Industry: Food Blog
Challenge: Pinch of Yum struggled with a poorly maintained platform that required countless updates and that had difficulty integrating with the martech tools they needed.
Solution: Featuring a custom theme built on the Genesis Framework, Pinch of Yum leveraged WP Engine to decrease ongoing maintenance and integrate the tools they needed to make their website more successful.
Results: Increased Google crawler numbers in Google Search Console, a clear indicator of increased performance.
Pinch of Yum is a food blog with hundreds of simple, healthy recipes and food blogging resources for food photography and blog monetization.
One of the biggest benefits for us is having real people at WP Engine. It's not just cog in the wheel support, but people who are available and helpful. We feel like part of the team. We're onboarded and we own our site in a way that's different from the normal support you'd get at a traditional hosting company.
—–Bjork Ostrom, Co-Founder
Pinch of Yum is a food blog full of delicious recipes and food blogging resources that launched in April 2010 on Tumblr. Once the blog started gaining momentum, the Pinch of Yum team, comprised of wife and husband duo Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom, switched over to WordPress.
As the blog grew even more, the server being used to power Pinch of Yum simply couldn’t keep up. “Our old host required us to maintain our server,” Bjork Ostrom, Co-Founder of Pinch of Yum said. “We had a lot of notifications about things being out of date and needed to be installed. We just didn’t have the bandwidth to manage it all.”
With a very small team, the Ostroms knew they needed a platform that could handle updates and maintenance with the peace of mind that performance wouldn’t be impacted.
The team was also experiencing issues, through their provider, with one of their favorite tools, New Relic, which offers real-time insights into how applications are performing and how they’re affecting website performance.
“There was one time when our site was crashing,” Ostrom said. “Using New Relic, we were able to see that the culprit was a caching issue, related to a new iPhone OS that people had just installed.”
“If it hadn’t been for New Relic, we wouldn’t have found the issue so quickly,” he said.
“Then, our host shut down the type of access we could have on our server, which meant we couldn’t use New Relic anymore. When you have a resource like New Relic, and then it’s taken away, it’s kind of like riding without your seat belt.”
Based on what felt like a growing list of issues, the Pinch of Yum team began to look for a better option that would suit their growing needs.
“We started to look around for options and found WP Engine,” Ostrom said. “It was right around the time that Genesis was acquired by WP Engine. We had been using the Genesis Framework since 2012 when we did a redesign of our site, which used a custom theme for us built on Genesis. We really liked Genesis because of the influencers we saw running their blogs with it, and we loved the idea of Genesis being in-house and tightly integrated with WP Engine.”
“Also, our research found a lot of people that had good experiences with WP Engine,” Ostrom said. “We liked that WP Engine is a WordPress-oriented solution versus a generic platform. We also felt very comfortable with WP Engine’s proven history.”
Another item that swayed the Pinch of Yum team was WP Engine’s Application Performance Monitoring tool, powered by New Relic. The team could use New Relic on their site with application performance from WP Engine knowing this would open up performance insights they no longer had access to.
The team found increased Google crawler numbers in Google Search Console, highlighting another clear indicator of increased performance. Because search is the most important driver of traffic for Pinch of Yum, it’s critical that Google receives more information by decreasing the page load speed time.
“We increased the number of crawls from Google which means that if we make changes or publish new content, all of that information is getting back to Google faster,” said Ostrom.
“This comes into play in our busy seasons, when we have seven or eight million page views per month.”
Finally, the Pinch of Yum team has benefited from WP Engine’s award-winning support and its white glove onboarding experience, which Ostrom said was simply different from the support he’s experienced with other providers.
“One of the biggest benefits for us is having real people at WP Engine,” he said. “It’s not just cog in the wheel support, but people who are available and helpful. We feel like part of the team. We’re onboarded and we own our site in a way that’s different from the normal support you’d get at a traditional hosting company.”