Everyone is talking about designing large-scale web sites. Reading those articles might not help a start up site. It might even hurt the start up. Remember, “premature optimization is the root of all evil”. Therefore, I would like to discuss how to design a small-scale website.
First, pick a main stream framework.
Do not try to reinvent the wheel. People say that PHP is good, but Python is better, and Java is the best. Don’t trust them. Pick a main stream framework based on the language you are most familiar with.
Second, define your architect: Web Server (AppServer ) Cache (eg. Memcached ) DB
If you use LAMP, you should use Memcached in the beginning. It really works. Yes, DB may also make use of its cache, but the DB’s Cache and Memcached are not the same. Most people are not experts in database design, and a small application makes use of dozens of tables. Forget paradigm of the database! Remember, it is ok to have redundant data. The more time you spend in the database, the less time you can invest elsewhere. Users are likely to be more concerned about the appearance of the website than the actual database design.
Third, optimize front-end.
Since the traffic is low and most visitors are new to your website, try your best to reduce the size of your front page. If the user could not open a page for half a minute, he will never come back. Meet the basic requirements first and then add more advanced features. The 80/20 principle is applicable everywhere. Invest wisely. Some of the features cost a lot, but does not pay back that much. Some sites keep adding features, and these new features become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Last but not least, keep your site in evolution.
Development -> problems -> feedbacks -> solving the problem (execution) -> improvement -> evolution to the next stage – new problems (loop).
As a start up site, such as DealsVista.com, reporting laptop deals, you don’t have to pay attention to split database or balance load. Keep everything simple and you should be fine.
As a reference, you can find more information about the painful growth of a start up in http://www.dealsvista.com DealsVista publishes the hottest deals at lowest prices, from Laptop Deals, to Cheap TVs.
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