Harry Potter

Back-end / Hosting / Email Automation

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a successful play that opened in the West End in 2015.

It will be coming to Broadway in 2018, and Melbourne in 2019. The site was first designed and built for the westend production. It then got transformed into a global landing page leading to three different sites, one for each territory.

Websites and hosting

The biggest challenge here was the high traffic, especially during ticket sales. I built the backend that now serves the three sites. In the UK and US, the countdowns were one of the hardest thing to deal with. When a countdown goes off, an Ajax request has to be performed to get it replaced with a booking link. When thousands of people are waiting on a page for this to happen, a huge strain is put on the server as some processing has to be done for a lot of concurrent users.

The hosting is a fairly complex architecture of multiple servers, load balancers and CDN, provided by two different cloud hosting companies: Rackspace and Amazon AWS. Each website runs on its own infrastructure of servers, located in the relevant region.

Email automation

Ticket holders receive emails before and after the show, and I built this using MailChimp automated emails. The data is synchronised between the ticket agents and Mailchimp via some PHP scripts running as cronjobs on a server, using the MailChimp API.

This is probably the longest and most complex project I've worked on in AKA, especially for the hosting part of it.

  • Tools: WordPress, LEMP, Rackspace, Amazon AWS, Mailchimp, Shell scripting
  • Role: Back-end development, Hosting setup/maintenance