Go Ape

Go Ape! is an outdoor adventure company which runs tree top ropes courses under the names Tree Top Challenge, Tree Top Adventure and Zip Trekking, as well as ground-based Forest Segway Safaris, at locations across the UK and the US

Challenges faced

The Go Ape solution was initially designed and built by another Sitecore partner. Nemetos was assigned in 2017 to take over the technical development of the site and to develop new features to support the growth of the online business, specifically the online booking and commerce features. Go Ape wanted to optimism the site to improve mobile performance and integrate a quick booking bar to allow users to book quickly from any page. Each location offers a unique combination of activities for specific age groups and users are able to book up to 13 months in advance. They also wanted to add new products - such as their NETs activities for younger children and new content components to the site. There were infrastructure issues, mainly related to the random outage of the site and cost of hosting. We worked closely with Rackspace to implement a more cost efficient and robust setup and to allow us to establish Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment.

Solution provided

Go Ape provided some guide designs for the Quick book bar and then worked with our UX team in our Romanian office to prototype how the bar would look and work. Our development team in Ukraine then implemented the changes. The commerce functionality is provided by a company called Inforgen and we worked with them to integrate this system with Sitecore using their API. The integrated solution would handle the online payments and calendar for selecting dates. Users can book using a combination of card payment, discount codes and vouchers • We added additional codes and also added Amex to the list of cards accepted for online payment. There is always a challenge when you take over a solution built and developed by another agency and inherit technical debt. To improve the load speed and optimise the code we set up an internal “war room” staffed by some of our most experienced developers who provided an action plan of tasks in order to eliminate the ongoing issues

Result

The booking bar was successfully implemented and users were able to book more easily from every page of the site. Our optimsaiton work increased load speed of the site significantly on mobile. We successfully supported the environment and infrastructure changes which also improved site speed and performance.in field]

Technical Specifics

Outline of the technical details, software installed and implemented on the Go Ape Solution:
• The Go Ape site runs on Sitecore 8.1 (Update 3)
• Synthesis - is an object mapping framework for Sitecore • Unicorn - A Sitecore utility designed to simplify deployment of Sitecore items across environments automatically
• Web Forms for Marketers 8.1 rev. 160523
• Email Experience Manager 3.3.0 rev. 160527
• Teamcity - continuous integration and build server
• Octopus - deployment automation • F# and FAKE - A DSL(Domain Specific Language) For Build Tasks
• Docker - is an open-source project that automates the development, deployment, and running of applications inside isolated containers
• Selenium - UI testing framework
• PowerShell DSC - DSC is a management platform in PowerShell that enables you to manage your IT and development infrastructure with configuration as code
• Azure IAAS infrastructure
• Solr - open source enterprise search platform built on Apache Lucene