Adjusting Hosting Plan Limits

Finland based Planeetta Internet Oy (est. 2002) is one of the leading hosting providers in Northern Europe providing websites, web hosting, servers, e-mail services, e-commerce and domain names.

In the hosting industry, hosting plans are commonly sold in tiered packages. Every tier has pre-configured set of resources (memory, disk space, etc) and customers make their decision in a self-service portal by comparing plans in a feature matrix. Allowing customers to select a plan based on their budget frequently leads to a bad customer experience when the web site receives traffic and becomes slow or completely inaccessible.

For the roll out of their next generation hosting plans, Planeetta wanted to illustrate the performance differences of different plans with a typical Wordpress installation. The plans were pre-configured and named after t-shirt sizes from "small" to "extra large". The initial configuration for the plans was done by the administrators as a best guess so that the plans could handle certain number of concurrent users for the selected tier.

Supervisor started testing in "self-driving" mode where the site is explored randomly by clicking links with intervals that simulate natural user browsing. The users were left browsing the sites for a couple of days. This allowed Planeetta administrators to tune the parameters and limits under constant maximum load so that the site loading times were good.

By testing the different plans with real usage, Planeetta is now more confident to launch new packages and communicate the differences between different price levels with terms that their customers actually understands. Planeetta is also able to test every customer site with a similar test and help the customer to choose a plan that fits their needs.

Pjotr Gorshok