Scott Leechin is Director of Technology at MyClearPayments.com. Based in sunny Jacksonville, Florida, Clear Payment Solutions specializes in credit card, ACH, online payment and electronic bill payment. The ClearPayments team built the ClearGIVE PCI Compliant processor as an online donation platform for churches and nonprofits. Scott enjoys the satisfaction of being part of a family that helps others in accepting donations.
“We help churches and nonprofits to process payments, to do a customer database, take donations and even do event registration,” explains Scott. “We try to make everything powerful, affordable and easy to use. The easier it is to use, the more people you reach.”
Like many companies in the online payments industry, it took some work to get to the smooth flowing platform of today. Scott credits his skill at learning new things as the top reason he has been able to run ClearGIVE smoothly.
“Two years ago ClearGIVE was only using one server,” Scott recalled, thinking of ClearGIVE’s early growing pains. “We were starting to notice that latency was picking up at certain hours. During peak hours, when you’re running one server and you have thousands and thousands of people on the website, it can slow it down. You would have a few thousand transactions at once and it would slow the website’s response. We knew we had to increase our capabilities to handle more bandwidth.”
Traffic Growth and Sales Demand More PCI Compliant Server Capacity
Then, the ClearGIVE sales people brought in about 20 deals for new churches and new non-profits to use their service - all in one week.
“We knew we had to expand,” explained Scott. “With 20 churches and nonprofits and their hundreds of users coming online that week, that translates into possibly 20,000 new users hitting our servers at once. We had to act proactively before it got really bad.”
Pressured to Find the Server Solution
Under the pressure of a growing business, Scott started researching solutions and soon found that Liquid Web offered the perfect solution.
“I write code, I don’t do server maintenance - but I was pushed into server maintenance,” he said. “With this job I had to learn a few things. It was kind of a no-brainer for us. We were already working with Liquid Web and their support has been phenomenal for us. Any time of day, everyone has been pleasant to work with, helpful and very honorable. Every time I have a random question they would explain everything and it’s just a tremendous knowledge base that they have. They will help out at a moment’s notice.”
The Day for the Migration Arrives
Scott explained the work leading up to the actual migration, “It was 2 to 3 months before we switched to use two servers and added a load-balancing node and a second database. We had a mass update in our whole online software so a lot of the grunt work was also done by our developers. Our developers were pushing a lot of updates while we had that maintenance window. We actually had both old and new servers running live for about two weeks and then one night we switched over. We had a couple of minor errors in our database code, which were then solved by our developers. It was actually rather smooth.”
Ready for Future Online Payments Growth
“We have not had an issue since and it’s been a little over a year now. We have not been experiencing the latency issues. We’re thinking about expanding it to another server but we’re just monitoring it now to see the demand,” said Scott.
Recently another networking update was needed. In the online payment world, most companies are moving away from the Transport Layer Security 1.1 to TLS 1.2. Scott said, “We had to proactively switch everything over to version 1.2 of Transport Layer Security. It was literally that I called them, they took care of the switch and then everything was good. That was the easiest support call I’ve ever had for a change that might have shut down all donation processing for us.”
The Pay Off
Scott sums up the whole ClearGIVE experience this way, “Switching over to two servers with Liquid Web has really made it easier to allow for more growth. Over two years we’ve had almost no downtime. I would definitely recommend Liquid Web because you get superb support all the time. Calling them is quick and they’re all very knowledgeable. They’ve just been a great help along our way. They’ve helped us increase our ability to take on more volume in our business. We’ve grown about 50% to 75% larger than we were when we only had one server. Every experience that I’ve had with them has just been phenomenal.”
Thank you, Scott. Your Liquid Web Enterprise team appreciates you as well.