Cache and Cron settings

To improve customer experience during checkout, site performance, and reduce API requests the Shipwire API module uses shipping rate caching and batch processing that is executed at set intervals. These setting can greatly influence the performance and checkout experience and may require alteration depending on the number of transactions your site processes.

Drupal CRON settings

By defualt a drupal 7 site will execute CRON every three hours which is not sufficiently frequent for sites that operate an online store. There is a fine balance between the frequency of CRON runs and the amount of items that are processed per CRON run that may need to be adjusted. The Shipwire API module can only limit the frequency and number of items and cannot increase them. To increase CRON frequency you can start by browsing to the CRON setting page at Administration ->Configuration ->System -> Cron. Here you can increase the CRON frequency to one hour which should be sufficient for most sites.

The balance point in CRON task involves the frequency and number of items executed per run. If the time between CRON runs is too great then the number of items needed to be processed will add up resultingf in items not being processed. If the frequency is too small then the processing of items may take too long to complete causing errors. The key is to find the sweet spot in frequency and number of items per run that will complete successfully. You may need to adjust the CRON frequency to an interval smaller than one hour in which case please refer to drupal docs on setting up CRON intervals. Monitor server logs to determine if there are too many items being processed per CRON run.

If your site processes a lot of orders then you should reduce the interval between CRON runs and reduce the number of items processed per run. Conversely if your site processes a small amount of orders per hour you may want to increase the  CRON interval.

Rates cache

During the checkout process the customer may navigate back through the checkout process to change inputs or may take their time in completing the checkout due to hesitation. To reduce API requests and speed up the checkout process the shipping rates are cached when they are first requested. If the shipping address and products in the order do not change then the cached rates will be used on subsequent page requests. Data in the cached rates is also used to when the shipment is processed for fulfilment.

The Rates cache lifetime indicates the maximum time that the rate will be cached. The defualt setting of one hour should be sufficient for most store. If you find that your customers are deliberating about purchases for longer then you may want to increase the lifetime value. Shipwire rates do not change often so setting this to a higher value should not pose a risk.

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