Learn how Pooka & Co help Scottish Poetry Library serve a great Burns Night

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The Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) is a unique national resource and advocate for the art of poetry, and Scottish poetry in particular. SPL has a global remit and audience, and reaches valiantly beyond its iconic home in Edinburgh’s Old Town, to showcase Scottish poetry to the world.

Pooka & Co have worked with SPL since 2017, initially collaborating with our design partners at Eskimo to create a new look for SPL’s digital presence. This bespoke, beautiful and clean website based on WordPress Content Management System, places poetry front and centre.

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The website is home to a library of over 3,000 poems, searchable by author, category and occasion, in addition to a database of over 1,000 Scottish poets, a podcast series and an online shop. All of this makes it a compelling digital resource for Scottish poetry, and since Pooka & Co relaunched SPL’s website in 2018, visitors to the site have increased by 32%. In the first half of 2022, the site had an average of 4,350 unique users visiting the site each day.

However, on one particular day of the year, the 25th January, visitor numbers to the SPL website increase more than ten-fold. The 25th January is the birth date of Scotland’s National Poet, Robert Burns, and the date when Scots across the globe celebrate Burns Night with great pride. It’s traditional on Burns Night to quote the words of Robert Burns, and at Burns Supper events across the globe people are using Google to find ‘Address to a Haggis’, in order to welcome in their dinner in the correct poetic style.

As the world’s search engines steer web users to SPL, around 5,000 visitors per hour will log on across different time zones. This sudden increase in traffic requires careful planning and a significant scale-up of website hardware, to ensure the SPL website performs reliably throughout Burns Nights around the globe.

Pooka & Co monitor the usage of server resources across all of our hosted clients’ websites, so we know exactly when there is increased demand or outages on a particular site, and can respond quickly and effectively. We provide “scalable” hosting for our Clients on reliable Cloud servers using Google’s infrastructure.

Josie Bateman

“Pooka & Co were highly efficient and well resourced to meet our demanding deadlines, innovative in their approach, and very dependable and honest. We now have a fantastic product and would recommend their services to anyone.”

Josie Bateman

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This allows us to increase the resource available to a particular website at a moment’s notice. In addition, Pooka & Co offer a range of speed optimisations and enhancements, regular maintenance and Content Delivery Network technologies to keep websites loading quickly and reliably at all times.

Our careful monitoring and deep understanding of our clients charities and businesses, allows us to keep websites like the Scottish Poetry Library online year round. Please get in touch for a friendly and open discussion about your own online project, and as the world says on Burn’s night, “…if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer, Gie her a Haggis!”

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