We ♥ Startups: SiteRocket Labs and a Social Network that Needed to Scale
As you may know, SiteRocket Labs is headquartered in Boston – the birthplace of some remarkable innovations – so it’s no surprise that we dabble in the startup space. What excites us the most about working with startups is the opportunity to take part in projects, from the ground up, that change how people live. Plus, working with startups keeps us on our toes and enables us to remain at the forefront of new technologies.
Below we’ve highlighted Hello Mamas – one amazing startup that we’ve had the opportunity to work with. Hello Mamas is a social network that connects local mothers for playdates and social gatherings. Built using the Laravel platform, Hello Mamas is quickly becoming a premier destination for millennial women.
Hello Mamas came to SiteRocket Labs with a variety of technical challenges. First, they needed a team that understood how to implement application infrastructure that could scale with their rapidly growing customer base. Second, the Hello Mamas web app needed to be responsive and user-friendly regardless of what devices their customers are using. Finally, the geolocation algorithm – which allows mothers to find other moms in their area – needed to be updated so that Hello Mamas can expand into other countries more easily.On top of the existing technical challenges, Hello Mamas was a startup – so development needed to be speedy and budget friendly.
The solution: Review, roadmap, upgrade
Because this was an existing website, our first step was to conduct a thorough review of its code and infrastructure. Luckily, the website was built on the Laravel framework, making it easier for us to get up to speed with its codebase.Once we were familiar with the code, we worked closely with Hello Mamas’ cofounders to plan a “roadmap” for product upgrades. Some of these updates consisted of new interactive features, while others were “below the surface” and geared towards improving reliability and performance. Because Hello Mamas is a young startup, we prioritized the improvements that would make the biggest and most immediate impact with the smallest amount of development time. At the heart of the Hello Mamas website is a matching algorithm that matches moms who live nearby and have similar interests. The algorithm had originally been programmed to use an American ZIP code database to calculate distances between members – but Hello Mamas wanted to expand their reach into countries beyond the United States. We therefore created a more scalable algorithm that uses the Google Maps Geolocation API to automatically detect its members’ locations anywhere in the world, making it easier for Hello Mamas to expand internationally. Hello Mamas will soon be launching a native iPhone and Android app, and we’ve developed the back-end server infrastructure (known as an API) to which their users’ mobile phones can connect to. This way, users who log in through their app will be accessing the same data and similar functionality as the live website.Hello Mamas is a great company to work with, and we look forward to working with them further in the future.
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