To be fair, this isn’t such a drastic change — we’ve been slowly introducing AWS into our stack over the past eighteen months, and some of our larger clients host much of their own infrastructure on AWS themselves. However, by migrating more of our sites from managed and shared hosting solutions to AWS, we’re able to take advantage of more automation, consolidate our billing details, and introduce more complex integrations to our offerings.
Another driving factor behind this change has been our movement away from WordPress and toward a more diversified, product-oriented back-end stack; our current managed hosting providers simply can’t offer the technical solutions we need for future product work.
However, this change isn’t without some trade-offs. While managed hosting providers, well, manage everything, self-hosting your own systems — even on a platform with as much automation, diagnostics and failover support as AWS — leads to extra work in maintenance and security. Additionally, AWS systems have their own specialised tools which require developer experience to use to their full potential. As a result, one of our star back-end developers, Michael, is currently undergoing a training course to become AWS-certified and we look forward to seeing how his expertise can help shape the future of our hosting solutions.
Frameworks make the dream work
When our lead front-end developer Ian started back in 2017, the first thing he noticed was the variety of frameworks still in use compared to previous places he’d worked. With such a wide variety of frameworks across projects, it’s hard to maintain work efficiently due to a lack of knowledge and inconsistency in code and structure.
As much as we all want to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and tools on offer, this approach just isn’t feasible with the current state of web development. In order to deliver high quality work and be a high performance team, we need to make fitting choices in which frameworks we want to use, that fit the clients we want to serve moving forward.
When considering which framework we wanted to use in 2019, we had to consider a few different factors.