Case study: See how superior web app performance supports stellar growth of Envato Marketplaces

Envato is an Australian start-up whose mission is to “help people earn and learn online.” The company offers a network of sites where creative professionals can hone their skills and find new customers for their work. The Envato Marketplaces are home to a thriving community of authors and buyers. With over 1 million members, they include ActiveDen and ThemeForest, the largest marketplaces for Adobe Flash files and WordPress themes. The Envato Tuts + tutorial sites cover subjects such as graphic design, web development, and audio production. With both free and subscription content, they serve over 18 million page views per month.

Since its inception in 2006, Envato has experienced stellar growth. Its nine marketplaces process over 30 million dynamic requests each week out of a single Ruby on Rails application. Superior performance was crucial in keeping and growing their member base. Additionally, the company struggled with several problematic WordPress blogs that ran in a PHP environment. They needed a tool that could quickly identify and resolve critical performance issues in real time. That’s where New Relic came in.

In 2008, Envato was using EngineYard, a New Relic partner, to host their site. At EngineYard’s suggestion, the team brought New Relic in to analyze, track and manage their web app performance. They were stunned by what happened next. “New Relic was alarmingly easy to set up,” said John Barton, Envato’s Marketplace Development Manager. Envato quickly discovered the power of real time management and diagnostics. The team was wowed by their new ability to see performance issues at the most granular level – in both the development of new code, and in detecting and correcting legacy code.

“There’s no other tool that’s changed the way we work so dramatically,” said Barton. “We can now deploy continuously and manage our applications performance in real time. If we write poorly-performing code, New Relic shows us immediately, and points to where we’ve likely got it wrong.”

The team can also fix issues on their PHP legacy code base without having to specifically hunt for the performance problems and their source. “Like a super magnet,” said Ryan Allen, Envato Mad Scientist, “New Relics rips those needles out of the haystack without any requirement for you to go searching blindly for things.” Allen finds New Relic indispensable for his work. “With our traffic levels, even small bottlenecks can become a large problems. We were able to discover inefficient and unrequired requests to our PHP backends.”

With New Relic, the company reduced its server farm by 60% by determining which performance issues were in the software versus the hardware. Their development team has been under budget for the last three years due to the precision and efficiency they have achieved using New Relic across all their apps. As Envato Founder and CEO Collis Ta’eed said, “New Relic has been a lifesaver for our business.”

We are glad to have Envato as part of our user community. Read the full case studyto find out more about how Envato uses New Relic.'

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