A Full Refactoring and Digitalization to Revamp an Online Magazine for Teachers


The Mailbox is an online resource with more than 50,000 learning objects, lesson plans, and ideas for elementary school teachers. Founded in 1973, The Mailbox’s publishing program includes the creation of downloadable lesson plans, worksheets, teacher tips, and activities across a variety of curricular subjects. Widely known as a go-to resource for teachers around the country, The Mailbox materials offer convenient tools for enriching the classroom experience in creative ways while meeting educational standards.


Back in 2014, Tizbi® developers were asked to help The Mailbox IT team to resolve the problems with a calendar. During this challenge we discovered a lot of unused third party tools together with expensive licenses for database and a search engine. These expenses hold The Mailbox team from the desired development plans because they took almost all the budget. The architecture of the product should had been refactored to release the budget for a future development.

Our Solution

It took 6 months of hard work to do a full refactoring. As a result we rid of Oracle by migrating the data to MySQL, we implemented an elastic search to replacethe licensed Nextopia engine, we did the refactoring of back and front end, which made the site more intuitive. All this work saved a budget for The Mailbox team and increased the number of the subscriptions. Currently we are working with The Mailbox team to digitalize their ideas.

"We have used Tizbi® for over five years. During that time, they have completed numerous tasks for us—always on time, within budget, and with high quality. They migrated our site from Oracle to MySQL,created a custom CMS, completed a major overhaul of SEO and paid search tags, and created a new subscription access for our site. We were so impressed with the quality of Tizbi’s work, their dedication to our product, and their innovative ideas that we now use them for all our programming needs.The entire Tizbi® team is very easy to work with. Our project manager, Olga, and the developers are quick to respond to all our needs. They always meet or exceed all deadlines.The Mailbox team would highly recommend Tizbi®. We consider them to be much more than just avendor…they are our partner."

Kate Brower
- CEO, The MailBox

Technological Info

The technology incorporated in this project included:

PHP Laravel MySQL Elasticsearch redis nginx
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