CitiPower Powercor

CitiPower and Powercor are Victoria’s largest electricity suppliers, delivering electricity to over 1.1 million residential households and commercial customers across Victoria.

Their Outage Map is widely used throughout Victoria and the server is placed under significant traffic stress during power outages especially during extreme weather conditions.

CitiPower Powercor approached Arcadian Digital looking for website and infrastructure redesign and redevelopment after concerns regarding website functionality during times of high traffic. They made it clear that the new solutions would need to handle extreme peak traffic volume whilst remaining secure with a CMS accessible only via an internal VPN.    

This was an extensive project that required:

  • end-to-end user testing and research
  • information architecture
  • wireframing
  • design
  • development
  • testing
  • custom AWS infrastructure setup and architecture
  • deployment; and
  • digital consultancy
CitiPower Powercor Arcadian Digital

CitiPower Powercor requested to move away from Umbraco CMS to a solution that was more flexible and reliable, prompting Arcadian Digital to build a customised solution that utilised a headless WordPress CMS and a React JS front end.

As speed and user experience was a central focus for the client, we leveraged a combination of tools and approaches for this build. We elected to go with WordPress as it is an easy to use content editor and familiar to many content editors. Furthermore, the WordPress data was easily consumable via their WordPress API for the ReactJS front-end application saving a lot of effort building a custom API. Static site generation (via Gatsby) was utilised due to the high volume of traffic and ability to be indexed by Google for SEO purposes which is a common downfall of many JavaScript applications. It allowed the application to run in AWS server less architecture with near-unlimited scalability and provided extremely low infrastructure costs compared to traditional servers.

To increase performance we leveraged a CDN to cache assets and ensured it was built as a progressive web application to improve reliability for rural users in poor network conditions. This architecture allowed for around 10 million requests per hour and handled over 4,000 active users with less than 2 second response time as shown in the load test chart below.

https://mk0arcadiandigil785y.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/citipower-powercor-load-test.png

Our developers were required to build a custom mapping solution that could continuously update outage data sent from internal Citipower Powercor servers. Utilising Google Fusion Tables and Google Maps APIs, we were able to produce an Outage Map that allowed users to both search within and interact with multiple layers of information. The Outage Map is governed by strict uptime parameters that meant Arcadian Digital needed to work within very onerous SLAs which load testing exceeded by over 100 times.

CitiPower Powercor website Arcadian Digital

As part of securing the application, we made sure to consider and implement fixes for the OWASP Top 10 security risks which were:

  1. Injection
  2. Broken Authentication
  3. Sensitive Data Exposure
  4. XML External Entities (XEE)
  5. Broken Access Control
  6. Security Misconfiguration
  7. Cross-Site Scripting
  8. Insecure Deserialization
  9. Using Components With Known Vulnerabilities
  10. Insufficient Logging And Monitoring

The solution built has far exceeded expectations since deployment in February 2019. Arcadian Digital is now working in close partnership with CitiPower Powercor as their preferred digital vendor.

Want to find out more? Get in touch today!