The National Center for External Evaluation of Education (NCVVO) was established as a public institution that conducts external evaluation within the education system in Croatia. For instance, NCVVO develops and conducts high stake exams, like exit exams for high school students. The results of the exams are also used as part of the selection process and enrollment procedure within private or state universities.
The final high school state exam attracts pupils, parents, and media outlets that cover the process in full, and NCVVO has always observed extreme web traffic during these times.
Check out our interview below with NCVVO to learn more about their experience with Kinsta.
- Industry: Public Education
- Size of company: Government institution
NCVVO realized its need for a modern, cloud-based approach to its web publishing efforts to streamline its online publishing, improve the overall user experience, and remove data bandwidth bottlenecks between its system and the users.
“Our initial web portal was hosted internally in government data centers with a custom-built content management system. It didn’t take long for us to realize we needed a modern, cloud-based approach to our web publishing efforts in order to fulfill three main goals:
- To alleviate the online publishing of educational information, curriculum, and exam scores across our editorial board
- To make the whole experience accessible, mobile-friendly, and blazingly fast for the end users (students, parents, teachers, government staff, media, and education researchers). All in all, 68% of our traffic comes from mobile or tablet devices.
- To remove data bandwidth bottlenecks between NCVVO and its users. Handling final exams and interacting with the public generate several terabytes of network traffic weekly with half a million visitors.
Based on these three goals, we opened up a state bidding where the Neuralab team was appointed to conduct the whole web ‘replatform’ project.”
While planning the build of our platform, uptime and reliability of traffic were even more important than accessibility, design, or front-end development topics. Kinsta servers were proposed by Neuralab during the development of the application.
“Neuralab has vast experience building government and public-facing information portals so they know all the deep problems our organization faces. They advised us early on that we should take the “WordPress approach” to web publishing. In short, utilizing tried & tested Open Source content management practices, together with proven accessibility and mobile-ready design patterns.
Heavy bandwidth and traffic usage were detected during the planning phases and the whole team needed to come up with a sensible long-term utilization of the Content Delivery Network in order to distribute various exams and scores.”
Moving to Kinsta increased NCVVO’s site speed by tenfold, solving their concurrent problems with slow load times, downtime problems, and complicated deployment process.
“After moving to Kinsta, we recognized four predominant improvements.
First, the speed of the editorial interface (WP Admin) has improved tenfold. This is a non-cached section of the application. Readers need to consider that our editorial desk consists of dozens of members spread across curriculum teams, so we all need to publish public-facing information speedily while mutually communicating alterations.
Second, the quality and responsiveness of the whole Kinsta DevOps team and Neuralab dev team are not only excellent but also paramount for our application stability. We push WordPress and system updates every month with a clear roadmap schedule (handled via Trello kanban system) and this process had no downtimes at all. For instance, last month we had 0% of 500 errors throughout 30 days filled with updates, tweaks and functional changes.
Third, our deployment process includes a lot of back-and-forth converse between local-staging-production servers. Kinsta system enables Neuralab to deploy the application changes in a manner that benefits both the developers that work on the code and also the editorial staff who need to check the quality of the new UX.
And last, the loading times have dropped significantly. Our current optimized loading time for main traffic pages is around 480 milliseconds, and we are working with Neuralab to reduce this even further.”