How retailer ChalkFly Uses Scalable Cloud Hosting to Handle Traffic Spikes

Chalkfly is an online provider of office and school supplies based out of Detroit, Michigan, as well as one of the most successful and interesting business stories to emerge over the past several years. The company’s mission is to go beyond simply selling products by providing excellent customer service and investing in the community via the 5% of every purchase, which is given directly back to teachers. In addition to this, the company has also funded various scholarship programs. This unique vision has recently garnered them mentions in publications such as Forbes, Inc. Magazine and TechCrunch as well as many others.


  • Mission: Getting the hosting necessary to reach the largest audience possible with a unique and impactful web presence was at the forefront of Chalkfly’s initiatives when Liquid Web first spoke with them.
  • Issues at Hand: Chalkfly required powerful and scalable hosting to handle spikes in traffic incurred by their growing profile.
  • Liquid Web Approach: Storm, Liquid Web’s cloud platform, could provide them with the on-demand scalability and flexibility they needed to handle spikes in traffic related to press coverage, approaching school years and many other factors.
  • Resolution: With the Liquid Web Storm Platform -- and with it an environment in which Chalkfly can test and develop on the fly as well as scale up and down as needed -- the company’s web presence has blossomed and withstood the increased traffic delivered by its rapidly increasing exposure.

Chalkfly’s mission is to create a forward-thinking, socially responsible business that is rooted in giving back to teachers across the nation. The company also strives to provide customers with quality office supplies, innovative technology and exceptional service. As a company with a similar commitment to remarkable customer experience, Liquid Web has been able to offer Chalkfly an additional tier of reliability, dedication and responsive support with the help of our expert services.

“The amazing customer service, scalable infrastructure, and commitment to excellence makes Liquid Web a great resource to Chalkfly . We look forward to continuing and growing this partnership.”

– Aaron Wolff, Senior Vice President,

Requirements & Hosting Solutions

Chalkfly’s development team knew exactly the type of environment they wanted to work in, it was simply a matter of securing it. After several discussions and meetings, Liquid Web was able to offer a plan that allowed them to accommodate their hosting needs through a number of incentives geared to give the company a boost with its successful implementation. Chalkfly’s desired hosting applications included a production server, a development server, a staging server, as well as a blog and customer application server.

Liquid Web’s Storm Platform Provides Customizable Options

Knowing that Chalkfly would require flexibility and custom environments for development and testing, Liquid Web was able to dedicate production, development, staging and blog/customer application resources to their own dedicated environments across its Storm Platform. Additionally, Chalkfly’s developers were most familiar with the Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit operating system, so Liquid Web’s technicians set it up so that day-to-day operations could be handled easily by those who understand the company’s needs best. As the company has required assistance, they have had no problem reaching Liquid Web’s highly trained technicians with 24/7/365 on-site support always available. There is always someone familiar with Chalkfly’s specific deployment on hand to address any needs the company has.

Growth Brings Joy Instead of Hosting Headaches

While success for an online business is the intended goal, it can also bring about an entirely new set of considerations, costs and compromises with regard to a company’s online presence. However, Chalkfly’s relationship with Liquid Web has given the company a significant advantage when it comes to dealing with such fortunate “problems.” As the company has received increased attention, they have been able to update their services accordingly entirely through the environment Liquid Web customized for them in most cases, and have had easy access to assistance when needed. For instance, in consideration of the additional functionality Chalkfly has added to its website, there has been discussion of the value of Magento Hosting. This could result in a hybrid environment in which Magento Enterprise Edition is launched from a production environment on a Liquid Web Dedicated server and integrated into Chalkfly’s existing environment on the Storm Platform cloud, providing an exceptionally powerful solution to process Chalkfly’s increasing demand.