Headless WordPress Provides a
Master Class in Site Speed

After relaunching its sites with WP Engine Atlas, Georgian College outperforms the Ivy League and
aces Google's Core Web Vitals.


Higher Education

a man works on an assignment in a college library while wearing red headphones

“In the world of higher education, driving awareness and meeting prospect expectations online is top priority. By leveraging Atlas, WP Engine’s framework for headless WordPress, we’re able to achieve a level of speed and performance that puts GeorgianCollege.ca at the head of the class!”

—Melissa Gibson, Manager, Digital Marketing, Georgian College

The Client

Georgian College is a College of Applied Arts and Technology established in Ontario, Canada in 1967. The college currently offers more than 130 full-time programs, including certificates, diplomas, degrees, apprenticeship and graduate programs, across seven campuses.

Homepage of Georgian College website displayed on a Mac desktop

The Challenge

In order to gain an edge in the highly competitive post-secondary education sector, Georgian College needed to improve website performance and SEO while reducing build times and maintaining content autonomy.

The Solution

WP Engine Atlas provides Georgian College with a modern development architecture that unlocks blazing-fast site speed while allowing internal teams to maintain content autonomy. Alongside georgiancollege.ca, the college also relaunched georgiancollege.live, an engaging digital experience that provides prospective students with access to a virtual open house.

interior of a university library. a table sits in front of some bookshelves

The Results

After relaunching as a headless site built on Atlas, georgiancollege.ca has achieved "Good" (90s and above) Core Web Vitals scores across its 1800+ URLs.

The performance benefits provided by Atlas have also helped the college improve its search engine rankings, making its websites easier for prospective students to find.

Now, Georgian College outperforms even the Ivy League (Harvard, Yale) and other top university websites (MIT,  Stanford) in nearly all Google PageSpeed Insights scores.

Most importantly for students and staff, the relaunch of the Georgian College website as a headless build, including a Gatsby frontend, now looks better—and loads faster—than ever before. The sub-second page load speeds are performing well within the industry standard of two seconds or fewer.

With WP Engine Atlas, Georgian College is well-positioned to serve current and prospective students, faculty, alumni, and more with the fast, secure digital experience they expect from a capable, dependable collegiate institution.

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