Fotoalbum.eu - simple and easy to use photo-sharing website
About the project
Fotoalbum.eu is a photo-sharing site, whose main goal is to be as simple and easy to use as possible. When Melon took up Fotoalbum.eu, both our client and we considered that the website required just a few minor fixes and additions. We were all impressed at how quickly the project started growing: eventually the hosting provider had troubles handling all the traffic and storage. Soon the small project owned by Weider Media ApS turned into the biggest European online photo album and translated into more than 20 languages.
Weider Media is the kind of client who is tightly involved in the development process every step of the way. This helped us quickly level on the major requirements without the need for lengthy documentation and a heavy development cycle. At the start, no more than two developers were involved in the project at the same time. They adopted a very brisk work pace: it often happened that a couple of days after a new feature was implemented by our team, it would be live on the web. Short development cycles and close communication with the client ensured that the product was an exact fit for the client’s needs and there were no surprises such as: “This looks nice… but we wanted something completely different.”
At its first birthday, Fotoalbum.eu enjoyed a soaring growth rate and the budgeted one terabyte of storage was nearly exhausted. We needed to quickly find a new home for the website, big enough to store the more than 2.5 million uploaded images, and also capable of handling all the traffic - more than 10 million web requests a month and nearly 1Tb data transfer. It was the client’s brave suggestion to lift Fotoalbum “into the clouds.” This was in late 2008, when cloud computing was still just a toddler. Amazon Web Services was relatively new and not very popular, but it turned out to be the perfect home for the fast-growing Fotoalbum.eu. Cloud computing allowed Fotoalbum to handle a literally unlimited amount of data, so we no longer feared storage insufficiencies.
The next challenge that came out of the site’s huge popularity was optimizing server usage so that it adapts to the traffic and user needs. Peak hours dictated that 10 servers were needed to handle all of the traffic with no disruptions. To cut our client’s expenses, we used another advantage of the dynamic cloud computing setup and created a system that automatically monitors all servers and changes the amount of allocated server power to avoid system overload. When traffic declines, the excess servers are stopped. This costs-reducing system offers perfect user experience at the highest efficiency.
What is Fotoalbum.eu today?
It is still a photo sharing site. That has, as of November 2010:
- more than 150,000 members
- more than 10 million images
- more than 2.5 Tb of storage
- more than 3 Tb data transfer a month
- more than 100,000 daily page views
- an average of 350,000 new photos uploaded each month
- an average of 3,000 new members each month
Fotoalbum.eu was awarded first prize in the 2nd annual Bulgarian Web Awards competition in the “Free time” category (June 2010).
Besides creating a successful and award-winning website, we are proud that we also created a great working relationship with Weider Media and made our client happy:
"Working with Melon has been an extremely positive experience. Melon is a very professional and competent company with many great employees. We like to work with short deadlines, often from one day to the next, and Melon handles this pace very well. We rely very much on Melon's people and they are now in charge of development, spec writing, testing and hosting. We enjoy working with them and have recommended them to several other partners!"