For over a decade, Go Media has been proud to espouse the virtues of hosting with Amazon Web Services. Also known as AWS, this behemoth lapped every competitor in the space to become the preeminent provider of offsite cloud infrastructure. AWS is largely responsible for keeping Jeff Bezos within the top spots of the wealthiest humans on the planet. Early in our industry there was a saying “nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM”. I would imagine that mantle now belongs to AWS when it comes to datacenters. After years of inconsistent service with many predecessors, we breathed a sigh of relief our first year hosting with Amazon and have enjoyed 99.98% uptime ever since, over a decade later. I would have to say, it has been worth the money.
Alas, we are moving away from AWS.
This announcement will not devote much time explaining why we are moving web servers away from AWS specifically. Although there have been speed benchmarks showing cloud competitors being more performant than AWS, we would not make the leap to say AWS infrastructure has anything significant to do with our decision. Most of the underlying hardware across the industry is the same and even much the software is the same. It would be outside of my expertise to assert any leading cloud infrastructure provider is “faster” or “better” than another. We can only speak to our experience with our specific use case and our rationale to go in a different direction.
Our migration is really about moving away from Plesk™
Go Media has been a fan of the Plesk hosting control panel long before “the cloud” was a household term. Plesk has given our clients and system administrators easy to use tools for website hosting management. Plesk offers a lot of great features, many of which we will miss as we develop our new hosting infrastructure. Ultimately, Plesk itself was never a problem in terms of what it is built for. The reason we are moving away from Plesk is due to what it was NOT built for and that is scalability. Although Plesk is very smart in terms of resource management, it is really a server management tool built for individual server instances. We have managed to scale it in unusual ways to host hundreds of websites. However, this has primarily been an exercise in what is referred to as vertical scaling. Vertical scaling is essentially stacking more resources onto a single platform to try and get more capacity out of it. Although AWS offers heaps of computing power and additional ways to scale vertically, we began to realize there must be a better way.
Enter ClusterCS and UpCloud
Early on in the history of our firm, we tried our hand at running our own servers for web hosting. Although this is somewhat common in the web app community, we found it to be too stressful and outside of our core competencies to justify being on call 24/7. Datacenter technology has come a long way in the last twenty years so maybe self-hosting wouldn’t be as painful as it used to be. For us, we have come to prefer this division of labor with system admin experts and found it to ultimately be more cost-effective… or at least better for our health. The past few years we have experienced an uptick in stress. It began to feel like we were hitting our limits with our current servers and so our search went in a different direction. It is remarkable just how many new vendors have leaped onto the scene this last decade. After pouring over the leader board and zeroing in on the type of cloud hosting design we desired, we decided to go with a combination of ClusterCS for the control panel service and UpCloud as the datacenter provider. ClusterCS offers a managed platform, with service contracts, for the type of cloud architecture we were after: horizontal scaling. This is achieved through a curated combination of leading opensource software such as HAProxy, GlusterFS, MariaDB and CentOS, designed in a way where we can add more computing resources and confidently expect the load balancing capacity to scale in a predictable manner. For a long time it has felt like whatever computing power we threw into our network at AWS, only resulted in short-lived gains.
Who is UpCloud? We honestly can’t say UpCloud was ever on our radar as a viable cloud hosting provider. Based in Helsinki, Finland, UpCloud was rarely mentioned in the typical industry forums. What we did hear about UpCloud was all good things and they came highly recommended by the folks at ClusterCS, who manage hundreds of servers. Go Media decided to test drive UpCloud on some busy sites and small clusters and have been pleased with the results. The console is quick. The servers were even faster. All the necessities in the cloud dashboard were easy to find and worked as expected. Their team was responsive and, maybe most importantly, they are transparent about their datacenter positions. Because we host a lot of small business websites based in the U.S, we prefer to place our servers as close to our client’s business region as possible. We were happy to see UpCloud has partnered with CoreSite to provide their infrastructure in the Midwest. May we someday find ourselves “fired for choosing UpCloud”? It is impossible to tell. But the provider has struck us as extremely talented, ambitious and well on their way to contending with the behemoths. We feel a little competition for Bezos & Co. is a good thing.
What our Clients Want
Speed. Nowadays it has become more and more clear our clients rarely ever need to use the Plesk control panel. They do not lose sleep over where their website is hosted. Our client’s top issue, when it comes to hosting, has consistently been speed – or lack thereof. An unhappy client is what we lose sleep over. Beyond that, most of our clients have come to expect concierge-like managed hosting service with us, allowing them to “set it and forget it” for the most part. It is our job to never rest on our tech laurels. Our goal with this new hosting infrastructure is performance. It will likely take several months to make the transition, but we feel it will be well worth it in the long run. Major web application providers have proven horizontal scaling is the only way to deliver high availability to the masses. Teaming up with ClusterCS and UpCloud will give us the flexibility and performance we have been searching for. We are applying the lessons we have learned over the years to this new build and are very excited about what awaits on the other side of this migration. If you host with us, please be on the lookout for messages from the support team regarding next steps.
Yours in page load speed,
Web Developer, CTO
Go Media is so honored to have had the pleasure to work with Rock Medical, the premier Orthopedic Consulting Team here in Northeast Ohio, on their logo and website design.
Over the past 16 years Rock Medical has served it’s mission while building from a company of one to over 35 sales and support consultants. While Rock Medical has grown, they had out grown their brand image. Rock Medical came to Cleveland web development and branding firm Go Media to overhaul their brand, marketing materials and website. It was our great pleasure working with their president Tom Ramsay on crafting a contemporary brand that properly reflected their technological sophistication and “surgeon first” company culture.
Because of Rock Medical’s reputation & established recognition in the industry we needed to be sensitive in our approach to their brand transition. With the original knee logo mark carrying so much of that equity, a transition logo was created to help ease into the future plans for dropping the knee altogether.
Go Media used our Designer Sites platform to build Rock Medical an intuitive, beautiful and easily managed website. Running on WordPress, Rock Medical’s website utilizes Go Media’s proprietary Page Builder editor – featuring a front end drag and drop interface giving the Rock Medical staff total control over the layout and content of their website. Of course, all Go Media websites are built full screen, responsive and optimized for search engines. The result is a powerful tool to help drive Rock Medical into the future.
Learn more about the full project here:
Head Camp Counselor/Host and Workshop Leader Lenny Terenzi and Event Director Heather Sakai give you a sneak peek into this year’s festivities in today’s video.
Watch the Video >>
The Contest >>
Purchase your ticket to this year’s WMC: Off-The-Grid, happening this summer, by Friday, August 24, and you’ll be entered into a contest to win an hour-long illustration workshop with Lenny plus an hour long consultation with William Beachy on the topic of your choice. This prize is valued at $500. What are you waiting for?
About Lenny and Bill:
Lenny is a Durham, North Carolina based designer and illustrator under the name Hey! Monkey. He has run his own studio for almost 18 years, the last four of which have been in full blown studio space to raise the bar on what he can offer forward-thinking brands and to offer creative experiences to help the masses break out of their daily rut. Lenny is also an accomplished speaker having presented all over the country for conferences such as WMC Fest, Creative South, Circles, Reimagine, High Five and more. He is also the incoming President for AIGA Raleigh whose mission is to create a place where design thrives for everyone.
Bill is an illustrator, designer, and lifelong entrepreneur from Cleveland, Ohio. He is the co-founder and president of Go Media. Working as a one-man firm from a bedroom in his father’s house, he built Go Media into a internationally recognized 15 person firm with clients including Adobe, Progressive Insurance, Pepsi, and Nike. He is author of the book Drawn to Business.
More about WMC: Off-The-Grid: Our Epic Retreat / Best Graphic Design Conference of 2018:
Happening this October 5 – 7th, WMC: Off-The-Grid is an all-inclusive, three-day weekend retreat aimed at YOU, the designers, illustrators, small business owners and other design-minded creatives looking to step away from the screens and social chatter that pull you in a million different directions daily. You will come away with tangible tools and action steps you can use to grow your skill set, your mindset and businesses to become more confident design leaders in your communities.
This intimate event is limited to only 60 attendees, speakers, workshop leaders and staff. Located at Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio, the WMC: OTG community will come together in cozy cabins to bond over a campfire, delicious food, a sense of adventure and their love of creativity.
All lodging, food, talks and workshops are included in this adventure-filled weekend retreat. Book your travel and the rest is taken care of!
Go Media, your favorite Cleveland-based web design, branding and design firm, is so proud to have had the pleasure to work on the website for the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning.
The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning is a non-profit organization that brings unique learning experiences to students through the arts. ‘CAL’ as they are affectionately known has impacted the lives of 7 million students over eighteen counties through arts education. As former board members, it was our great privilege to help them on their mission to ignite student learning, creativity and success by building them a highly functioning, intuitive and fun website. Our goals were to increase awareness, drive fundraising and to have the overall feel of the website reflect the creative nature of the organization.
The new Center for Arts Inspired Learning website was built upon Go Media’s Designer Sites Platform. The site is built in WordPress, the leader in content management systems. WordPress sets the standard for ease-of-use, which is key when you have a number of contributing members to your website. This CAL website is enhanced by Go Media’s Page Builder on page editing tool. This powerful and intuitive content management tool allows members of CAL the ability to make live edits directly to pages without having to use WordPress’ backend.
Take a peek at some of the work we did on the website here:
CAL does a very special place in our hearts and we trust the website will assist them to assist their goals in uniting art and education to change lives. To learn more about their programs or donate to the cause, please head to the CAL website.
We are excited to share the website design we completed for Without Bounds Educational Services, a phenomenal education service that provides young students with the tutoring they need to master concepts and prepare for exams. They work with the most talented and qualified educators to offer tutoring in over 25 subjects. From core classes like Algebra and Grammar to 4 levels of foreign language, Without Bounds is ready to take on the unique needs of every student.
Go Media had the pleasure of helping Without Bounds grow their network by designing a website that showcased all of their offerings on a contemporary responsive platform.
Here are a few previews of the work we did. To view the full project, head to the full project.
Responsive Website Design Cleveland
Web and Infographics Design for Scott Sheldon
We are excited to share the work we completed for Scott Sheldon, nationally recognized supply chain consultants based out of Detroit, Michigan.
Scott Sheldon’s new website needed to convey the level of sophistication and technical know-how they bring to each and every one of their clients. In conjunction with upgrading to our web platform, Go Media developed intuitive infographics to help deliver technical information with ease.
Here are a few previews of the work we did. To view the full project, head here.
Infographics Design Cleveland Ohio
Print Design Piece by Go Media
We are proud to spotlight a recent project we completed for COSE, the Council of Smaller Enterprises, a group that has supported and advocated for the small businesses in our region since 1972. This print piece, their 2015 – 2016 Public Policy Agenda, served to compile crucial information for their client base. Because of this, delivering it in a highly cohesive and easy-to-understand way was our goal from the onset.
With content including messages from COSE’s leaders, information on their new policy agenda moving forward, as well as material shedding light on their member-driven process, sticking the landing on the overall piece’s presentation was crucial to the project’s success.
Here are a few samples of the full portfolio item:
Website Development & Product Photography – Zerust Portfolio Item
Zerust, a company located in Twinsburg, Ohio, has a long history of developing, manufacturing and marketing rust and corrosion prevention products to a wide variety of customers across the globe. This exciting company came to us looking for a new site for their AntiRust Technology products. Along with designing and developing their new site on a modern, responsive CMS, we additionally coordinated product photography for their new No-Rust Non-Slip Drawer Liner.
To see more concepts and learn more about the project:
For two decades, your friends here at Go Media have pushed the boundaries of design technology with inspirational creativity. The best of Cleveland product photography, web design, logo design & graphic design can be explored in Go Media’s portfolio. If you’re ready to start your next project – request a quote. We’d love to hear from you!
Très Chic Salon Branding
Go Media was approached by stylist Katie Skillman, who was on a mission to turn her passion for hair education & styling into her dream business – a Cleveland local salon known as Très Chic. During the early stages of the brand development, we explored influences from French cinema, fashion, and even some understated vintage looks. At the base of it all, we knew the goal was a strong, classic and elegant identity that held up to its name Très Chic, meaning very stylish.
Throughout the branding process, we explored several potential applications for the identity. Everything from a business card and service menus, to the signage on the exterior of the building. Because of this, the Très Chic identity consists of a handful of logo variations to account for those various needs. You can find their signature TC scissor mark sprinkled across their marketing materials or featured on aprons worn by the stylists.
To see more concepts and learn more about the project:
Marina Vape – Product Line Branding
Over the course of a year, we had the privilege of working with e-liquid company, Marina Vape. The name of the game for these projects was building a visual brand around different flavor concepts. Ranging from abstract fruit flavors, to graham cracker, there was no shortage of visual inspiration to pair with the creative flavors. Below you can see 3 executed products under the Marina Vape brand umbrella.
1. ALTERNATIV 2. Honey Bear 3. Gummy Squirms
For the line of ALTERNATIV flavors, we came up with a graphic abstraction of the plume of ‘smoke’ everyone thinks of when they hear the word vape. The goal was to create an eye-catching visual for the line, which would adapt via color to accommodate for the different flavor profiles. Above were the chosen iterations, where below you can see some initial visual experiments.
Honey Bear Flavor
The Project: CLEbaby branding
The team here at Go Media had an absolute blast working on the CLEbaby branding project. Please check out the work we did below and learn more about CLEbaby, Cleveland’s premier resource for birth and postpartum doula services, on their official site.
Doula: a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. CLEbaby’s mission is simple — bring Doula services to the mainstream. Often thought of as a more “hippy” option in the child birthing department, Gina and Ashley sought to correct that misconception, and cater to young professionals and to be viewed side-by-side with other professionals in the medical community (midwife,ob/gyn). Beyond birthing, they also aim to help the Cleveland parent community with help via educational events in cool Cleveland locations (fun stuff, dinners, meeting others who are pregnant/expecting). They’re a fresh company within an industry that hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet — aka, the perfect client.
Merchandise: With Cleveland’s love affair of t-shirts at an all-time-high, part of the project for CLEbaby was to explore a merchandising aspect to the brand. The hope, of course, is to round out the service’s customer experience but to also throw another hook out into the water to attract unsuspecting customers as well. With branding variations for the rest of the family (Dad, Mom, and Kid) our goal was to explore some tasteful options for the different merch elements.
Cleveland Design Firm Go Media helps to develop Forest City Shuffleboard brand
Based on the success of their original shuffleboard business in Marblehead Ohio (the Erie Social), owners Jim and Kari looked to elaborate on their concept by venturing to the city of Cleveland. As the branding began, we quickly realized a tweaked direction based off the original concept could be fruitful, and thus we arrived at the vintage varsity aesthetic. Orienting visuals to the feel of late-century gymnasiums and sports movies helped develop the voice of the concept. To further cement the brand voice, we decided to rename what would have been Cleveland Shuffleboard, Forest City Shuffleboard — A throw-back, nickname oriented approach which was the cherry on top of their new brand.
Mockup PSD Free Download and Killer Mockups Guide!
Here at Go Media’s Arsenal, we have been creating and curating design resources since 2006, when we first began releasing our collection of royalty-free stock vectors. We have since expanded to textures, fonts, e-books, tutorials and perhaps most famously, mockup templates.
We passionately create our mockup templates and love that we have become a go-to for professionals in the industry. Because of this, we get tons of questions every single day about our mockups and how to use them.
So, we thought we’d create a quick (and free!) guide to killer mockups, which includes information and advice we dole out regularly. This includes:
– Info for Newbies, like how to open and use our mockup templates
– How to Use Smart-Object Enabled Mockups and Displacement Maps
– Tips to Killer Mockups (Using Them to Your Advantage for Future Success!)
– Pro Tips
With the download you’ll also get:
– a mockup PSD free download
– a vector freebie pack
If you’d like to grab the guide, simply sign up for the Arsenal newsletter below. Please note, you’ll have to confirm your subscription in the first email in order to receive your free download in the second email, so wait for it…
Presenting Ink Wars: Sponsored by Industry Print Shop, also Official Merch Sponsors of WMC
Ink Wars, an 8-person illustration battle, is one of our most popular events and is not to be missed. The premise: Eight Artists. Eight foot canvases. Some pencils, sharpies and a theme. One hour to furiously create as the minutes tick down and the attendees excitedly, nervously pace, weave amongst the work and cheer the artists on. The fun takes place on Friday, August 18th from 8 to 10 pm.
As both Official Ink Wars sponsor and Official Merch Sponsor, Industry Print Shop will not only be sponsoring this event but will be screen-printing swag for you on the spot. How cool is that?
Learn more about artist-run Industry Print Shop, who has a reputation for a keen eye for detail and outstanding customer service, here.
Help us thank Industry Print Shop by giving them a big high five when you meet them at the fest, as well as tweeting them now:
[Tweet “Thanks for being awesome Industry Print Shop! #wmcfest “]
Meet Your Contenders
We’re proud to have partnered with OneTree.org to create their new site in conjunction with Earth Day. The One Tree site was created using our Designer Sites platform.
One Tree’s mission is to save the planet, plain and simple. Their goal is to help replace as many of the 15 billion trees cut down each year, 11 billion of which are never replaced. OneTree.org represents the single most ambitious reforestation effort in human history, with the goal of planting one tree per person, per year.
We also developed a certificate generator plugin for their Trees for Moms campaign allowing you to name a tree after your mom. One Tree will plant the tree for her and then send you its exact coordinates on the planet.
Happy Earth Day and congratulations, One Tree!