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Result

Task

The Daily Meal website has around 30-50M pageviews, 2.5M unique users on average per month, more than 250GB of image assets and 1.7M+ recipes. It is very high-loaded. To provide good speed, maximum uptime and security, the hosting conditions were improved constantly. Over time this resulted in an overpriced hosting.

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Result

Action

Most of the content on the site are static articles with a lot of assets and ads.

Thus in terms of basic site performance we concentrated our focus on the proper use of caching, starting from web framework caches and leading up to CDNs. Having a proper caching, expensive and high-performance server is not a necessity, so we moved the site from customised AWS based platform to Pantheon, which is specialised for Drupal and WordPress.

To increase the robustness of the website we have built a disaster recovery platform on AWS that replicates the site infrastructure. It is disabled most of the time and the client is not charged. When the main hosting fails the client can turn it on and swap the hosting temporarily.

Assets we have moved to a separate specified server that only works for providing assets. Unfortunately, all out-of-the-box solutions were expensive, so we have provided our own based on the open-source application Thumbor.

In terms of ads, we have very precisely tuned the way ads load and appear on the site, investigated existing ad platforms to choose the fastest and the most revenue efficient options and are constantly monitoring and supporting them.

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Action

Result

Result

As a result of the work we achieved the following outcomes:

  • Monthly hosting charge has been decreased by 4 times (400%).

  • Moreover, the development process has become cheaper and more robust because specialised hosting is now partially responsible for maintaining deployment tools. It helps to provide ongoing support of the website with only 2-3 developers.

  • The overall website performance has also increased from 50% to 80% of page load (only HTML) finished in 0.5 seconds or less, and from 20% to 60% of full page loads (including scripts, ads, assets, and so on) finished in 7 seconds or less.

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