Australian Golf Digest
On Par For Excellence
Optimised performance, speed and a sleek new website design for one of Australia’s premier golfing magazines.
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THE CHALLENGE

The need for speed

Australian Golf Digest is one of Australia’s premier golfing magazines with an enormous online readership as well. However, their site was sluggish, slow and unstable. Due to the nature of their news content, traffic spikes were not uncommon, however the site’s hosting wasn’t robust enough to withstand the sudden traffic surges and would often crash at the most critical moments causing the site to be unreachable for 10-30 minutes.

Performance and speed were also a concern as the site took an average 13.29 seconds to load but often spiked much higher than this during heavy use. Overall, the user experience was suffering due to performance issues and outdated design. On the administration side of things, there were several inefficiencies and limitations that needed to be addressed as well. Did we mention there were over 11,000 URLs that had to be migrated, redirected, protected and accounted for? We definitely had our work cut out for us.

In addition to migrating their existing content into an updated WordPress site, we were adding several third party integrations and flexible functional options into the site to help modernise and future proof the build as much as possible. Monetising their content was also a significant priority so there was a paywall integration, video pre-roll advertising and integration of the latest ad units.

WHAT DID WE DO?

What didn’t we do?

We started the same way we do every website project. At the end. Through several workshops we scoped out the site’s functionality, looking at their objectives asking, “what does success look like?”.

We worked to understand their target audience through desk research, analytics, competitive analysis and discovery workshops. Then, based on some key insights, we set about re-working the navigation and content organisation to benefit both front-end website users and back-end content managers.

We developed a huge library of reusable components that provided unprecedented flexibility over design, layouts, functionality and content management all while working tirelessly to ensure pixel perfect delivery.

As you may imagine, migrating over 11,000 URLs is no small feat and organic search rankings were important to them, so a highly detailed site migration strategy and redirection plan was developed and implemented to protect things as much as possible.

And then, we made the whole thing fast.

Wireframe sketches showing flow of website modules.
Laptop user with Australian Golf Digest article displayed on screen.
Subscribers only paywall screen on mobile.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Every target we set, we exceeded

We like to let our work speak for itself, so here are some of the numbers:

  • Zero downtime since launch despite large traffic spikes
  • 48% reduction in average page load speed
  • Stable organic search rankings and even a few improvements
  • Zero 404 errors after launch
  • Reduced bounce rate by almost 3% sitewide
  • Increased engagement with the site shown through increased traffic and new users, pages per session and time on site
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0%
Reduction in avg. page load speed
0+
URLs migrated (with zero 404 errors)
0%
Bouce rate reduction sitewide
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Website mockup showing homepage after redesign
Website mockup showing homepage before redesign

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