Industry: Active Nutrition, Weight Management, Dietary Supplements.
Challenge: A lack of WordPress-specific server configurations and accessible support resulted in sub-par website performance and frustrating site issues.
Solution: The team at Iovate decided to migrate 30+ installs, including Hydroxycut, to the WP Engine Digital Experience Platform.
Results: Noticeably improved website performance, added agility at the development stage, and the ability to be self-sufficient with site maintenance.
Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. is a dynamic, leading-edge nutritional company that delivers high-quality, innovative, and nutritional products around the world. Their brand innovations include MuscleTech®, Hydroxycut®, Six Star®, Purely Inspired® and Xenadrine®. They are committed to being the number one active nutrition and weight management supplement company in the world.
Arguably one of Iovate’s most well-known brands, Hydroxycut, is the number one weightloss supplement brand in America. Originally started in 1995, Hydroxycut now has more than 20 products including Pro Clinical Hydroxycut, Hydroxycut Ultra Lean, Hydroxycut Gummies and Drink Mix, and Hydroxycut Black. These products, formulated with a scientifically researched key ingredient, are intended to work symbiotically with diet and exercise in order to help people reach their weight loss goals.
In addition to performance improvements, WP Engine has provided our team with a new level of absolute control of our site. We can frequently innovate without worrying about frustrating downstream issues that take time and resources to resolve. With WP Engine, our team has newfound independence that results in expedited workflows, which ultimately help us serve the needs of consumers better.
—–Nairica Hansotia, Senior Web Designer
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR INTUITIVE DIGITAL EXPERIENCES
In 1995, Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. began as a direct-to-consumer mail order business and launched its very first Hydroxycut product. The company soon began to sell in retail locations all over the country and their products began flying off the shelves. As time went on, Iovate began to notice the growing importance of an informative and impressionable online presence.
“While we had grown accustomed to dominating the physical shelf during the early stages of the company, we also experienced how the digital shelf is limitless, and anyone can post their products online,” said Michael Gavrovski, the Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. “We knew how important it was to have a fast, and scalable site in order to remain competitive in the industry while delivering an outstanding customer experience on our site.”
In 2015, Iovate decided to transition all of their websites to a Content Management System. They needed a CMS that allowed them to work with speed and efficiency as well as the flexibility and control to make changes and updates whenever necessary. Ultimately, they chose WordPress.
Later, using a combination of BigCommerce and WordPress, they added a dynamic eCommerce experience to their site. Using customizable controls, they were able to integrate BigCommerce and WordPress so the user experience—from exploration to checkout—was frictionless.
EXPEDITING WORKFLOW AND IMPROVING PERFORMANCE
WordPress gave the team at Iovate the power to build and publish content on their site, but Iovate wanted that same control when it came to managing and maintaining more of the advanced technical aspects of WordPress. Prior to migrating to WP Engine, they were relying on their IT department for server monitoring, updates, and optimization.
However, as the number of sites grew, so did the demands for various requests. With demands for technical requirements such as updating multiple servers with the latest PHP versioning, maintaining, deploying, creating new installations and custom page speed modules, it became clear that moving to WP Engine was the best option. The move allowed the team to gain greater control of the complete workflow that they were previously missing. This gave the designers at Iovate the ability to perform maintenance tasks such as updating their servers, creating new/duplicating installs and general WordPress updates.
“Previously, if we were experiencing downtime or errors on our website we would have to pull in our IT department to help resolve the issues,” said Nairica Hansotia, Senior Web Designer at Iovate. “Now with WP Engine, we are notified right away and are able to address the issues ourselves. This makes our workflow that much faster and more efficient.”
ADDING THE WP ENGINE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE PLATFORM
Iovate was looking for a technology partner that could help expedite their workflow, empower them to feel in control of their site, and provide support when it was needed. They also wanted to improve the site’s performance in order to create an even better user experience for the online customer.
Iovate was matched with a dedicated team at WP Engine which provided them with reassurances and advice as part of their weekly status meetings.
“WP Engine has benefitted both our site and our team. We now have greater autonomy, control, and peace of mind because we know what is going on with our site at a much deeper level,” said Hansotia. “Our site’s performance has also improved noticeably. Our load times are faster and WP Engine helps us scale during periods of presumed high traffic.”
AGILITY, PERFORMANCE, AND INTELLIGENCE GAINS FOR HYDROXYCUT
The performance benefits Hydroxycut has seen since leveraging WP Engine are undeniable. After switching to WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform , page speed improved by 38 percent, and the WordPress-specific server configurations resulted in a server response time that is 10 times faster than before. Bounce rate improved by six percent and more customers began completing their online purchases.
Website performance metrics, including load time and server response time, before (orange) and after (blue) migrating to WP Engine.
Performance wasn’t the only benefit to migrating to WP Engine. The Dev-Stage-Prod development environments provide the Iovate team with the agility they need to manage more than 30 installs.
“The Dev-Stage-Prod sites UI within the WP Engine User Portal is a very clean process,” Hansotia said. “We now have over 30 installs and being able to group them that way is helpful for workflow. When we move from one-stage to another, there’s less risk for overriding another property.”
Prior to WP Engine, it was virtually impossible to understand what was impacting the site. When an update or change was made to the site resulting in an issue with performance, the Iovate team was left guessing at what the cause was. Now, through WP Engine, Iovate has access to error logs which equip their web development team with the independence to troubleshoot on their own, without having to lean on the IT team.
Lastly, the team at Iovate has found the WP Engine support channels to be an essential part of their day-to-day responsibilities. “The 24/7 chat is absolutely phenomenal, we utilize it all the time,” said Iovate’s Senior Digital Marketing Specialist Lauren Leibner. “There is so much value in being able to connect with the WordPress experts whenever we need to.”