AWS Public Sector Blog

Remember the Alamo: A Story Bigger than Texas

Remember the Alamo? About two million annual visitors do, making the historic site the most visited tourism destination in Texas. Most know the Alamo for the 90-minute battle in 1836 that led to Texas’ independence from Mexico, but the 300-year-old Alamo has an even deeper history to tell.

As the flagship tourism site for the state of Texas, the Alamo needed a website that’s worthy of it. The General Land Office (GLO), led by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, set out to create a website that raised the bar far beyond the typical government website and pushed the boundaries of tourism web design. The resulting website features full-screen video, megamenu navigation, responsive design for mobile, and other rich, interactive content to entice and excite prospective visitors of all ages.

However, the site’s large bandwidth needs demanded a solution that could keep up with the 250,000+ unique monthly visitors. To achieve seamless visitor experiences, GLO partnered with AWS to develop and host the new site.

The Alamo used AWS for a flexible, highly scalable, and low-cost way to deliver their website and web applications in a highly customizable way using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and delivered on Amazon CloudFront.

“Commissioner Bush set the goal of GLO becoming Texas’ technology and innovation leader. This site plus its hosting on Amazon achieves that vision. Just as the engine of the car must work in the most visually appealing vehicle, the back end needs to perform on a website. AWS allows us to deliver a unique user experience. Now, videos do not need to buffer and images are downloaded quickly. This is critical for user experience and helps us get people excited to come visit the Alamo, which was the main goal of this project,” Bryan Preston, Communications Director at Texas GLO.

Moving at an incredible pace and demonstrating leading-edge design, Bryan and team needed an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency and high data transfer speeds. Amazon CloudFront was used to deliver their entire website, including dynamic, static, and streaming content using a global network of edge locations.

Since not only Texans visit the site, (in fact analytics show people from around the world are interested in this historic place) requests for the content are automatically routed to the nearest edge location, so content is delivered with the best possible performance.

The website is able to give a glimpse into much larger narrative and allows the Alamo to continue to capture the imaginations of Americans after more than two centuries.

Check out their newly revamped website and learn more about hosting your website on AWS here.

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