The CMS Front End for Lionel Trains' Products

Copied URL with current time.
0:00 / 0:00

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
📄 References
⚙️ Tech Stack
🛠 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.

  • Dive into Docker is a video course that takes you from not knowing what Docker is to being able to confidently use Docker and Docker Compose for your own apps. Long gone are the days of "but it works on my machine!". A bunch of follow along labs are included.
  • Build a SAAS App with Flask is a video course where we build a real world SAAS app that accepts payments, has a custom admin, includes high test coverage and goes over how to implement and apply 50+ common web app features. There's over 20+ hours of video.


Jul 06, 2020

✏️ Edit on GitHub