Captivating and intriguing content.

22 Words

Over the years, we've helped 22 Words grow from a tiny site into a massive one. We built their site from the scratch, created a custom ad stack and analytics platform, and launched an AWS-based hosting environment capable of handling millions of hits.

Project Completion Date

January 12, 2018

Client Location

Pasadena, CA

Services Provided

Web Development
System Administration
Development Operations
Ad Operaptions

Client Industries

Publishing, Social Media

Team Notes

Working with a large amount of content and many authors proved to be a challenge.

Learn about our process on this project.

Start small.  Keep growing.

That’s always been the mindset of 22 Words, and it has been a pleasure to grow with them.  Growth always comes with some pain, and we’ve been there to help get through those times.  We’ve done everything from growing their ad partners to completely rebuilding their hosting and more.

Hosting

If you’ve ever encountered a site that just won’t seem to load, then you’ve already encountered the frustrations of a hosting server that can’t keep up with the demands of a website.  We’ve dealt with that before, but never on the scale of a site like 22 Words which boasts millions of pages loaded every day. Configuring a system that’s both reliable and cheap wasn’t easy, but we were more than up to the task.  As an added requirement, the migration had to be seamless to avoid costly downtime.

Migrating

Downtime on 22 Words costs thousands and thousands in lost revenue. We needed a solution that would prevent that.

In order to ensure that we would be able to keep up with the heavy demand that the site requires, we used the best technology that the cloud has to offer.  Establishing a system that automatically (and safely!) deploys any changes was a must-have to reduce the possibility of human error. We also implemented a monitoring system so that we would know if anything ever went offline.

The migration went as smoothly as possible, with all downtime avoided, and it was a smashing success!  The number of site outages went from several per week to less than a single outage every six months with the new system.

Costs

One concern that was addressed early on was cost – we wanted to ensure that we weren’t adding a new monthly expense for them, cutting into their bottom line.  It turns out that the new system was less than 10% more costly than their old system, with the added benefit of almost completely eliminating any outages on the site.

Avoiding Downtime

An important concern was that we might bring the site down for several hours while making the move.  For a company that thrives on traffic at all hours, this was huge!  We took three steps in order to mitigate the risk as much as possible:

  1. Extensive planning and testing ahead of time.  Each feature was carefully planned and tested individually in order to ensure that nothing would break.
  2. Load testing in order to ensure that the new setup wouldn’t suffer from the same flaws as the old setup.
  3. Working at a low traffic time.  No matter how carefully we planned, there was always the possibility of catastrophe.  In order to minimize the impact of that, we decided that the best time to perform the migration during the small hours of the morning.  While we may not enjoy working at 3:00 AM, there are certain situations which call for it.

After taking the precautions of those steps, we were able to avoid any downtime.

Long-term Maintenance and Website Upgrades

To this day, we continue to work with Brainjolt Media to upgrade their website based on user interaction and performance data. As we work, the site perpetually improves, increasing profit margins and making the experience better still for the end-user.

Take a look at how it turned out.