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An Egg-citing fundraising auction for us: The Big Egg Hunt Charity Auction

Easter weekend sees the culmination of a rather large online auction project we’ve been working on for the Elephant Family and Action for Children along with digital agency Home Made Digital. The auction has been put together by Faberge and they have enlisted the help of many well known artists to create the egg sculptures which have been on display around London from February to Easter weekend 2012.

Having previously worked with auction portals in the past the Elephant Family decided that they wanted to host their own auction this time around. There was one key element to the brief we were given – the site must not fail! So we’ve worked with our hosting company to specify a 6 server cluster that will take care of all the bidding in the final hours of the auction and help them achieve their target of £2m.

We’ve been able to use our platform to take advantage of everything a cluster will bring. As well as providing true scalability, we’ve been able to introduce failover for the load balancers, app servers and database machines. We’ve also been able to introduce caching for the bidding updates as well caching some of the key pages and images. This has meant that we’ve been able to comfortably cater for all the promotional activity for the campaign including a Stephen Fry tweet, which many people will know can cause load issues for many sites.

As well as optimizing the site for mobile phones, we’ve also put our API in to action so that a closer integration between the auction site and the main Big Egg Hunt fundraising website can be made. This means that the live bidding updates have been made available to the main site and this allows the charities to promote the latest bidding in real time which all helps the charities promote the campaign as a whole.

So as the final stages of the auction commence, we look forward to seeing the bids fly in and the fundraising targets being met.

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