Designed by the founders, the original PrimeResi website used WordPress, a theme, and a staggering number of plugins, with the subscription functionality handled by the an old outdated plugin. Although serving them well in the business’ early stages, an increase in the number of subscribers led to performance and user experience issues that a paying subscriber would not expect.
A number of users had voiced their concern with site speed and uptime in particular causing some distress. PrimeResi send out a daily briefing email each morning with an index of site content, which caused a surge in traffic. It was at this point that the site would slow considerably and become entirely inaccessible for some users.
Alongside the performance issues, the site’s user experience was suffering as a result of the number and varying nature of plugins being used. It didn’t feel consistent when browsing, and was difficult for a user to find content they had previously read without trawling through page after page of archives and listings – something that was made particularly frustrating due to the slow speed of the site.
The existing platform was also unable to monitor logins and prevent a single subscriber from sharing their account with multiple users. Although they couldn’t be certain, PrimeResi were of the belief that many subscribers were – probably unknowingly – abusing this limitation.
In order to solve the problems being experienced with the previous site, FX Digital proposed a complete redesign and build. This approach would enable us to investigate each issue being experienced on the existing site and present solutions in the wireframing and design stages before any development commenced.
Starting from scratch would not only ensure we could provide a completely bespoke design, but also give us the opportunity to re-evaluate the infrastructure and platform employed by the existing site, which had become outdated and difficult to maintain.
However, by starting from scratch we it was also necessary to ensure that there was minimal disruption in the service provided to existing subscribers. If moving to a new platform, we needed to ensure that all subscribers were migrated effectively and could login to the new site without any issues following the relaunch.
As well as allowing us to solve the fundamental issues, beginning the site afresh also presented the opportunity to introduce a new user experience complete with enhancements designed and built with the subscribers’ frustrations in mind.
The site delivered for PrimeResi is a completely unique subscriber experience. A bespoke interface provides an extensive set of features for users including saved articles, most read posts, ajax content-loading and even a custom members dashboard that collates preferred content from across the site.
WordPress remains the CMS behind the site, but now uses the MemberPress platform to handle subscriptions. Migration of subscribers from the old membership system to the new site has been successful thanks to a series of scripts developed in-house specifically for the project.
Old site content was also migrated over along with any gallery imagery and authors, again all helped along by a set of custom scripts.
From an infrastructure perspective, the site now benefits from FX Digital’s hosting platform , which features caching techniques to ensure that the site is delivered to the end user in as quick a time as possible.
Following launch the success of the new PrimeResi site has been incredible. Improvements to the site’s infrastructure and the prevention of users sharing logins increased gross subscriber revenue by 128.8% in the month following launch. New subscribers were also up 266% and average revenue per subscriber jumped by 75.3%.
The new site has been received well by the PrimeResi subscribers, with particular favourites being the new daily briefing summary page and the bespoke dashboard.
Our relationship with PrimeResi is ongoing, providing hosting and support, as well as continuing to develop and roll out features that directly benefit subscribers