The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) website provides access to a massive national database of film classifications.
The BBFC came to us when their recently developed site was immediately overwhelmed by unusually high traffic. Having already expended most of their budget on the site, they needed an efficient solution that would be produced on-time and within a pre-agreed schedule.
After duplicating their site on a staging server and through careful analysis of the site code, Zodiac Media was able to determine the cause. The BBFC’s new API interface was being called for every page instead of being cached, and web crawlers were quickly eating up all the bandwidth when they tried to catalogue the entire site.
We added two new levels of caching to the API. The first was a MongoDB API cache to relieve the load from the BBFC's film 'release' API. The second layer was full page caching using Varnish. A custom module that allows BBFC staff to purge the API cache on command was also built. The end result was significantly reduced load times and server loads.