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From Bluehost to AWS: How 13thfloor.co.nz Improved Security & Monetization Efforts

From Bluehost to AWS: How 13thfloor.co.nz Improved Security & Monetisation Efforts

The Opportunity

In the past, 13thfloor.co.nz was hosted on BlueHost but it faced issues coping with traffic and a misconfiguration that blocked GoogleBot from accessing most of the pages. As a result, the traffic to the website dropped significantly, and there was a risk of using more resources on the server than necessary. Additionally, the website was looking for monetization avenues, which required implementing better security and updating all infrastructure elements, which was not possible with BlueHost.

Our Solution

We proposed moving the website to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and creating a new account under the name of 13thfloor.co.nz. In the new account, we set up an appropriate web hosting stack consisting of Content Delivery Network (CDN), Web Server, Database Cluster, and Media Storage, which allowed for better scalability and reduced running costs. By storing the images on specialist media storage, we were able to reduce the storage costs for media by a factor of 4, while also allowing for easy set up of staging and development websites. The system also automatically backed up and versioned all media files.

As part of the migration, we identified the issue with GoogleBot user agents and removed the setting, enabling the website to be properly indexed. Although we expected an increase in traffic, we set up a minimum cache time for all non-admin pages, which helped to reduce the server load and keep the environment running cost-efficiently.

Over time, we monitored and tweaked the server environment, and also assisted with server-based creation of staging and development sites, enabling changes to the site structure or design without risking the live site.

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