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Altis in 2020

Posted by Ryan McCue

Product Director

Published in Product

2020 was an intense year for many businesses around the world as we adapted to the changing environment around us. With many moving online as the world went into lockdown, as well as key events around the world, ensuring your online presence was effective became more important than ever.

It was also a big year for Altis, as our nascent platform turned one year old! 🎂

We adapted alongside our clients to these changes, while delivering success during some intense periods.

Powering 27 billion page requests for our customers

Through hugely important global product launches, the US election, and the challenges of working from home due to the global pandemic, Altis provided a reliable platform meeting and exceeding our high-availability SLAs across the board, achieving over 99.95% uptime across the year.

international product launch

We had an international flagship product launch in 2020 which led to unprecedented levels of traffic – peaking to over half a million requests in one minute. Altis automatically scaled to handle it all, ensuring our customers experienced the launch events exactly how we wanted them to, helping us deliver a truly unique experience with minimal stress.

Senior Director, Content CommunicationsFortune 500 Company

In June, we sustained the largest traffic spike we’ve dealt with, experiencing a HTTP flood with over 200 million requests in a single hour.

We’ve designed Altis from the ground up to adapt to huge spikes in demand through our automatic scaling infrastructure, and this work paid off in spades: our scaling and caching infrastructure responded automatically, scaling up without missing a beat. Our cloud engineers quickly responded to additionally block this traffic at the firewall level.

cloud server automatically scaling

Due to the nature of the content we publish, our site often experiences unpredictable traffic spikes, but this summer we experienced our first major DDoS attack. The Altis cloud team was immediately responsive, keeping our site online and solving the issue before we even noticed.

Vinny Green, Chief Operating OfficerSnopes

Pushing the envelope with native personalization, search and more

We made a huge amount of progress on expanding our platform feature set in 2020, continuing to raise the bar in the WordPress space to meet new challenges.

Just like many companies, we were affected by COVID, which led us to push out our release schedule with the reduced availability of some team members. This also lined up with our work on Experience Blocks, and in the end the extra time allowed more time to polish the experience.

Altis 4 Release Notes

The only native personalization solution for WordPress

Experience Blocks launched in v4 in July, bringing native personalization to WordPress for the first time. This fully integrated solution allows personalizing content at the block level, with no custom code required, and no additional setup. Experience Blocks built on the foundation we’d laid in late 2019 with our Native Analytics database.

Altis v5 search

Even more powerful Altis search functionality

Search was also a big focus of the year, with a particular focus on the multilingual aspects. The addition of the user dictionary capability in v5 unlocked search for Japanese content, drastically improving the user experience and providing more relevant results. It’s particularly powerful combined with our native integration of Elasticsearch.

Other languages also saw improvements as we improved how we index non-English content for our global clients. We also unlocked more advanced search functionality for our users, allowing users to tune fuzzy matching parameters and tweak their search results without needing custom development.

xray analytics

Developer experience enhancements and X-Ray performance monitoring tooling

Alongside this, we shipped some critical features to enhance the development experience on the platform. Automated code review began rolling out, reducing the time-to-ship for developers by removing the manual steps of our process. We also overhauled our deployment UX to make this process clearer and more intuitive. X-Ray, our application performance monitoring (APM) tooling, also had some major updates, empowering developers to trace errors and monitor and improve performance over time.

We closed out the year working on version 6 with some exciting new changes to Experience Blocks, which we’ll be releasing in next week; keep your eyes peeled!

Welcoming 18 new partners

We couldn’t have achieved this without our fantastic partners. In 2020, we launched the Altis partnership program to support our clients’ ambitious digital transformation goals by extending the core Altis offering with complementary solutions including eCommerce, UX, UI, video services, Human AI, SEO, push notification optimisation and more. 

Our growing network of partners

Over the course of the year, we welcomed 18 new partners across a broad range of capabilities, ranging from agencies handling delivery to specialised technology providers based in Europe, North America, Middle East, Australia, Singapore and Japan.

In 2020, we collaborated with our partner Furthermore to create a new digital experience for Dormakaba – an industry-leading security and access solutions provider

Our partners are vetted experts with competitive technology solutions that boost and enhance clients’ Altis platform experience. Check out this overview document to find out more about our partnership program. 

Download our Partnership Program overview

What’s next?

We’re not spending any time sitting still, with the new year having already kicked off in earnest.

With WordPress moving to a consistent quarterly release cycle, we’ve realigned our release schedule to match, and are now able to more confidently plan out our deadlines. While we were on a regular pace coming into 2020, we ultimately missed our target due to impacts from COVID. As we head into 2021, we’re on track for a consistent quarterly cycle once again, barring any other major global events (🤞). 

We are continuously expanding the Altis platform to support our clients, empowering marketers and editors to deliver innovative digital experiences.

Likewise, we’re looking to grow our partner ecosystem and have already had 4 new partners join us over the past few weeks of 2021. If you’d like to enable your clients to create personalised digital experiences with the most powerful WordPress-based solution on the market today, please fill out this form and our Partnerships team will be in touch.