Infrastructure & Supporting Processes
Building a website isn’t enough on it’s own. A great website needs great supporting infrastructure - which the SystemSeed team have a wealth of expertise in. There are a number of aspects to the technologies and techniques involved in this. Essentially the main points can be broken down as so:
For every website there is at least 3 primary copies - development, staging, and production. Additionally new environments are often spun up for the sole creation of specific feature development. This approach ensures the integrity of the live website, whilst affording developers and stakeholders the tools that they need to develop, test, and integrate new features before they go live.
We love developing new features to enhance the system for either staff or the general public but our primary objective is that the live system always remains fully functional. We always aim to develop a suite of automated Selenium tests that cover the main areas of the site’s functionality. This test suite is added to continually and grows organically with the platform. This “regression testing” helps keep the system robust to each and every change made.
Performance and scalability.
Drupal is a complex system with many moving components. It takes a lot of work to get it running quickly, with fast page load times and a responsive feel. The Pantheon infrastructure that powers our Drupal platforms adhere to industry standard best practices, employing advanced caching systems such as Memcached, APC and Varnish. These work together in the background to provide lightning quick page load times and a great user experience.
Monitoring and analytics.
On the front end the platform fully integrates with Google Analytics (and soon Clicktale too) in order to provide deep insights into user activity. On the backend we integrate with New Relic to provide deep ongoing insights into application performance.
Support and development.
With a globally distributed team, SystemSeed provides round the clock support and development of the platform and it’s sites, using the award winning Pivotal Tracker systems for customer support and agile development planning.