Aucor leads the way on WordPress with Google Cloud Platform

Focus on core business, not IT

Aucor is a small Finnish web-design agency specializing in WordPress and Drupal sites. Their growing client list led to a need for more servers and the IT staff to maintain them, which weren’t in the boutique agency’s plans or budget. Instead, Aucor found an ideal solution in Google Cloud Platform.

Eliminates costly servers

“Virtual private servers worked nicely on a small scale. But when the number of projects started to grow, we needed too many servers, which isn’t our core business,” says Janne Jääskeläinen, Aucor’s chief executive officer. “Because we are a small and agile company, we can’t afford to provide the kind of secure, backed-up, and scalable hosting we like to offer. It would require three full-time system administrators.”

The agency chose Google Cloud Platform after considering various other solutions. Following a successful trial in late 2013, Jääskeläinen says, “we decided to transition all our sites to Google App Engine and Google Cloud Platform in general, as soon as possible.” By late 2014, Aucor had 70 customer sites either running on or transitioning to Google Cloud Platform.

‘Amazing’ results with App Engine

Aucor finds that Google App Engine is particularly well suited to WordPress projects, the majority of their work, while Google Compute Engine works well for Drupal sites. Overall, the scalability and functionality of Google Cloud Platform is a strong selling point for the agency.

“We tried out the WordPress and Google App Engine combo, and the results were amazing,” Jääskeläinen says. “Our test site could handle over 70,000 requests per second without the users noticing a thing. Let’s put that into perspective: it is as if every single Finn (about 5.4 million people) would have spent a good hour clicking around the site, without it crashing or even slowing down.”

Other cloud platforms that the agency considered, Jääskeläinen adds, “didn’t have that kind of scalability at the time, and I’m not sure they even have it now.” He has also been impressed by regular upgrades for Google Cloud Platform. “We have taken on most of the new features as they have come online.”

‘We know it works better’

Google App Engine performs so well for Aucor that Jääskeläinen doesn’t bother to measure performance anymore. “I like to analyze and track metrics,” he says. “But there’s no reason to track Google App Engine—we know it works better. There hasn’t been a single incident with Google App Engine that would have triggered our tracking mechanisms, such as having a site down. That’s impressive, and just reinforces our decision to use it.”

Aucor, in fact, is a pioneer in combining App Engine with WordPress, and information flows both ways between Google and the agency. “We are creating our own plugins, among other things,” Jääskeläinen says. When the agency does need advice or information, “Google support is friendly, responds quickly, and knows our business.”