How to efficiently perform Devops on a website redesign using AWS EC2

We were hired to revamp the existing website for the Altamont Commuter Express service and transform it into a modern, user-friendly, and responsive platform. With our expertise in crafting exceptional digital experiences, we embarked on the task of redesigning the website to meet the evolving needs of users.

Introduction to Acerail

Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) is a regional commuter rail service connecting Stockton and San Jose in Northern California. It offers comfortable trains, convenient schedules, and amenities like Wi-Fi. ACE provides a sustainable and efficient transportation option for commuters traveling between the Central Valley and the Bay Area, with connections to other modes of transportation.

CE operates trains on weekdays, with limited service available on weekends for special events. The trains generally offer morning and evening commute options, aligning with typical work hours. The frequency of trains varies depending on the specific route and time of day.

It serves as a vital transportation link for commuters in Northern California, providing an efficient and sustainable option for traveling between the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Highly Trafficked Website

The website experiences high levels of traffic, especially during peak commute hours. As a crucial resource for commuters, it serves as a hub of information, providing real-time updates on train schedules, service disruptions, and other relevant details. During peak hours, the website becomes a go-to platform for commuters to plan their journeys, check for any delays or changes, and access important announcements. Its user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation ensure that commuters can quickly find the information they need, contributing to the efficient and smooth functioning of their daily commutes. The website's popularity and heavy traffic during peak hours reflect its significance in helping commuters stay informed and make informed decisions about their travel arrangements.

Website Redesign

We were hired to revamp the existing website and transform it into a modern, user-friendly, and responsive platform. With our expertise in crafting exceptional digital experiences, we embarked on the task of redesigning the website to meet the evolving needs of users. Our primary goal was to create a visually appealing and intuitive interface that enhances user engagement and simplifies navigation. By implementing cutting-edge design principles, we ensured that the website seamlessly adapts to different devices and screen sizes, offering an optimized experience across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. The redesigned website now showcases a contemporary aesthetic, improved functionality, and a user-centric approach, reflecting Exemplifi's commitment to delivering an exceptional digital experience for visitors.

An AWS Powered Hosting Infrastructure

We successfully migrated the Acerail website to an AWS-powered infrastructure, leveraging advanced technologies such as Application Load Balancer (ALB) and auto-scaling. This strategic move aimed to enhance the website's performance and ensure a seamless user experience even during peak traffic periods. By utilizing ALB, we achieved efficient load balancing, distributing incoming traffic across multiple instances to prevent overload and improve overall responsiveness. Additionally, the implementation of auto-scaling enabled us to dynamically adjust the available computing resources based on demand, automatically scaling up or down to maintain optimal performance and cost-efficiency. With this new infrastructure, the Acerail website is now equipped to handle high volumes of concurrent users, delivering an exceptional level of performance and responsiveness to meet the growing needs of its visitors.

Details of the Infrastructure

The infrastructure for this site consists of two primary components: the application server and the database server. By separating the application and database layers, we can scale each component independently to meet the demands of our website traffic.

Application Server

The application server is responsible for handling HTTP requests, serving WordPress files, and executing PHP code. To achieve high availability and scalability, we have implemented an autoscaling group for the application server. This allows us to automatically adjust the number of EC2 instances based on the incoming traffic.

Additionally, we have set up an Application Load Balancer (ALB) that distributes incoming traffic across the instances in the autoscaling group. The ALB acts as the entry point to our WordPress site, ensuring that the workload is evenly distributed and providing fault tolerance by automatically detecting and routing traffic away from unhealthy instances.

To ensure that the WordPress files are consistently accessible by all instances, we have utilized the Elastic File System (EFS). The root WordPress directory is hosted on EFS, which provides shared storage that can be mounted on multiple instances simultaneously. This ensures that any changes made to the WordPress files are instantly available to all instances in the autoscaling group.

Database Server

The database server is a critical component of any WordPress site, handling the storage and retrieval of website content and user data. In our infrastructure, the database server is kept separate from the application layer to optimize performance and improve reliability.

Unlike the application server, the database server does not require autoscaling. Instead, we maintain a stable, standalone EC2 instance for the database. By doing so, we eliminate the complexities associated with scaling databases while ensuring consistent performance and data integrity.

Conclusion

Deploying WordPress on AWS EC2 instances with a carefully designed infrastructure offers numerous benefits such as high availability, scalability, and fault tolerance. By utilizing an Application Load Balancer and autoscaling for the application layer, we can handle traffic spikes and distribute the workload efficiently. Separating the database onto a dedicated server ensures optimal performance and data integrity.

Moreover, leveraging the Elastic File System (EFS) for shared storage simplifies the deployment and maintenance of the WordPress files, allowing for instant updates across all instances. This infrastructure design provides a robust foundation for WordPress sites, enabling businesses to handle increased traffic and deliver a seamless user experience.

By implementing this infrastructure, you can ensure that your WordPress site remains highly available, scalable, and resilient to meet the demands of your growing user base.

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