF1, and was on the front page of the newspapers «20 Minuten» and «Blick».
Are there any other projects?
In addition to blackfriday-deals.at, the Zrotz brothers also operate other couponing platforms such as preispirat.ch, Switzerland's largest bargain, deal and voucher site with over 200,000 visits per month (as of September 2018).
These various projects with high visitor peaks represent a major challenge for the technical infrastructure.
How were the platforms technically operated before?
Both projects, blackfriday-deals.at and preispirat.ch, were started on a shared Hoststar hosting. With the rapidly increasing number of visitors to the Wordpress based platforms, the performance of a shared hosting solution was soon no longer sufficient. The first performance problems were emerging around Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017, although the platforms had already been split between several shared hostings on different servers at that time. Since other customers also use the same server for shared hosting, this led to small crashes of both platforms when the load was high.
A new solution had to be found for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018, which also included a backup scenario, as an increase in the number of visitors was expected.
Which solution was chosen to be able to operate the platforms successfully even with the higher visitor numbers?
The solution to cope with the higher visitor numbers was to switch to a managed server. The server performance was thus exclusively available for the two platforms of Samani GmbH. In cooperation with Hoststar, the optimal server system was selected, installed and configured according to customer requirements. Hoststar also provides support and monitoring. Around Black Friday, additional extended support is guaranteed and a virtual server is also available to cover the peaks of visitor access if required. Load distribution is via DNS and Cloudflare. This ensures that the Black Friday website is available at all times and without noticeable delays.
What is your experience with Hoststar's Managed Server?
The blackfriday-deals.at platform was successfully migrated to the managed server by Hoststar without interruption. The measurable performance has multiplied. The loading times on the managed server are 3 times shorter compared to the previous shared hosting solution. The server has been running without interruption since the move. Special customer requests were immediately implemented by Hoststar.