MyPillow Experiences Traffic Spike After Refocusing Production to Help Fight COVID-19
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in business changes across the United States. With the unemployment rate soaring to over 16 million, restaurants and businesses closing their doors to adhere to new social distancing rules, and healthcare workers working around the clock to fight the novel coronavirus, people around the world have stepped up to help. Some are supporting local restaurants by ordering meals to-go, others are buying gift cards to use post-quarantine, and Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, is refocusing 75 percent of its production to make face masks for frontline healthcare workers.
Lindell’s business decision created a viral outcry of support online and in the press – he even earned a feature in a press conference with the President of The United States, resulting in a swift increase in traffic and sales for MyPillow. Unfortunately, their site at the time couldn’t handle the amount of demand, since they were on the open source version of Magento.
— Mike Lindell (@realMikeLindell) March 30, 2020
Creatuity set out to find a solution. Four of our developers worked to optimize the site’s code and server, and switch to a split database, which is only available on the Magento Commerce edition. The split database feature allows the store database to be cut into three independent databases: the CMS, sales operations, and checkout. The solution is advantageous because each of the independent databases can exist on a different server.
Migrating from the open source edition to Magento Commerce can be a lengthy process, taking approximately a few months on average. The Creatuity team managed to complete this project, successfully, in just 62 hours. Migrating to the Commerce version took 10 hours, preparing split scripts took 42 hours (including deployment and updating staging environment), and quality assurance took another 10 hours.
“Overall, this is a great example of the value of Commerce, the scalability benefits of Commerce, and shows how Magento and Creatuity were able to meet the rapidly changing needs of a client due to COVID-19, and help them not just survive but thrive when demand suddenly shot up as everyone began shopping at home instead of in the stores,” said Creatuity CEO and founder, Joshua Warren.
Despite this project being fairly new, positive results were seen immediately upon launching Magento Commerce. After 7 days of work, the new MyPillow site went live and saw a record of 12,000 simultaneous users. Prior to the upgrade, the site would crash once traffic exceeded 5,000 visitors. Despite this greatly increased level of traffic, the site now performs better than ever; adding to cart takes 1 second or less (it was ranging from 30 seconds to completely failing the previous week), even under this heavy load.
The split scripts are a major reason for the success of this project. The server host for MyPillow, LexiConn, has reported that the site is doing well and still has room to expand to support more traffic, if needed.
“It definitely helps with spreading out the queries and keeping checkout [and] sales running smoothly,” said Rob, from LexiConn, after noticing a 2,000 visitor spike in traffic from the day before.
MyPillow CTO Todd Carter, said their primary concern is no longer whether or not the site can scale — it’s that they’ll run out of inventory as they’re able to sell things so quickly now. Sounds like a good problem to me.
Images Courtesy of New Relic – The graphs show that Magento Commerce performs with a lower average response time when under a load spike caused by a large number of simultaneous users.
A special thanks to our team members who helped to make this project a success:
Grzegorz M. – Upgrading MyPillow to Magento Commerce
Tomek S. – Code optimizations
Krzysztof P. – Preparing and deploying split database
Adam Ć. – Quality Assurance and deployment
Michael W. – Client communication and project management
Daniel K. – Coordinating and delegating assignments
Jonathan V. – Coordinating server optimizations with LexiConn
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