Terracor – 20 Years and Growing

We are very excited to announce that along with this year being our 20th anniversary that we have also moved!

Our new location is much larger and more modern in order to accommodate our constantly growing team and or need to collaborate more easily and effectively.

We originally started with just a handful of team members mostly supplying local IT services and have since grown into a provider of multiple consulting & software services & products with the team currently consisting of 25 members.

To give you an idea of our recent growth, in just the last 6 months alone we’ve expanded our team by approx 25%. Our old office building simply couldn’t hold everyone comfortably and with us wanting to continue to grow this year and beyond we needed somewhere that would scale with us long term.

This is very exciting news for us and also for or future and existing customers as it’s a sign of how much we are growing to satisfy increasing needs regarding the services we offer such as custom development, e-commerce deployments, EDI, business consulting and IT managed services.

Here are just a couple of photos showing our new digs.

Terracor - Internal Acrylic Sign

New logo at front entrance

Terracor - Boardroom

Boardroom for meetings with clients, partners and internal teams

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CDNs and how they improve the speed of page loads

If you look at any resource that discusses performance of websites, or you view the suggestions from a tool that assesses website performance, the use of a CDN or Content Delivery Network, is always on the list (and usually right at the top).

We’ve mentioned in previous blog posts related to our zeckoShop releases that we are always looking to improve performance from the backend to the frontend and we’d like to share with you one way we’ve done this, which is our usage of CDNs to serve up the assets from our websites (assets are files such as images, scripts etc).

So why is this such a great thing? Let’s outline the benefits of using CDNs and it’ll be obvious how this will improve page load speeds so dramatically.

Multiple Domains – More File Downloads

Browsers will only download a certain number of files at a time from a single domain, or web address.

CDNs also have their own domain, different from your website, meaning that the browser can download files from your website and files from the CDN at the same time, thus cutting down the overall download time when loading a page.

We’ve taken this one step further by utilising three CDNs, one each for:

  1. Images
  2. zeckoShop specific assets
  3. Third party assets

It’s fair to say this has had a dramatic effect on performance.  

Pre Caching of Files – Less File Downloads

When users browse sites on the Internet that utilise a CDN, those files are then cached in the browser. When they then visit your site, and it uses any of these third party files, the browser won’t need to download it again and will used the cached copy instead.

The third party files we use are for very popular frameworks and the CDN that serves them is one of the most popular available so there’s a really good chance as users visit the homepage of your site for the first time, or the first time in a long time, some of the larger files are already cached in the browser and don’t need to be downloaded again.

Distributed Servers – 100% Availability

When using a CDN to serve files there are two worries most people have:

  • What if it’s actually slower since files are being served from somewhere in the world that might be far from where the user is browsing a website, and
  • What if the CDN goes down and can’t serve files, thus rendering my website useless

The CDNs we use actually has multiple servers all around the world and when serving files will do so from the best and closest server to the user browsing your site. Also, since CDNs are optimised to deliver assets and because of the previous two points, it’s actually faster than serving the files locally.

And, because of the distributed servers, if one of them goes down for a period of time, the others are still up and available to serve your sites assets 24/7.

Think of it like automatic load balancing and redundancy for your assets, built right in without having to worry about high costs and complex setup.  

DDoS Protection – Uptime Guarantee

Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS attacks are on the rise and impacting website uptime every day.

Protection against these kinds of attacks is incredibly difficult and is an ongoing concern requiring constant monitoring and staying ahead of the attackers.

CDNs are built to withstand these kinds of attack and even when one is attempted will keep serving files to you without affecting your uptime.

Optimised Images – Decreased File Sizes

Another way we go one step further then most other platforms and services is that your images are heavily optimised when using our platform.

Whether a user is browsing on mobile, using Chrome vs Firefox, the images served are optimised for that device or browser.

We’ve found through our testing that the image optimisation can decrease file sizes by up to 80-90% which is an incredible savings in file size and in turn a huge boost to performance.

On by Default! – Cost Savings

This is one of our favourites.

If you are using another platform for your ecommerce site, or have your website hosted elsewhere, to utilise a CDN would require someone make changes to your backend to support the use of a CDN and on top of that you’d also need to pay an additional fee for the storage and bandwidth associated with the CDN.

We like to make things easy for our clients and prefer to handle all the heavy lifting and details of their website so not only have we built in full support for all of this into our latest version of zeckoShop, we’ve also built the price into the ongoing hosting costs of the website.

What can we say, it’s fun saving money and time for our clients while improving their online presence.

Announcing our New CEO

Terracor Business Solutions is thrilled to announce our new CEO, Keith Webster.

Keith began his career as a software developer after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering in his homeland of Ireland.

After working in Ireland’s largest Telecoms company as a Junior software developer, he subsequently moved to Canada to explore new opportunities.

His first position was actually at Terracor where he served many years building software and providing consulting services to our clients.

Offered some great opportunities to work with some industry leading consultants, Keith left Terracor to expand and refine his abilities, allowing him to work on many enterprise level projects, using multiple technologies and learning from the best.

His heart, always being at Terracor, he then returned as their Lead software developer, tasked with and dedicated to building out a great software development team and set of products.

In 2015 he became Terracor’s CTO, continuing to lead the software development team, he also took on the responsibility to define the corporate technology strategy, both internally and for our products & services.

Based on an expanding role, exciting company growth and the need to realise an exciting and demanding company vision, Keith has been promoted to CEO of the company allowing him to work with his talented management team to execute a strategy that will take Terracor to new heights and to provide our loyal client base with more options to help grow their businesses even further.

Why zeckoShop?

There are times that we at Terracor get asked this question from potential clients: “Why should we choose zeckoShop over one of your competitors?” It’s a more than fair question and one that should be asked by anyone serious about their business and online presence.

Of course we have given detailed answers to this question and although I could talk in this post about our extensive feature set (hundreds of great and useful features and modules), our number of years in the business (next year will be Terracor’s 25th anniversary serving our clients) or the top class support we give our clients but I’m going to hit this from a different angle.

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