Days Out Guide

Agency: Cogworks

The Background

Owned and administered by National Rail, Days Out Guide offer 2For1 tickets to a range of major attractions across the UK when travelling by rail.

Following a successful relaunch of their website on Umbraco 7, Days Out Guide noticed really slow page load times (10 – 20 seconds) and constant full site outages and crashes under what would usually be seen as light traffic (10 – 20 concurrent users). After repeated attempts to resolve the issue, Days Out Guide contacted The Cogworks to find out if we could help them.

The Solution

Days Out Guide took advantage of our industry leading Umbraco Health Check, which highlighted a range of serious problems including poor coding standards, non-standard Umbraco development practices and some serious configuration issues.

Ranked in order of importance we began working through the list resolving the problems and deploying small incremental improvements over a two-week period, measuring the impact of each change.

The Results

Our initial work saw the following results:

  • A 10 fold speed increase in page load times
  • 50 per cent reduction in hosting costs due to improved site performance meaning reduced server load and resource usage
  • Reduced server CPU from a constant 80 per cent to an average of ~10 per cent
  • The site can now comfortably handle ~5000 users per minute, up from a maximum of 50
  • Implementation of robust source control and fully automated deployment strategies
  • Removal of over 1000 lines of redundant code

Pro Tip

“When we inherited the code, we didn’t shy away from problems and flagged bugs when we encountered them. By being proactive about the code, we showed the client that we care about them and want their site to do well.”
Imran Haider, Umbraco Developer

From the Client

“… and as I always mention, I really do appreciate the work the you do for us. We have made good progress on the site and I think it will only go onwards and upwards from here.”
Pinar Yuge, Days Out Guide Digital Marketing Manager, Rail Delivery Group


Transport UX