Challenge: Offer site visitors a better overall experience by improving load times for both desktop and mobile users.
Solution: WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform for WordPress, next-gen hardware from Google.
Results: Processing time for individual pages on the 24 Horas website decreased to less than 600 ms from 1000ms.
24 Horas was founded as Mexico’s first print newspaper offered free of cost. In 2011, 24 Horas launched its website, which has become one of Mexico’s most popular sources for news from around Mexico, Latin America, and the world.
"Once we switched over to the new infrastructure, we were blown away by how much faster it made our site, and how quickly pages began loading for our users."
—–Raúl Carpio, Systems Coordinator at 24 Horas.
24 Horas—El Diario Sin Limites (The Unlimited Daily) is one of Mexico’s most popular news sources. With a free print edition that’s distributed in six major cities (Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Querétaro, León, and Mexico City) and a website that operates nonstop, the 24 Horas staff has one overarching goal: report the news with speed and accuracy, every single day.
They’ve been successful in this pursuit, and 24 Horas’ print circulation now tops 150,000 newspapers a day. Their website, which was launched in 2011, is consistently breaking its own records for traffic and engagement metrics, and as more people in Mexico turn to the web to get their news, 24 Horas is well-positioned to capture the lion’s share of that audience.
But growth hasn’t come easy, particularly in the digital realm. 24 Horas’ original website, which was satisfactory when it first launched, quickly needed a laundry list of improvements—both for speed and appearance. In 2015, the 24 Horas team decided to undergo a website refresh.
“When we did our first refresh of the website, the main goal was to modernize,” said Raúl Carpio, Systems Coordinator at 24 Horas.
“At that point, we were trying to improve the look and feel of the site, and we hired an outside creative agency to help us with that effort.”
Unfortunately, that outside agency proved to be the wrong one, and the site’s problems weren’t entirely fixed. Additionally, shoddy code led to new performance problems, and the 24 Horas site was again in need of a major update, only a few short years later.
“It was certainly frustrating,” said Carpio. “We felt we had done a lot of work but weren’t getting anywhere.”
The site looked old, and more importantly, it loaded extremely slowly. When the 24 Horas staff wanted to add dynamic elements like video or social media feeds to their content, performance issues were further exacerbated.
“By 2018, we knew we needed to do a lot of work on the site but we weren’t sure where to look,” Carpio said. ”Fortunately for us, we had WP Engine.”
In early 2018, 24 Horas began working with a dedicated Premium Plus account team at WP Engine that helped them troubleshoot across multiple fronts.
After identifying the top factors impacting performance, WP Engine made editorial workflow recommendations to reduce stress on the environment during those crucial editorial events.
Through WP Engine’s Agency Directory, the 24 Horas team found a professional digital agency that helped them leverage new elements to make their website look and feel more modern.
“We actually redesigned our site using the Genesis Framework, which we were able to leverage free of cost as WP Engine customers, Carpio said. "The combination of functionality and cost savings we got from doing that was huge.“
With a redesigned site built using Genesis and powered by WP Engine’s servers, the 24 Horas team felt like their site was finally performing at the level they wanted.
“We saw traffic improving, we saw people staying longer on our site,” said Carpio. “Things felt a lot better.”
Then, in 2019, the 24 Horas site was one of the first WP Engine-hosted sites to be moved over to new, next-gen infrastructure from Google, and things got much faster.
“Building with Genesis sand having WP Engine at our backs was great for the website,” said Carpio, “ But when they switched us over to the new hardware, it was like lightning struck our site, in a good way!”
24 Horas began experiencing massive speed improvements on the new infrastructure—pages that were previously taking 1,000 milliseconds to load suddenly dropped to 600 milliseconds.
“It was kind of unbelievable,” Carpio said. “We were already quite satisfied with WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform—today, our site relies on it—but once we switched over to the new infrastructure, we were blown away by how much faster it made our site, and how quickly pages began loading for our users.”
Since the switch, 24 Horas has already seen more users come to their site, and the faster page loading times continue to please those visitors.
“We hear a lot of feedback from people who visit our website,” Carpio said. “They love how much faster it loads - on desktop and mobile—and that’s incredibly important when you’re in the news business.”
BRING NEXT GEN SPEED TO YOUR SITE
New, next-gen hardware from Google is available to all WP Engine Premium Plan customers at no extra charge. It is currently available in the U.S., the UK, and western Europe, and it will become standard in all WP Engine Premium plans in alignment with Google’s rollout schedule.
In addition to offering this new technology to our customers, we'll continue to focus on the ongoing performance, maintenance, and monitoring we do every day, which makes WP Engine the unequivocal leader in WordPress performance.