Founded by Editor-in-Chief Federico Viticci in Viterbo, Italy, MacStories has been serving its global audience with in-depth, personal coverage of Apple, apps, and related topics since 2009.
The foundation of MacStories is its website, which Federico started and expanded over the years with the help of a changing team of writers. As the site grew to reach millions of readers every month, so did the business. In 2015, Federico added Club MacStories, a subscription component of the site that offers exclusive content to MacStories’ core audience. In the years that followed, MacStories expanded further through podcasts: AppStories, a show all about the world of apps and their impact on culture; and MacStories Unwind, a weekly recap of everything happening at MacStories.
By 2020, it had become clear that MacStories’ continued growth and plans for the future would require a rethinking of the technology underlying the business. To help fulfill his vision for MacStories’ future, Federico enlisted John Voorhees and Alex Guyot. John, a former lawyer with some experience in iOS development, started as a freelance writer at MacStories in 2015 and is currently its managing editor. Alex Guyot has a cloud engineering background and has been writing for MacStories since 2013. He is currently an editor and a senior software engineer at MacStories.
Together, the MacStories team set its sights on building a new foundation for the media it publishes, including the website, newsletters, podcasts, and other digital goods. They started by migrating six years of email newsletter content to a new content management system designed by Alex called Calliope. This system allowed MacStories to offer a new web app with sophisticated search, filtering, and other features far beyond the scope of an email newsletter. Calliope was designed from the start to be flexible and enables the MacStories team to publish columns, newsletters, and podcasts across multiple websites, send email newsletters, provide subscriber-only downloads, and more.
The hardware underpinnings needed to make Calliope a reality were beyond the scope of MacStories’ origins as a WordPress publication running on dedicated server hardware. MacStories needed a feature-rich, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure solution. After considering many options, the MacStories team decided to build its vision of the future using Linode.
Alex used Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE) to create eight different microservices and three separate database deployments, a project that would typically be cost-prohibitive for a small company like MacStories. Having hosted his personal website and the MacStories Slack bot on Linode for years, Alex was already familiar with Linode. He had been experimenting with LKE since the service was in beta, so he was confident that it could handle MacStories’ web services reliably and economically.
The flexibility of Linode’s service offerings coupled with its affordability has allowed MacStories to build an infrastructure that can grow and scale with their business for years to come. “Every time I’ve used Linode for something new, I’m impressed,” Alex shared. “It has the best interface and is really easy to navigate. Cloud Manager is better than the competitors, and the documentation is fantastic.”
For the MacStories team, deciding to use Linode was like evaluating an app, something it’s well known for. Linode was the perfect fit for their needs, and if they ever have a question, Linode Support is there to offer assistance. Excellent support is critical to small and nimble companies like MacStories. Looking back at the successful launch of Calliope, Alex says, “We have never questioned if Linode was the right choice.”