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A look at how Marinestore took advantage of 1st Easy's UK hosting infrastructure to boost their website speed and visibility, whilst benefiting from improved technical support response times.

1st Easy service summary:

  • Dedicated hosting with 100% uptime SLA
  • 24/7 UK based telephone and ticket support
  • Live-site migration from US to the UK
  • Ecommerce support consultancy

Company background:

  • Family owned nautical equipment suppliers Marinestore operates five award winning retail outlets and a busy online store, offering a choice of over 24,000 items to customers across the UK and Europe
  • Website: http://www.marinestore.co.uk

The Challenge

Moving closer to home

Marinestore sought a host to manage the migration of their online store from the US to the UK in order to improve site speed and solve the problem of time-delayed technical support, as John Lodge, owner of Marinestore explains:

"The importance of our website had increased as a way of supporting our customers and generating revenue, so was vital that we found ways of improving the experience of our visitors to consolidate and build further on the success of the store."

John Lodge
Owner, Marinestore

The Requirements

Improve technical support response

  • The six hour time difference with the US prevented timely resolution of technical problems
  • Marinestore wanted to take advantage of the reduced response times and costs that would be available from a UK hosting company

Improve site speed

  • Marinestore wanted to enhance website response times for their predominantly UK customer base*
  • Hosting the site on servers closer to their market would significantly reduce response times (known as latency) for their customers

Improve search engine rankings

  • Server location is considered to be part of Google's ranking calculations for country specific results
  • By hosting in the UK, Marinestore stood to improve their organic search engine results and gain an increase in traffic from relevant customers within their primary market

Live-site migration

  • Marinestore wanted a host with experience of managing complex live-site migrations in order to avoid damaging down-time and customer disruption

*Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, June 21, 2010 examines the relationship between website response times and customer satisfaction

The Solution

UK based servers and 24/7 UK support

With an infrastructure that has been tuned to deliver 100% uptime application hosting, 1st Easy satisfied Marinestore's location and support requirements:

  • 1st Easy's server farm resides within the commercially resilient Reynolds House datacentre in Manchester
  • 1st Easy only use genuine Dell™ server hardware to ensure maximum reliability and performance
  • 1st Easy's entirely UK based support team are available on a 24/7 basis via freephone or managed email ticketing

Zero downtime live-site migration

1st Easy employ an established process to migrate operational sites to ensure a smooth transition from host to host, and avoid damaging downtime:

  • Live server configuration replication
  • Concurrent live/new site operation
  • Data import and synchronisation
  • New site testing
  • DNS mirroring and repointing to new server

"What has impressed me greatly is the support response, honesty and willingness to resolve problems quickly. The team have been straight talking and to the point and the response times for our site are noticeably faster since the migration."

John Lodge
Owner, Marinestore


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