Balfour is the brand of record for personalized products in high school and college book stores, including yearbooks, letter jackets and class rings. With over 100,000 stores running on a single Magento instance, Balfour is a great example of scaling the platform beyond previously tested parameters.

The company tasked Praxis with developing a “store in a box” interface that enables schools to embed the yearbook purchase process inside an external WordPress instance. The project itself was nuanced, extending and overriding an already robust XML-RPC API. We found, however, that for the system to work against such an immense data set, we needed to implement indexing and layers of caching that were not previously in place.

While an instance running 100,000 stores presents its own challenges, the lessons learned in this project and others has conveyed to many client projects, as optimizing Magento for performance is a key metric in achieving both uptime and pageload times.