One of the most important websites for pigeon professionals is that of P-Bay. Through this online platform pigeons can easily be traded between different buyers and sellers. To make these auctions and sales run even better, Calibrate took on the website.

PBay devices

P-Bay's aim is to manage and arrange the sales and auctions, both small and large, of pigeons. The focus is explicitly on the quality of the birds. Pigeons that do not feel superior in the hand, therefore do not end up in the auctions of P-Bay. In addition, they always bring the latest news from the Belgian and European pigeon world on their website, so that all pigeon fanciers are constantly informed about the ins and outs of their favourite sport. Thanks to our input, P-Bay can once again count on a fast and multilingual website (with an English and Chinese version as well as a Dutch version).

Dries pov

What did we do for P-Bay?

1. Speed boost thanks to React

P-Bay's previous website had already been built in Drupal - we would like to see that anyway - but due to its success, a thorough overhaul was more than welcome. As many users logged in at peak times, the Drupal system at that time could not cope and the speed was drastically reduced. Thanks to ‘The Great Firewall of China’, the Chinese users - and there are quite a few of them - also had problems with site speed, which caused some connections to be delayed.

In order to keep both the overall speed of the website and the course of the auctions running smoothly, we opted for a custom platform based on Laravel. We used Laravel as CMS and job-handler to easily manage the offer of pigeons and auctions, the users, news items and pages. For the front-end we made use of React, the Javascript framework with which you can easily put dynamic web applications together. In this way, we were able to boost browser performance.

PBay desktop

2. In-depth analyses thanks to Piwik

At Calibrate we use Google Analytics to highlight the analytical side of websites. In China, however, several Google services are blocked, including Analytics. To deal with this, they use 'Baidu Tongji'. The problem here is that the programme is only offered in Chinese, and not all staff at P-Bay speak this language. 

For this reason we opted for Piwik, an analytics programme that also has all the necessary tools and is open source. Moreover, Piwik works well with React, which meant that the site speed was not downgraded again.

PBay mobile

3. Better suited for the mobile world

When the previous version of the website was drawn up, the entire mobile Internet world was even more modest. That's why it was also the ideal time to look at and improve compatibility on mobile in order to respond to current technologies. Especially in China, more and more people visit the website via their smartphone, which made the importance of a well-functioning mobile site a clear necessity. We provided a fast mobile version, so that every pigeon fancier can keep an eye on the latest auctions and deals from just next door.

4. Always on board in real time

P-Bay is first and foremost an auction site, where it is very important that everything happens in real time. For this we have made use of websockets. This advanced technique makes it possible to open an interactive connection between the server and the user's browser. As soon as someone makes a bid, this will be adjusted in real time on their page, without them having to refresh the page. In this way, everyone always receives the most recent information and updates without any effort.

Finally, the hosting was also arranged by Calibrate. In the beginning it was to be seen whether the Chinese users would be able to use the new website easily. After the go-live, we already implemented optimisations in this area. We chose to place Cloudflare as an extra performance, caching & security layer for the website. The website worked very smoothly without Cloudflare, but from China there were noticeable delays at DNS level. Cloudflare will handle DNS queries more efficiently and as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) ensures that images, javascript files and API calls are delivered as optimally as possible based on the location of the visitor.

Fans of P-Bay can now feel free to spread their wings on the new website!

CarFreeDay Leuven

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