The best technology on the market

2016-03-16

Blog

Some of you might wonder why our choices of technology is so much better than what many other agencies and developers tend to go with, and I’m going to answer that in this post. But first I want you to carefully read this sentence:

Rabalder Media is a web development agency that excels in large, high-traffic, real-time web applications.

What does that even mean? To break it down to you, high-traffic means a lot of visitors. And I mean a lot! Real-time means that every piece of data is automatically updated in real-time. This data can be anything really - some examples would be the text on your front-page, images, videos, users, “like count”, etc. If you don’t know what real-time means, a quick rundown of it is that your users doesn’t have to refresh your website to see new/changed content - it just “magically” appears without you or the user having to do anything. If you were on this website the same second I posted this blog post, it would “magically show up” on the front-page without you having to refresh our website. That’s what real-time is. Web applications is a whole lot different from a web site. A web application can of course still be your website, but it acts a whole lot different from traditional websites built with something like PHP (Wordpress, EpiServer, Drupal). Although you can build web applications with PHP if you structure it in a certain way (as an API for you tech-savvy readers), but the majority of PHP developers have no clue how to do that due to the limitations of the PHP programming language. Web applications are very powerful. They offer complete control and unmatched performance, while giving a rich user experience. Have you ever used GMail? That’s a web application and not a web site.

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to tell you about a few upcoming features that Google, Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple are all adding to their respective web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari). The first feature is called Service Workers, which will allow developers to put code in the background of visitors computers/devices. It may sound scary, but it’s actually very cool and very safe. The way the browser currently works is that when you close our website, we have no way to talk to your device again until the next time you go to our website. Service Workers changes that - we can spin up a worker on your device that sits in the background that we can talk to - and can talk to us - even when you close your web browser completely. We have limited control though, we cannot read your text messages or anything like that. What we can do is make a copy of our website to your phone (also known as cache or snapshot). This would allow you to use our website even if your device is offline without any internet connection. Additionally, the next time you go to our website it will load instantly, as your browser doesn’t have to ask our server for content (images, code, styling, etc), instead it would ask the service worker on your device for the cached content. There are many other features Service Workers bring, but I’m just gonna list one more notable thing we can do, which is being able to send push notifications. You know how you get a notification when someone liked your photo on Facebook? Yeah? We can do that too. For websites. On both devices (phones, tablets, SmartTVs, etc) as well as computers. Crazy right? Even if your phone is in your pocket with the screen turned off and your web browser closed, we will be able to send push notifications to you.

Client-side applications

The difference between our projects and other agencies projects is that our applications are run completely client-side. To explain what client-side really means, this website is a very good example. If you would open the navigation, head over to the “About” page, you would notice that navigation is instantaneous and your browser doesn’t show that loading spinner at the top. This is because your browser is rendering that page, and not our servers. With Wordpress for example, the server would always render the page - which isn’t always bad but it adds extra loading times for your users and it’s statistically proven that users absolutely hate waiting. Amazon found that every extra 100 milliseconds of loading times cost them 1% in sales. 1 second would cost them 10%. That’s an enormous amount of money! Additionally, if our servers were to go down as you read this, you would still be able to navigate our website and read every blog post because your browser already have that information stored locally on your device. That would be nearly impossible to achieve with Wordpress or PHP.

We also have a solution that globally distributes a copy of our client-side applications to datacenters across the globe. This means that even though our server infrastructure resides in Stockholm, Sweden - an Australian visitor would still load the website as quickly as a Swedish visitor. Below is an image of all the locations in the world where there is a hosted copy of every project we’ve created.

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Our server infrastructure

I am fairly certain that we have a very unique and much better server infrastructure compared to other web agencies. I’m the person handling our server infrastructure and I’ve spent many hours carefully planned and designed it to be very powerful and be the perfect solution to our type of web applications.

Our servers have powerful hardware that I’ve personally picked myself, and we’re not running on traditional spinning hard drives which many others do. Our servers run on SSDs (Solid State Drives) which are much faster than traditional drives. I’ve also put the drives in a RAID5 array, which has given us a read/write speed of up to 1.6GB/s.

The servers are located in a datacenter residing in a mountain in Stockholm that’s estimated to be able to withstand a nuclear bomb. I’m not joking, it’s true. Apart from that it has diesel backup generators in case of electricity outages so the likelihood of our infrastructure going down is very small. There’s also something known as a DDoS-attack, which is a type of network flooding attack. We’ve taken substantial measures to prevent such attacks, having a solution in place that has mitigated the largest DDoS-attack ever recorded in history of 400Gbps.

So, after reading this you should have a rough idea just how serious we are about our customers and projects. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me, I’d be happy to provide any details regarding our technology. You can find my contact information below.