Case Studies

Increasing traffic and cart conversion rates with Bear and Bear

Bear and Bear are a leading online retailer of fresh, innovative products designed for urban and outdoors environments. They are a retailer who celebrate great products and design, which is reflected in their website.

Bear and Bear approached Byte9 when they had reached a bottleneck in site performance and functionality and wanted to take their WordPress and Woo Commerce installation to the next level of visitors, prospects and ecommerce conversions.

The Brief

  • Seamlessly Replace the incumbent WordPress developer 
  • Improve WordPress site performance, resilience and stability
  • Significantly improve page performance
  • Improve site traffic, basket value and Woo Commerce ecommerce conversion rate
  • Migrate the WordPress and Woo Commerce installation to and scalable Amazon Web Service (AWS) hosting environment
  • Provide an elastic, burstable WordPress and Woo Commerce hosting environment to cope with peaking load, from increased marketing activity
  • Audit the existing plug-ins and provide stable alternatives, where necessary
  • Implement development, staging and live environments to allow for Quality Assurance (QA) testing, prior to live site releases
  • Provide on-call support under guaranteed response times
  • Provide an agile development process and account handling to support ongoing, iterative development and improvement

The Byte9 Solution

Working within a very short turnaround deadline the Byte9 team spun up an optimised Amazon Web Service (AWS) environment and implemented the Bear & Bear WordPress and Woo Commerce implementation.

We performed a series of audits and tests, isolating plug-ins, integrations and services and analysed the server log files and performance in the browser to identify performance bottlenecks. The team then, bug fixed and replaced integrations, plug-ins and third-party developer custom code that were causing the significant performance problems.

We then undertook a prioritised wider performance audit and performed some significant updates to decrease page-speed and site payload.

The best WordPress and Woo Commerce performance improvements were achieved by minifying the CSS and JavaScript assets, optimising all of the media and image assets using bulk optimisation and ongoing management techniques.

We also implemented content caching, to decrease database load, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), to offload media overhead from the WordPress web and database server and implemented lazy loading of images to improve the page-load further, outside the viewport.

Additionally, Byte9 DevOps tuned up the AWS WordPress environment to achieve best performance, at an appropriate budget.

After initial go-live the Byte9 support contract ensured recursive updates and testing as further issues surfaced.

The Result

Bear and Bear have experienced a huge uplift in WordPress and Woo Commerce site performance and conversion since Byte9 migrated and tuned up the implementation. The migration and performance upgrades have delivered a huge return on investment in a very short time-frame, delivering Bear and Bear’s best ever Christmas trading period, by a margin of over 130% year on year.

Average page size has been shrunk from 6.3mb to 3.6mb, HTTP requests per page have been hammered down from 251 to 51 and page speed has been improved from a yawn inducing 20.11 seconds to a sprightly 3.9 seconds.

The conclusion? Performance pays….

"Easily the most productive relationship with any developer. They have one of the cleanest development processes anywhere…"

Katleen Richardson, Marketing Director, Kogan Page