Case Study: FIM Kanjiža

Introduction

FIM Kanjiža is a production company that ran successfully for 41 straight years. Their core business revolves around the production of bitumen and bitumen products. During those 41 years, they survived breakups of countries, wars, famines, sanctions, and still managed to survive. But all that changed when the fire nation attacked when the internet became widespread and the way that business was conducted changed.

 

The challenge

While the competition was working on their online presence, creating websites, social media accounts, sales funnels, analytics, etc. FIM was doing nothing. The competition was getting new clients, taking over market share, and putting them out of business. Looking back on a famous Bill Gates quote,

 

“If your business isn’t online, your business will be out of business”

So. The competition already had established websites, sales funnels, social media accounts, as well as a thriving online presence. However, this would prove to be their downfall.

 

The solution

As I said, the majority of the competition had set up their websites years before FIM did. During the initial online craze, when development, as well as hosting, was many times more expensive than it is today. The cost/benefit analysis was simply too much for a lot of them to handle. So what happened? A lot of their websites stayed the same. And what happens when everything changes, but your site stays the same? When technologies change, but you still use old technologies? Your site becomes slower. What happens when Google changes the way it ranks sites, but you do nothing about it? You start getting penalties from Google. And what happens when you eventually want to upgrade your site? Broken dependencies, no backward compatibility, outdated database formats, huge costs.

FIM had no such problems and restrictions. We were working on a blank canvas, and we were in a position to absolutely destroy the competition.

 

That’s exactly what we did.

How did we do it

 

The plan

The plan was to not put us in the same position the competition is now. We were going to do everything according to best practices, industry standards, and technologies. While the competition was using a version of IIS from 2012, or PHP 5.6, we were going to skip all that.

 

Technologies

We jumped head-straight into development with WordPress. Why WordPress? Although something like the MERN or MEAN stacks would have certainly given us better performance, the researchers concluded that much of the potential customers were using Windows 7, along with IE/Edge, and were people older than 40. Ultimately, it was decided that we were going to use the LAMP stack (just with SQLite instead of MySQL), and WordPress was the easiest way to accomplish that.

That allowed us to use the very bleeding edge of tech, namely WordPress 5.6, PHP 7.3, SQLite 3.3, gaining massive performance and stability improvements than the competition, just by this move.

Why SQLite? FIM has less than 30 products. Using MySQL would just be a waste of resources. Yes, yes, MySQL is better at handling concurrency, but a CDN and caching policy was intended from the start. That, coupled with the highly specific nature of FIM’s products, meaning not a lot of visitors would be visiting the website, allowed us to use SQLite, and gain every advantage while mitigating every disadvantage.

 

The aftermath

Stay tuned, I’m getting to it.

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