Case Study National Gallery Australia

Located in Canberra, the National Gallery of Australia is home to the most valuable art collection in the country.

The Challenge

With the bulk of the IT staff at the gallery being dedicated to the infrastructure of the gallery itself, the incoming head of digital, Dr. Keir Winesmith, was looking for partners, rather than just service providers, as he embarked on transforming and modernising the online presence of the gallery. Poor customer experience from their existing CDN/Security provider encouraged the NGA to seek a better solution, preferably from an Australian provider.

The Peakhour Journey

The gallery settled on to start handling the protection of the main website. Peakhour joined a call with gallery technical staff to assist in migrating the site to Peakhour, and even helped make configuration changes with hosts still on their competitor to make sure redirections were happening properly.

“Peakhour offered many features our previous provider didn't, and took the time to understand what was specific about the National Gallery's web ecosystem”

Security in the spotlight

After a few months it was mandated that all websites have a security audit, prompting closer collaboration between the gallery and Peakhour to increase security. Peakhour suggested, and implemented appropriate rate limiting and a full page caching strategy. These had the dual benefit of thwarting several attacks, both vulnerability scans and DDoS attacks, while also substantially improving google web vital scores and customer experience.

Largest Contentful Paint Improvements Improvement in Largest Contentful Paint due to Page Caching and Image Optimisation

Website Consolidation

The National Gallery had developed a number of successful microsites on different technology stacks to the main site over a number of years, including:

They all had different security and performance profiles. Peakhour suggested that by taking advantage of its content mounting feature. these microsites could be brought onto the main website without any changes to the current web software or hosting. Content currently found on the microsite would be transparently moved under a directory on the main domain, for example content currently at:

would be moved to

This brought significant SEO benefits, as well as allowing Peakhour to seamlessly secure and accelerate the content.

"Being able get robust security, whole page caching, content optimisation and the microsite content loading system for our legacy web projects, all from one company was cost and time efficient for us"

Image Optimisation

As an art gallery website, has a significant amount of high quality imagery. The gallery tried to pre-optimise images as much as possible but couldn’t take advantage of the optimal format for the target device due to specific use cases. For example, they supplied super high quality images for media publications. Peakhour developed a special API feature that enabled the gallery to bypass image optimisation for specific images. The result was a ~48% reduction in file sizes transferred to the client.

Image Optimisation Image optimisation statistics for the last month

"There's so many American technology companies that do feel the need to cater to clients outside the US. As a national body, we felt it important to seek out local expertise, and to partner with companies that were interested in supporting our specific goal as a national cultural institution with a large digital footprint."

Dr Keir Winesmith

Head of Digital at (Nov 2020 - Dec 2022)

Get world-class security, performance and availability with Peakhour

Start your FREE 14 day trial Call us now to get started!

© PEAKHOUR.IO PTY LTD 2024   ABN 76 619 930 826    All rights reserved.