Case Study

Lend a Hand Up

Lend A Hand Up works by and through others to help families in need.

Screenshot of Lend A Hand Up website's homepage

How Convesio Helped a Charity Website Run WooCommerce Auctions Smoothly

Lend A Hand Up is an online charity website run by the Dakota Medical Foundation. They were faced with a unique challenge: hosting online countdown auctions without crashing under heavy traffic loads.

Users must submit their bids before the time runs out, which leads to everyone visiting (and refreshing) the site frequently in the last minutes of the auction.

Convesio helped Lend A Hand Up create the hosting setup they will need to deliver consistent performance and zero downtime during their WooCommerce auctions, even when they had hundreds of visitors participating at once.

About Lend a Hand Up

Lend A Hand Up is an online fundraiser website that helps families in medical crises by creating awareness and providing a platform for donors to share gifts, donations, start fundraisers and host auctions. The Lend A Hand Up community has raised millions of dollars and helped families get through tough medical conditions.

PROBLEM

Site Crashes in the Last Minutes of an Auction

The website was hosted on FlyWheel, a managed WordPress host owned by WPEngine. During the in-person auction events, the traffic on the site would shoot up by nearly 1,000% compared to regular days. Naturally, the server started generating 500 errors, as the hundreds of visitors on the site generated thousands of requests.

Downtime caused customers to lose bids and charities to lose donations. Ultimately, this led to people not getting the help they needed:

“For many families, Lend A Hand Up fundraisers are the difference maker in whether or not they can access medical care, maintain their homes/mortgages, and have family travel with them to out-of-area appointments. There is a lot of pressure to make the most of every opportunity and dollars raised. When our website isn’t accessible during peak bidding times, it weighs heavy on our hearts.”

Solution

Convesio’s Scalable Hosting For WooCommerce

After their first major auction ended in a crash, Lend A Hand Up began to re-evaluate their hosting plan. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find one with support for auto-scaling…

“After our first major auction which ended in a crash, we started looking into either paying for a higher tier service or swapping services… We determined that a hosting service with auto-scaling would be beneficial. What surprised my team was how many services lack this feature. We were happy to find a quality service in Convesio.”

Convesio’s ScaleOps team helped figure out the hosting plan needed for Lend A Hand Up. It was a matter of understanding the site’s specific needs, then using the right tech to handle them. This included Redis, Object Cache Pro and Cloudflare Enterprise, along with a web server running Nginx and PerconaDB.

Convesio’s ScaleOps team performed a white-glove migration of the site and in less than an hour, the website was up and running on a containerized WordPress hosting platform. To make sure everything ran smoothly, the Convesio engineering team monitored everything during the first auction event. Everything was in order and the site had all the resources needed to handle huge spikes of traffic.

Convesio Solution

PlanBusiness Level 3
Specs: 6 vCPU, 6 GB Memory, 32 Workers, Redis
Auto Scaling Set Up: Between 1 and 10 Containers
Edge Performance: Cloudflare Enterprise optimized for WooCommerce
Main PluginsElementorWooCommerceUltimate WooCommerce Auction PROWP Crowdfunding Pro

RESULT

WooCommerce Auctions Ran Without Any Issues

With an optimized WooCommerce hosting environment running Object Cache Pro and Cloudflare Enterprise, the Lend A Hand Up website ran as smoothly as possible. Both the backend and the frontend of the website performed extremely well.

Top-Notch Support at Every Stage

Convesio’s “secret sauce” is our level of hands-on support. We work directly with clients and are in communication with them constantly, making the entire process painless for the user.

“What I didn’t expect from Convesio was the level of access to their support team. When we began our engagement, I was in constant contact with several Convesio staff. They worked with me to determine what our baseline hosting would be. And when it came time to migrate the site, I simply provided the required credentials to our site and the Convesio team moved everything, totally painless. And to cap it off, one of their engineers stayed online with us on a Saturday to monitor our first auction event on the new hosting.”

Today, Lend A Hand Up has no issues with scaling, even during their busiest auction events. And that means more donations are successfully given to people in need!

Testimonial

What I didn’t expect from Convesio was the level of access to their support team. When we began our engagement, I was in constant contact with several Convesio staff. They worked with me to determine what our baseline hosting would be.

And when it came time to migrate the site, I simply provided the required credentials to our site and the Convesio team moved everything, totally painless.

And to cap it off, one of their engineers stayed online with us on a Saturday to monitor our first auction event on the new hosting.

– Mathew Orhen, Systems Developer
Dakota Medical Foundation

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