I F*cking Love Science (IFLScience) began as a Facebook page, created to share cool and interesting science tidbits. Followers increased quickly, and when we began development of a companion website in July, 2013, it had 6.3 million followers (they now have over 24 million). This brought a few interesting requirements for the website. Firstly, since traffic was driven from social media, mobile-friendly version was important. Secondly, the site needed to withstand huge bursts of traffic driven from Facebook.
At first glance this is a pretty typical blog site. I has articles with comments, related posts, tags, and some contextual advertising. Posts are arranged into categories, each with an associated colour.
Rather than using responsive web design, the mobile version was implemented as a separate mobile theme. This allowed the design to tailor content and navigation for smaller screens. The home page in particular displays much less content than the desktop version. This allows users to more easily access content in shorter chunks, while the full desktop version provides longer teasers and quick access to social sharing widgets.
Advertising was the main revenue source for IFLScience, and as a result we became familiar with implementing ad networks in various configurations.
Woolwich Web Works also built the server infrastructure for the site using Amazon C2 cloud servers. At its peak, IFLScience would receive over 6 million hits per day.
This iteration of the IFLScience website was in use until mid-2016, when the company chose to re-locate to the UK.