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GOV.UK Colophon

A large but not exhaustive list of the key components, tools and services that have gone into the construction of GOV.UK. The tools we use will change and evolve over time so this list represents the state of things on October 17th 2012 when GOV.UK takes over from Directgov and Businesslink. We prepared similar lists for the alpha of GOV.UK and for the beta and hope to produce similar documents at key stages of the site’s evolution.


The core of the servers:


  • nginx deserves an extra mention as it’s letting us do all our redirection
  • we’re using perl to manage and test our redirections
  • there’s some php to add useful links to the “gone” pages where DirectGov and Businesslink content has been retired
  • node.js was used to build a side-by-side browser for reviewing the redirections


Databases and other storage:

Monitoring, managing and alerting:

  • We gather metrics from our apps with statsd
  • We collect logs with logstash
  • We monitor systems with ganglia
  • Graphite helps us make many, many graphs to understand what’s going on
  • Nagios tells us if we need to act on any of that data

Supporting Tools:

  • All our code is tested by Jenkins, which we also use to deploy it to servers
  • We track usage of the site with Google Analytics, using their API heavily to build dashboards
  • We occasionally use New Relic RPM for performance reviews
  • DNS is hosted by / Dyn
  • Email (internal alerts) sending via Amazon SES
  • Font handling and preparation with FontForge and FontTools
  • We keep on track and in touch using Google Apps, Pivotal Tracker and Campfire
  • Github helps us manage and discuss our code
  • Zendesk keeps the feedback flowing
  • We use jekyll & heroku for some of our prototyping
  • We’ve built all sorts of internal dashboards. They’re very much our playground and you can find them written in a mixture of Ruby, Clojure, Node.JS, and PHP