“From zero traffic to over 80,000 page views per day – we only pay for what is used.”

The Silver Line

The Silver Line is a charity set up to provide a confidential and free helpline for elderly people in the UK. They offer information, friendship, help, advice and support for the elderly who often feel isolated. The charity was founded by Esther Rantzen CBE in 2011, following the same model she established with ChildLine in 1986.

Esther was overwhelmed by the response she received from an article she wrote about the loneliness she experienced after being bereaved and living alone. Following the publication of this article in the national press, she was invited to make a keynote speech at a conference, in which she came up with the idea of establishing a helpline to support elderly people, assist in directing them to projects and services available to them, break through the stigma of loneliness and isolation, and tackle the problems of abuse and neglect.

The Silver Line charity raised awareness of the issues faced by the elderly in the UK and following a pilot funded by a government grant, was awarded £5 million from the Big Lottery Fund in September 2013 to support the first two years of operating a national service. The Silver Line employs a core team of 15 people, but also has a network of hundreds of volunteers manning the phone lines.

The Silver Line chose CatN to host their website, their “primary means of communication, getting our message out to those who need our services and provide contact details for those who would like to support us”. CatN’s vCluster hosting platform was perfect for The Silver Line site as: “It scales with demand, which can be unpredictable for a charity like us. The service is a true PaaS, rather than a contended and constrained hosting service.”

Because the site was new, there was little in the way of previous statistics to base projected traffic on and with an ambitious launch involving national media coverage, it was critical that the site coped with huge spikes in traffic. “CatN did a fantastic job of helping us plan for national media coverage at launch and ensured that the site remained online throughout.”

The Silver Line were very pleased with the service that CatN provided, stating that: “We would (and do) recommend CatN services to others.” They went on to say: “CatN hosting is significantly superior to other hosting solutions – it is simpler to host a WordPress website than using an IaaS provider, gives better and more predictable performance than shared hosting and improved performance for a given price point than other WordPress dedicated hosting platforms such as WPEngine.com.”

The Silver Line considered other hosting providers such as Memset and WPEngine when selecting a host for their website, but were drawn to CatN’s PHP PaaS service as it offered a clear and predictable billing model: “From zero traffic to over 80,000 page views per day – we only pay for what is used.”

Features were vital to the Silver Line, with demands for automatic scaling, excellent support, clear and real-time usage information presented through an intuitive control panel which can be accessed on demand.

By delivering a superb hosting service to The Silver Line, scaling to meet their traffic spikes then dropping back to ensure they were only billed for exactly the resources used, and keeping the site live through a huge surge in traffic following national media coverage, CatN is now considered to be “the long-term hosting partner of choice” for the charity, and they are confident in recommending our services to others – the true acid-test of customer satisfaction.

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