Displate Boosts Website Loading Speed by 20% with Hostersi Using AWS Optimization
With a need to efficiently meet customer demand spikes during peak holiday sales periods, Displate optimized its Amazon Web Services (AWS) setup to boost page loading speeds and increase website uptime. The company manufactures and sells officially-licensed metal prints, working with prominent pop-culture brands and independent artists and is now a global marketplace for collectible metal posters. To meet its needs, AWS Partner Hostersi helped the company build a distributed cloud system using multiple Amazon EC2 instances. It can now scale within 2–3 minutes, has improved 99.99 percent website uptime, and benefits from 3 second web page loading times—all helping increase sales conversion rates.
Optimizing to Support Future Growth
Displate is a fast-growing Polish startup that manufactures and sells unique magnet-mounted metal posters. Founded in 2013, the company has quickly grown popular among pop-culture enthusiasts and collectors from around the world thanks to its vast catalog of officially-licensed designs from well-known video games, movies, and TV series.
The company has evolved into a global marketplace, shipping its products to 64 countries worldwide. It works with 170 brands—including partners Disney, Warner Bros., DC Comics, and Netflix—and more than 40,000 independent artists. Displate has sold almost 8 million metal posters, with 3 million sold in 2021 alone, and was included in the Digital Champions CEE list of the top 50 technology companies in Central and Eastern Europe.
Displate has been cloud native from the start, using AWS to provide its initial cloud setup, comprising a single server, database, and mail server. While this had supported its initial growth well, the company’s subsequent rapid growth was causing scalability issues—especially during very busy shopping holiday dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. During these periods, Displate typically increases promotional activities, driving higher consumer demand and increased web traffic.
To handle these traffic spikes, Displate recognized that it needed to optimize its existing AWS setup to support future growth.
Using AWS, we have the freedom to be more creative and focus on growing our customer base, instead of provisioning servers.”
Chief Technology Officer and Board Member, Displate
Finding a Trusted Partner in Hostersi to Optimize AWS Infrastructure
Displate’s key areas of focus centered on improving overall platform stability and performance, boosting its ability to scale and handle traffic spikes efficiently. “When you’re selling to customers from multiple countries, uptime is essential,” says Piotr Kacała, chief technology officer and board member at Displate. “Demand can sometimes be hard to predict, and we were worried that high demand from seasonal promotions would mean we might wake up to see our website down and our sales lost.”
To support its aims, the company began to search for a partner in 2016 and found that few companies in Poland could offer the required specialized AWS skills to support Displate’s tight IT team. “We needed a company that had experience of working on different types of cloud project,” says Kacała. “Local AWS Partner Hostersi was able to support us fully with a dedicated cloud engineer and full access to their entire team—whatever we needed, they could provide. With such skilled IT people at hand, we no longer needed to hire and train new employees, making the whole process more time—and cost—efficient”.
Hostersi began by creating a distributed setup to support horizontal scaling using multiple instances of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). This helped provide secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload. To distribute traffic over these instances, it uses Amazon Elastic Load Balancing content/aws.amazon.com/staging/en_US/elasticloadbalancing.html (ELB), which allows it to load-balance HTTP and HTTPS traffic, with advanced request routing.
Handling Unpredictable Traffic Spikes with Faster Scaling and Enhanced Uptime
Thanks to Hostersi, Displate can now automatically scale within 2-3 minutes using AWS, with website uptime now running at 99.99 percent. Using auto scaling, the company can also monitor application usage and increase or decrease compute power as needed. “We can now deal with increased demand in real time and manage holiday period demand,” says Kacała. We can also now confidently add in one-off sales promotions, such as a collaboration with esports team Echo. We were able to create a new poster design from scratch and promote it during a live Twitch stream without having to worry about traffic spikes. Using AWS gives us more confidence since we know we can scale easily on a 24/7 basis.”
Displate relies on Hostersi to constantly monitor performance and ensure overall platform stability. This cooperation allows the company to quickly identify and react to any issues that might affect the customer experience or the platform’s ability to process orders.
Using AWS, Displate can now deliver content more easily on a global scale, and is able to maintain web page loading times at 3 seconds—a 20 percent improvement.
Easy Card Payment Compliance with AWS In-Built Security
Displate has also increased card payment security to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This was achieved using the in-built security features of AWS services. “Hostersi helped us manage the network more efficiently, all within our own cloud infrastructure,” says Kacała. “Now we only use specific ports for specific applications, which helps us pass the annual PCI-DSS tests with flying colors.”
AWS Partner Hostersi Helps Displate Stretch Development Capabilities
With Hostersi providing the necessary infrastructure management support, Displate’s own development team is now able to focus on other key projects and is currently working on using infrastructure as code to expand more easily into new regions. It’s also in the process of evaluating the use of Amazon Personalize, which elevates the customer experience with machine learning-powered personalization and provides contextual customer recommendations.
Hostersi has helped deliver a reliable and secure infrastructure for Displate. “Hostersi really helped optimize our AWS setup,” concludes Kacała. “Using AWS, we have the freedom to be more creative, and focus on growing our customer base, instead of provisioning servers. This takes away a lot of pain.”
Displate is a global marketplace for one-of-a-kind collectible metal posters. With its ever-growing catalog of officially-licensed artworks from popular brands such as Disney, Warner Bros., Netflix, or DC Comics, Displate is a go-to place for every geek and pop culture enthusiast out there.
AWS Services Used
- Improved website loading speed
- Elevated customer experience
- Deliver content more easily on a global scale
Hostersi is an official AWS services reseller specializing in designing and delivering highly-available cloud solutions, including migration, resource management, digital customer experience, utilization, and data security monitoring. The company has deep experience in implementing Amazon CloudFront and supporting the acceleration of static and dynamic web content distribution. It also offers DevOps, IT infrastructure design, and performance optimization services.
Published January 2023