Client Stories

“As one of Europe’s largest sellers of personalized printed cards and gifts—coffee mugs, teddy bears, t-shirts, wall art, cell phone cases, calendars, notebooks and most importantly cards—we know the value of sharp website performance,” says John Symonds, IT Services Manager, Funky Pigeon. “We are 100% dependent on online revenues, particularly over the crucial annual peaks in trade: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. There’s no room for slow page loads or site outages in this market.”

“We protect our visitors’ journey with Neustar website monitoring.”

When problems happen with the website or mobile apps, John’s team uses Neustar to see instantly “whether the issue is on the home page, somewhere in the checkout process or when customers are personalizing greeting cards, mugs or something else,” he says. “We use Neustar to monitor performance virtually end to end.”

“To assure and optimize performance, we use Neustar load testing.”

Funky Pigeon first used Neustar Website Load Testing when the site moved to the Amazon Web Services platform. “We wanted to make sure performance didn’t slip during the transition,” says John. “We also needed a testing solution that could simulate the impact of photo upload functionality on both the user and backend infrastructure during peak traffic. Our old solution wasn’t able to do that.” Neustar’s testing engineers worked closely with John’s team to customize a complex solution.

“We needed custom solutions and Neustar’s engineers came through.”

To generate enough traffic for the initial load tests, Neustar developed customized multi-region load testing, with traffic coming from Dublin, the U.S. East and West coasts and Sao Paulo. “No single region saw enough traffic to conduct a valid test,” says John. “Neustar’s engineers devised a solution that worked beautifully. They really learned how our website works, in all its intricacies, and that made a huge difference.”

Funky Pigeon now runs bimonthly load tests to tune and optimize applications, fitting the variety of architectural options available with AWS. “We carefully benchmark the applications with the infrastructure options,” says John, “for example, to calculate which EC2 instances are most suited to the running of applications or set thresholds to scale services in reaction to traffic.”

Adds John, “We are strictly an online business. As the site goes, so we go.” With Neustar Website Performance Management tools in place “we’re going in the right direction.”

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