Engineering Leadership for the Zombie Horde

Industry

Entertainment

Size

Medium

Years Serviced

< 2

Skybound Entertainment - Infrastructure Optimization

Overview

After moving their main marketing website from Rackspace to AWS, Skybound’s focus turned to performance optimization. Their goals were to increase scaling capabilities and performance while reducing server costs.

Challenges

This project presented several challenges as it unfolded… 

  • It became evident that Google was in the process of reworking all of their performance tools, as the tools used to measure produced increasingly varying results. At the end of the project, Google released their Core Web Vitals and announced massive changes to their performance tooling.
  • We were optimizing an existing WP theme with heavy customizations. There were some limitations that we could not overcome without even more refactoring.
  • WordPress plugins/themes do not adhere to any standards and many are not built with a multi-server architecture in mind.

Solution

The solution is a containerized site hosted on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and leverages other CloudFront and S3, other popular Amazon services. During this process, we were able to reduce the baseline servers from 12 to 2 and cut the initial build time in half.

  • WordPress: We leveraged several performance-driven plugins to offload the website assets to Amazon S3 and maximize site caching.

  • AWS: We utilized EKS, CloudFront, and S3 for a modern and high-performance architecture.
  • DevOps: We containerized the site with Docker, then optimized the site for faster building and scaling. This also enables the Skybound team to perform updates on their own local instance versus having everyone work in the same staging environments.

Technologies

An open source CMS great for creating blogs or simple websites.

Learn more about Wordpress

Kubernetes (K8s) is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications

Learn more about Kubernetes

Amazon Web Services offers reliable, scalable, and inexpensive cloud computing services.

Learn more about AWS

Results

The project was plagued with setbacks from poor search performance to theme and plugin limitations that made this a bigger undertaking than first imagined. However, the investment is well served as the client was able to massively reduce their infrastructure baseline while optimizing the user experience. Lastly, team members can now work locally, which saves them time and makes the whole process smoother.

Don't let your project turn into a tragedy.