LitCharts Relies on Heroku to Power Exponential Growth Over the Long Term

Heroku’s managed services and instant scalability help bring literature guides to the masses.

在过去的十年里, LitCharts’ user-friendly online platform and innovative literature guides have garnered the company millions of dedicated readers as they transform the way people analyze and understand literature. Heroku's managed services and instant scalability have allowed LitCharts to seamlessly grow its service.

LitCharts 由贾斯汀·凯斯特勒和本·福尔曼于2008年创立, 谁领导了SparkNotes的编辑和产品开发, 另一个文献指南系列, 在21世纪初. 与LitCharts, their goal was to use technology to rebuild the literature guide format from the ground up. 快进11年, LitCharts现在提供超过2个,000 digital literature guides that are read by millions of visitors each month.



在开始的时候, Justin and Ben stored their LitCharts collection on a simple Drupal site hosted on a shared hosting provider. 刚开始的时候,流量很低,而且可以预测, 但随着他们给图书馆增加了BG集团指南, 每月的访问量开始呈指数增长. 作为一个结果, 该服务经历了网络流量的大幅飙升, 是什么导致了频繁的不稳定和站点中断, as the LitCharts team had no visibility into their server environment and could not react quickly to traffic spikes or changes in server load. For a growing company whose viability depended on a stable web environment, 这既令人沮丧又令人担忧. LitCharts需要无缝连接, cloud-based solution that they could rely on to help them better scale their growing business.


随着LitCharts的持续增长, CTO Mike Betten joined the team to help scale up the company’s technical infrastructure. Mike知道这是为了支持LitCharts的快速发展, LitCharts needed a solution that could not only scale with them, 但要帮助团队轻松管理应用操作. 最初, 他们考虑跳槽到AWS, but this meant setting up and maintaining their own infrastructure, LitCharts仍然是一家资源有限的小公司.

Mike and the founders had worked with Heroku before on other projects, 再次评估这个平台, they discovered that Heroku would be robust enough to support their business growth over the long term. As Heroku managed their app’s underlying servers and infrastructure, 就不需要雇佣专门的DevOps团队了. 除了, Heroku’s easy-to-use platform tools enabled the small team to seamlessly scale Heroku resources to meet LitChart’s growing traffic needs, 哪个比前一年增长了一倍多. 另外, Heroku has given them unprecedented visibility into their application environment and empowers them to manage and scale their app themselves.

Heroku使规模管理变得非常容易. 当交通高峰期的时候, BG集团不需要启动一堆新服务器, BG集团只是添加了更多动态. Mike Betten, LitCharts首席技术官

Improving developer productivity and efficiency with CI/CD tools

在第一次改用Heroku的几年之后, today the LitCharts tech team is continually updating the product with improvements and new features that respond to customer feedback and new market opportunities, 如使用, 可视化, 交互式和直观的工具, 诗歌指南, and 莎士比亚翻译.

A screenshot of the LitCharts website, showing an analysis of Hamlet

Before migrating to Heroku, the team's path to production was complicated. They used multiple tools and did not have a seamless workflow for developing, testing, 和释放的代码. Heroku提供了一个一站式的代码交付解决方案 结构化的CI / CD工作流 集成到平台. Heroku工具和特性等 Heroku管道, GitHub集成, and Heroku审查程序, allow the small team to be more productive and ship code faster.


Heroku之前, LitCharts developers would communicate product updates via screen share or a shared instance of the app. 这些方法不仅效率低下, but they did not allow the team to test their code in a real environment. Heroku审查程序 made this aspect of code delivery simpler for everyone involved. Every GitHub pull request spins up a disposable review app on a unique URL that can be shared for fast, 容易合作. 每个人都在LitCharts, 无论是技术团队还是业务团队, 是否有能力在产品上线之前预览产品变化.

Heroku审查程序 make it significantly easier to work with the product team. We can simply create review apps for various features and changes to show them what's going on, rather than try to explain them or wait until they make it to a staging app. Mike Betten, LitCharts首席技术官

A screenshot of the LitCharts website, showing an analysis of themes in Macbeth


随着LitCharts工程团队的不断壮大, the company's focus remains on building and improving the core product. Heroku's 要素市场 offers a range of fully managed cloud services that allow the team to quickly add much needed functionality without having to build it themselves. Heroku附加组件 help the team extend their app with popular third-party services, such as New Relic APM, 童子军APM, Rollbar, and Pingdom.

Recently, the LitCharts team was looking for a way to integrate incoming email into their application. Heroku之前, they would have had to set up a third-party inbox or manage their own email server. Instead, the team turned to the Heroku 要素市场 and quickly found the CloudMailin 满足他们需求的附加组件. 在几分钟内, they were able to install the add-on and support live email directly within the application.

A screenshot of the LitCharts website, showing a wheel of theme analysis


To better support rapid business growth, LitCharts recently upgraded to a Heroku的企业 plan. This allows the company to take advantage of additional customer support resources, including working with the Heroku’s Solutions Engineering team to brainstorm different ways to accomplish their goals. 展望未来, 工程团队计划探索BG集团平台特性, 比如自动缩放web动态, 让指数标度更平滑.

Heroku给了BG集团一个可扩展的, 长期解决方案运行BG集团的服务, so we don’t have to jump from provider to provider as our business grows. Justin Kestler, LitCharts联合创始人


Listen to the 代码(ish)播客 featuring Justin Kestler and Devyn Gasperini: 用科技照亮诗歌.


LitCharts平台是使用 Ruby on Rails,将数据存储在 Heroku Postgres and Amazon S3, and uses Stripe and Paypal for payment processing. LitCharts还广泛使用Heroku插件,包括 New Relic APM, MemCachier, Elasticsearch, DocRaptor, 复述,云, Rollbar, 童子军APM, and CloudMailin.