Based in Melbourne, Australia, digital agency Optimising brings together years of experience in SEO and paid media to help a growing list of clients enhance their digital presence and grow their business online.   

Exclusive Insight, an Australian new media platform where athletes and entertainers share heartfelt and inspirational stories, is one of those clients, and when an article penned by NBA star Joe Ingles and his wife Renae went viral overnight, Optimising turned to WP Engine to make sure the site could handle the unexpected spike in traffic.

As a WP Engine Agency Partner, Optimising was able to quickly engage their dedicated account team for help scaling server resources so the site wouldn’t crash—and it never did, even after Ingles’ fellow NBA players began sharing the story with their own massive audiences on social media.    

We recently spoke with Optimising Co-founder James Richardson to hear more about the high traffic event and the way he and his team worked with WP Engine to quickly find a solution.  

Before we jump into the Exclusive Insight story, tell us a little more about the work Optimsing does.

While we’re known for our SEO, we like to make sure our clients always get the best results in everything they do online. While hosting isn’t something that initially seems like a logical step for an agency like ours, partnering with WP Engine has helped us improve the client results we achieve in SEO and paid ads, specifically because your platform is fast, reliable, and scalable.

How did Exclusive Insight come to be one of your clients? 

We have worked with the team at Exclusive Insight for several years now on many different projects and love getting involved with them—they’re simply great to work with.

What about the story itself—when did you become aware of it and when did the traffic really start hitting the site?

The story itself was truly a powerful one. Joe and Renae Ingles wrote in detail about their son Jacob’s autism diagnosis and the way they have approached it. The post contains Joe and his family’s honest, real-life experiences, and I think it offered a lot of hope and support for families who might be in a similar situation. I also think it carried over into a larger message of awareness, with people wanting to share the story wide and far, which we saw. 

When the story went live in Australia, we saw it slowly pick up steam, and saw a peak of around 500 concurrent users on the site at a time—which is when we started to think about what might happen once people in the states started to wake up…

Once the story started picking up steam in the U.S., we started seeing close to 1,000 concurrent users consistently for a few days.

What was your course of action? How did you engage WP Engine?

Our first course of action was to put the stats up on the big screen in the office so we could keep an eye on things!

Once we had that all set up, we reached out to our account manager at WP Engine to try and work out some temporary solutions to ensure Exclusive Insight stayed live, as well as our other, unrelated clients on the server.

We were able to make an upgrade to the server almost immediately to handle the extra bandwidth we were seeing, and the site never experienced downtime. We were thrilled!

What’s the takeaway here for other agencies with sites that may face similar challenges?

Be prepared for anything and have a solid plan in place.

We were lucky with how it worked out (Thanks WP Engine), but having a better plan in place would have been a much safer option.

What are your plans for the future? What is Optimising working on next? 

Hosting-wise, we’re actually looking at upgrading our server to handle our additional clients.

Business-wise, we’re just trying to keep doing good work and working with more great clients like Exclusive Insight!

If you would like to make a donation to Joe and Renae Ingles’ preferred charity, 4 ASD Kids, click here.

Find out more about working with Optimising for your next digital marketing project, and visit WP Engine to find out more about our Agency Partner Program—the largest partner network in the WordPress ecosystem.