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How to handle images for an ecommerce site

 
Joe Walt
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I have an ecommerce site that has about 100000 SKUs. What is the best practice for handling all the product images as far as where to store them and how to display them on the pages?
Should I have a separate HTTP server to serve the images?



Thanks,

Joe
 
Tim Holloway
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Your biggest challenges are server-independent. You need to decide where and how to store the images themselves. You cannot dump them all in one file directory in most filesystems (and if you did, the "dir" command would be a nightmare!). You could make them BLOBs in a database, but some say that databases are too slow for that kind of stuff.

The need for a separate server isn't determined by how many images you can serve, so much as it is in how many images you need to serve within a certain amount of time. If you only need 1 image/second, anything will do. If you need 1000/second, you'd probably want a whole cluster of servers plus a load balancer.
 
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