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Technical overview: how Organic works

A peek under the hood for technical leaders working with high-traffic websites.

Organic’s tech in a nutshell.

The Organic SaaS Platform includes products mapped to specific business needs, a shared component library, and a headless frontend consumer experience architecture. Everything is driven by publisher-owned first-party data, which powers integrations and analytics and is stored securely in our clients’ data warehouses.

A high-level overview.
  • Backend plugin
  • React frontend and Elements component library
  • GraphQL API that connects the backend and frontend
  • Data and hosting services, including data compliance addressing regulatory policies such as GDPR and CCPA
  • Support for site-specific integrations, capabilities, or frontend components or templates

How everything connects.

Organic’s architecture

A thousand-foot view of our technical interactions

Organic CMS allowed us to skip a bunch of steps, and really, really focus on the user. The best part of working on Saveur was that we could just focus on the UI, and just focus on the interactions—the little animations here and there that usually get pushed out. Organic opened the door for us and it's why the project took just a month: because we could just focus on the fun stuff.

Greg AllenCEO at First & Third
We have the experience your team expects.

Keeping an eye on what’s important.

DevOps and site monitoring

Organic monitors all hosted sites for uptime, performance, and other metrics.

Infrastructure monitoring

Organic uses AWS Cloudwatch Alarms to monitor critical AWS resources like RDS, Elasticache instances, and SES reputation. Organic tracks the following metrics:

  • RDS: CPU usage, IOPS burst balance, free storage space
  • Elasticache: memory usage, current items number
  • SES: Reputation.BounceRate, Reputation.ComplaintRate

AWS notifies Organic engineers and product managers via Slack for immediate investigation if any metric hits a specified threshold.

Availability monitoring

Organic-hosted sites have more than 99.999% uptime. We use Pingdom to monitor uptime for all hosted production sites, focusing on homepages, sitemap pages, and other critical content.

Pingdom sends health check requests every minute to monitored URLs and waits 30 seconds for a response of 200 OK. If this response is not received, Pingdom sends a notification to PagerDuty. PagerDuty notifies Organic engineers and product managers via Slack and Organic’s 24/7/365 on-call engineering team by phone to facilitate prompt investigations.

Application performance monitoring

Organic uses Datadog for APM and infrastructure monitoring. The Datadog agent is installed on every EC2 host on staging and production EKS clusters. The Datadog agent collects the infrastructure data about CPU, memory, and free disk space, per every host. Organic monitors for the following scenarios:

EC2 level:
  • High CPU usage
  • Low free disk space
  • Out-of-memory (OOM) event happened
Application level:
  • Impressions per ad unit anomaly detected
  • Impressions per site anomaly detected

Organic installs Datadog packages on a code level to track application performance like database queries, code-level calls latency, requests to third-party services, dependencies, and other health metrics.

Error monitoring

Organic uses Sentry to track application errors for hosted sites. Sentry packages are installed on a code level and send error details to the Sentry dashboard. If any error fits the specified alert rules, Organic engineers and product managers are notified via Slack for investigation.

Custom tools

Organic maintains its own tools to monitor other critical site functionality, including:

Robots.txt changes:
If changes are made to robots.txt files, a PagerDuty alert is generated.

Failed cron jobs:
Organic tracks failed Kubernetes CronJobs in production and staging clusters every five minutes.

WordPress Post modified date alerts:
If any WordPress post date was modified programmatically, an alert will be sent to the Organic engineering team via Slack.

Services that grow with your needs.
  • Implementation
  • Customer success
  • End user support
  • Professional services
  • CMS migrations
  • Advisory services

When I acquired SAVEUR in 2023, I chose Organic to power our CMS, ads, and affiliate marketing. Organic’s tech and top-notch support program allow me to focus on the work I truly love: creating transportive food and travel content for our readers.

Kat CraddockCEO and Editor-in-Chief at Saveur

Frequently asked questions

What are your server reliability and uptime scores?

Organic uses AWS and Fastly as Cloud Web hosting and CDN solutions, both of which promise at least 99.999% uptime scores. Organic-hosted sites perform at this rate, as measured by Pingdom.

What security features do you offer?

Organic provides security features such as Web Application Firewall, DDOS protection, and Vulnerabilities Scanning. For a full account of Organic’s security features, contact Customer Support.

How often does Organic face downtime?

Organic-hosted sites have more than 99.999% uptime with only a few minutes outage per year.

If the event of an outage, what is your average response time?

Organic’s internal alert system allows us to respond immediately in the event of an outage.

How many customers share a single server?

Organic uses AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service; customer applications (e.g. sites and related services) work in isolated Docker containers.

Is it possible to scale up or down once I'm on Organic servers?

Yes, it is possible to scale up or down resources based on client requests. When responding to requests to scale up or down, Organic may recommend optimizations that will more effectively address the underlying reason why such a request was made. The Organic DevOps team configures the infrastructure to optimize speed, performance, and cost values to ensure site and application performance. Organic’s hosting solutions allow for almost infinite scalability in terms of CPU/RAM, traffic, and storage to be able to handle sites of all sizes.

Does Organic monitor hosted sites for downtime or other potential concerns?

Yes, Organic offers 24-hour monitoring, with an alerts ecosystem using Pingdom, PagerDuty, Sentry, DataDog, and AWS Cloudwatch.

How often do you back up the websites?

We do a production database backup every night around 1 a.m. UTC, and all backups are stored in S3.

What do you use for a domain registrar?

Namecheap is our registrar.

Trusted to power 100M+ pageviews per month across diverse high-traffic sites

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