What a generous country we are. We were amazed at last Friday night’s fundraising call for Pieta on the Late Late Show which was intended to replace the funding that would have come from the postponed Darkness Into Light event. People are worried about their own futures yet dug deep to support others.
We launched the new pieta.ie website earlier this year and this was going to be the most significant test in terms of traffic levels to the website. The Late Late Show is the biggest show on Irish television and with the lockdown, it has been capturing a large share of the available TV audience on Friday nights.
The Show Captured the Heart of the Nation
That said, we were only the ‘Plan B’ website. The plan was that the host, Ryan Tubridy, would be mainly promoting another website - the Darkness Into Light campaign website which is built on a fundraising platform.
Given the strong brand recognition for Pieta, we expected that the pieta.ie website (we built) would command about 25% of the traffic on the night so we ran a series of preparatory tests in the run-up to the show.
Plan B Became Plan A During Critical Donation Time
Not long after the show started the main Darkness Into Light website began to slow under the sheer weight of the generosity of the Irish people - boosted by a fabulous series of guests who spoke passionately about the need to support charities such as Pieta. The Darkness Into Light campaign website went down for a short period and the broadcaster began to promote the main Pieta website.
There was an unbelievable spike in traffic which lasted for 20 minutes and then both websites shared the traffic for the remainder of the show. What was very satisfying for us was that the Pieta barely even slowed down.
JAMstack Technology Leading the Way
Four years ago we started researching JAMstack technology and API-led websites that use decoupled or headless CMSs. We knew there had to be a better way to build websites that were reliable, ultrafast, secure and scalable as well as being intuitive for our clients to manage. (Our solution of choice in the headless space is Storyblok which is the only headless solution that offers a very handy visual editor.)
Today 80% of the websites we build use this technology. Our developers were so confident that this was the way forward and the future of digital platforms, and last Friday night proved that. We were blown away by how well the site performed.
We have all seen it happen before. You go to buy tickets to a gig, the website goes down, you hear an ad for the radio, log onto the site and get an error 500 screen. It’s the most frustrating thing.
You at home, we salute you. It’s beautiful. Thanks, everybody.
Remember you are not alone.
The Show Raised an Incredible 2 Million Euro.
Our Head of Ops, Barry (the only person to have completed the DIL walk on three continents) had a side bet that if the Pieta website gathered a certain total (which was about treble the target), he would dye his hair blonde. A man of his word! Check out our Instagram for a photo!