The world's first WordPress Digital Experience Platform.
A case study of wpengine.com
The world of technology, marketing and business has evolved dramatically in the seven years since WP Engine was founded. In early 2017, after launching our first brand campaign and the world’s first WordPress Digital Experience Platform, we recognized the need to reimagine our website to showcase the breakthrough digital experiences you can create with WordPress and WP Engine and to accelerate the company’s next stage of growth.
The new wpengine.com launched on December 4, 2017, catalyzing the ART + SCIENCE of digital experiences on WordPress.
Defining the brand.
In mid-2016, we set out to define the WP Engine brand, embarking on research that included a series of workshops with customers and our own people, as well as quantitative and qualitative studies. From this research, we gleaned critical insights about the market, our customers, and the benefits our customers gain from using WP Engine.
Leveraging these insights, and grounded in our purpose to “help customers win online”, we codified WP Engine’s brand promise to “drive your business forward faster” and communicated that promise through our new tagline: “Press Ahead”. Our brand strategy also outlined what became the four pillars of WP Engine’s platform:
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This work set the foundation for boosting our business through broader awareness and consideration for WordPress and WP Engine across a growing range of customers, from small businesses to enterprises to the agencies that serve them.
The need for a new website.
Fast forward to January 2017. WP Engine had just wrapped up a successful year. Based on our new brand strategy, we launched our first brand campaign in the U.S.—which would later win a Silver Stevie Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year (Software)—and started expanding the campaign globally. We had also recently held our first customer summit, engaging 50 select marketers from leading agencies, and launched a new online publication, Velocitize, to inform, educate, and inspire digital marketers with strategic insights on open source.
Having accomplished these key milestones, we had reached a new inflection point in WP Engine’s business growth. But, our website was outdated. While we had recently reskinned the site and updated some messaging, the information architecture and content were materially the same.
WP Engine had grown to become the leading WordPress Digital Experience Platform, and yet our website did not reflect the powerful digital experiences that you can build on our platform. With this in mind, we set out to create the showcase for experiences you can create using WordPress and WP Engine.
The vision for wpengine.com
Our team aimed to tackle several objectives with the new website.
We needed a site that informed and engaged the growing range of audiences that we serve, including WordPress developers, IT professionals, and marketers working with, or in, small and medium businesses (SMBs), enterprises, and agencies.
We needed a site that could help us support and grow the WordPress community, delivering thought leadership and education to audiences.
We needed a site that showcased the ART + SCIENCE of what’s possible with WordPress and WP Engine.
On the ART side, you can now create stunning, award-winning experiences with WordPress.
On the SCIENCE side, WP Engine drives business impact for customers through improved SEO, lower bounce rates and higher conversions that grow revenue. And, we do that for tens of thousands of customers on hundreds of thousands of sites globally.
WP Engine needed a site that could serve as the product demo for WordPress and WP Engine.
How WP Engine approached the project.
From the beginning, our team planned for an agency to help with the UX of the site, but we would write, design, and develop the site internally. In late January of 2017, we sent out a RFP for the UX of the site to three heavily-vetted agencies. We wanted an agency that would, in a way, be discovering the possibilities with WordPress and WP Engine through the process, as a new customer might. In the end, WP Engine selected Axis41 for their understanding of our industry and history of tackling tough, strategic challenges.
A focused strategy.
The agency helped WP Engine synthesize its site strategy into three “north stars”:
- Surprise the audience with an excellent digital experience that differentiates WP Engine from the competition.
- Expand to new markets by surfacing content, offerings, and resources effectively.
- Individualize the digital experience by targeting segments with the right content at the right time.
These guided us throughout the project, as we moved into IA exploration, wireframing, creative concepting, UI design, development, and building the site.
By mid-August, we had an information architecture in place, an initial set of wireframes, a creative concept, and the start of UI design that we could build on. With a target launch date of the first week of December, 2017, the WP Engine team was off to the races.
Decoding the new wpengine.com.
Following our strategy’s north stars of surprise, expand, and individualize, here is a sample of what you will find on the new wpengine.com.
Representing the ART.
When visitors arrive on our homepage, they are surprised by a breakthrough moment–an explosion of color and movement–unexpected from a WordPress site. This represents the limitless nature of creative execution using WordPress, and that WP Engine is your catalyst for bringing your vision to life in standout digital experiences. Elements of this breakthrough moment appear throughout the site.
Representing the SCIENCE.
To create our new site, we designed a component based system and used the full range of our platform solutions to build, manage and personalize our site. The site features a unique WordPress REST API integration to drive personalization. And, we leverage our Performance Intelligence products to glean insights to continuously improve our user experience.
Four platform pillars.
In an expand moment, users receive an explanation of WP Engine’s four pillars: Creative Agility, Enterprise Performance, Actionable Intelligence, and Ecosystem Integration. You can learn why these pillars are important in today’s digital landscape and how WP Engine approaches them through our platform solutions. You can also explore articles related to each pillar to gain insight and knowledge from thought leaders in WP Engine’s community.
To individualize the site, the navigation allows you to quickly find information that you’re looking for based on WP Engine’s segments (agency, enterprise, SMB) and personas (marketer, developer).
For further individualization, WP Engine combines our own personalization software with a Bound integration to provide personalized messages and content to users. WP Engine gathers firmographics such as the size of a users’ organization, their function, their seniority and their industry to serve more personalized messages. And, WP Engine enables users to provide us with information about themselves in order to receive more personalized experiences.
These are just a few examples of how we tackled its objectives for our new website.
From WordPress hosting, to managed WordPress hosting, to the WordPress Digital Experience Platform, WP Engine has continuously evolved to better serve our customers and help them win online. WP Engine’s platform now serves as a catalyst to bring your imagination, skills, and vision to life via breakthrough digital experiences. And, the new wpengine.com aims to serve as a guide for what’s possible.
Ultimately, we are excited to support and grow the WordPress community by reaching, engaging, and empowering more customers in achieving their business goals through the digital experiences they create on WordPress.