Neuralab is a digital design, web, and mobile development agency who specializes in building eCommerce web applications. Technology-wise, they produce on top of WordPress and WooCommerce.
Automattic recognized their focus, and they became one of the first WooCommerce partners as well as a place on Clutch’s list of the top global eCommerce development firms. Their team also has a strong partnership with MailChimp and Google, which enables them to connect their clients with industry experts and modern approach to web design. Neuralab’s team consists of 20 people with various backgrounds while their main competencies fit into the triangle of content, design, and development.
Check out our interview below with Kresimir Koncic, the Director at Neuralab.
“We started as a couple of college kids who wanted to build custom applications. Back then we focused on neural networks (hence the name – Neuralab 😄) and similar deep learning algorithms. From there on out we continued to build software. But the focus shifted towards web and eCommerce, which has been our core for over a decade.
Nowadays, we specialize in building eCommerce web applications for all sorts of industries – marketplace platforms, projects for clients who work only with the US government (B2G eCommerce), and even food traceability. The lifespan of these projects can take from several months to several years. Most of them fall in the scope of roughly 1,500 working hours.”
“Most of our clients break the limits of each hosting server. For instance, we’ve built a custom WordPress solution for NCVVO, a government agency that manages state exams for high school students (pretty important life moment). During May and June, this application can receive millions of requests per day, so we had extensive and custom needs for their WordPress setup. On the other hand, WooCommerce projects can generate thousands of dollars in eCommerce revenue just on Black Friday alone which places a lot of responsibilities on our team and our hosting stack.
Neuralab currently hosts around 200 web applications with 90% of them built on WordPress and WooCommerce. Naturally, we need a specialized team who knows the “nuts and bolts” of WordPress, not just some simple NGINX or Apache stack. Any downtime equals a loss of revenue and creates a negative experience for clients. A support team of WordPress experts is essential to improve our response times and the quality of service.
Our technical problem with other WordPress hosts was the inability to select the data center location of the server. Our ideal use case is that developers spin up the virtual machines (or container) and choose its location (US West, US East, West Europe, Japan, etc.). This has a huge impact on load times, SEO, and the overall user experience. I witnessed that most hosts lack this feature.”
“We wanted to work with teams focused only on the WordPress and WooCommerce ecosystem. This is truly needed as our own team lives and breathes custom WordPress solutions. In essence, we were looking for a hosting company to be our own WordPress DevOps team partner. In our search, one name popped out more than others, and it’s one that has created a real buzz in the community: “Kinsta.” We’re also part of the official WooCommerce expert’s group, and Kinsta was highly praised in these circles.
Second, we have ten years of experience working with various hosting providers (including testing our own stack at AWS), so the core technical features of the platform (Google Cloud) are important for all of our projects. We monitored speeds of test sites and Kinsta’s network (which exclusively utilizes Google Cloud Platform) always produced one second faster load times than those hosted on AWS. In eCommerce, loading one-second faster is everything, because user attention and conversions are directly correlated with this metric. Every piece of the UX puzzle needs to work in symphony and be as speedy as possible.”
“After moving WordPress sites to Kinsta, we saw faster load times, and the whole system became healthier and robust. For instance, see the graph below.
— Neuralab (@Neuralab) July 22, 2017
Our team saw measurable improvements due to two major factors:
We also started to experiment with the Kinsta CDN, and I believe we will switch all of our clients to it. We currently use AWS S3 + CloudFront, which is a good technology, but it can sometimes be complicated to set up and maintain.”