Mitchell Kimbrough
Mitchell Kimbrough

Founder

Posted on May 4, 2020

Podcast: ProPublica Part 1 - Cache It!

Remember when launching a new website meant flipping a switch and holding your breath? Yeah, that’s still the norm and it’s still terrifying. But the good people over at ProPublica have developed a solution to that problem. Mike Tigas and Frank Sharpe from ProPublica agreed to talk with me on the Solspace podcast to answer all of my dumb questions. You’ll love the way they have built their modern tech stack. It can handle massive global traffic without breaking a sweat. It can launch portions of a new website while leaving other sections untouched. It can respond quickly and easily to major changes in back-end architecture.

ProPublica is an investigative journalism organization that exists 100% online. Solspace has been working with them to build, support and maintain their platform for more than 12 years; and it is a platform. ProPublica now consists of nearly 50 web apps, web resources and data stores, all publicly available.

In this episode, Frank, Mike and I talk about how they have adapted their system architecture over time to respond to their continually growing web traffic. We talk at length about how their website runs first and foremost in CloudFlare’s KV system. Their Craft system runs on AWS server instances, but end users never really touch those. Instead, the whole site is cached by CloudFlare and distributed across global data nodes.

ProPublica is one of the best examples of computing at the Edge. Listen to learn more about what that can mean for you and your organization.

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