We are probably the best Umbraco developers in the world -- or if not we are very, very good... Because last week we won out at Umbraco's prestigious Codegarden 2014 conference.
Our work for The Woodland trust won the Best Technical Solution award, which we're absolutely thrilled with. But why did we win? Because we made Umbraco do some pretty spectacular things...
We built some clever tools within the CMS, including one that creates a robust infrastructure for the size and load of content by synchronising Umbraco environments.
We separated the Umbraco editor environment from the production/web-facing sites for resilience purposes; this created a space where it could warm up before applying load. Removing the editor from live sites leads to less regular publishing, which means a less volatile cache. We called the tool U-canoe.
Separate environments allowed us to fine tune each for performance, and scale up the web environment as needed. By using the sync tool with Octopus we are able to perform releases in around one minute with no manual steps required.
We also wrote a tool using Elastic search that helped reduce the load server side by reading content from a data source external to Umbraco.
By implementing Elastic search, we pushed content into the index as it was published through a custom indexer. For example, there are 12,000 different woodlands to search for, and the tool allows the system to bypass the CMS into search so the editor can find it easily. The performance of pages built through the search is impressive and it has drastically reduced the load on Umbraco.
And the award? We haven't received it yet, but we believe it's a unicorn with a sparkly golden horn (see pic - kindly provide by Chris Gaskell, who picked up the award on our behalf).