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The CMS Front End for Lionel Trains' Products

In this episode of Running in Production, Mark Miscavage talks about building a site to display hundreds of thousands of full text searchable products for Lionel. The site is powered by Django with a custom open source CMS. It’s been up and running since 2015 and is hosted on AWS.

The agency Mark worked at developed 100+ Django sites, including sites for the Avatar movie along with Hunger Games.

Topics Include

  • 3:43 – Building a custom CMS / Django admin and open sourcing the Scarlet library
  • 9:16 – Hundreds of thousands of trains, cars and product SKUs are on the CMS driven site
  • 13:27 – Motivation for making a monolithic Django app instead of using Magento
  • 16:32 – Using Solr to full text search through hundreds of thousands of products
  • 20:30 – It’s primarily a server rendered app using Django templates and Ember
  • 25:04 – Master / slave PostgreSQL set up using RDS and they use other AWS resources
  • 29:42 – Load balancing, dealing with thousands of visitors and heavily caching responses
  • 33:53 – Writing a custom open source framework called red-fab-deploy to deploy the app
  • 37:59 – The EC2 web servers are using Ubuntu and have t2.medium’ish specs
  • 41:35 – Rsync’ing files over to the server, the entire deploy process and testing
  • 50:16 – Backing up admin uploaded files and the database, along with using Sentry for errors
  • 54:09 – Dealing with secret keys and code reviews while self hosting BitBucket
  • 56:44 – Best tips? Start with a base application and server architecture to help estimates
  • 58:44 – Also know when to ask for help (such as hiring a contractor or asking questions)
  • 1:00:24 – You can find Mark on Twitter @chick3ndinn3r
πŸ“„ References
βš™οΈ Tech Stack
πŸ›  Libraries Used

Support the Show

This episode does not have a sponsor and this podcast is a labor of love. If you want to support the show, the best way to do it is to purchase one of my courses or suggest one to a friend.

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Questions

Jul 06, 2020

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