A new WP Engine WordPress platform improves the speed and performance of Dexerto’s high-traffic website, supporting future growth and revenue generation.

Beginning life as a community-driven gaming forum, Dexerto is now the outright market leader in esports media serving millions of website visitors every month.

Screenshot of the Dexerto site on a smartphone

To maintain their market position and guarantee the future growth of the business, Dexerto came to Box UK looking for support with a critically important re-platforming project – one that would not only provide a stable platform for the future but would significantly improve site performance in advance of Google’s Core Web Vitals algorithm change.

Adapting existing agile processes to optimise development cadence for a speedy delivery, Box UK quickly delivered a robust, adaptable and scalable WP Engine solution for the client – with improved AMP support, customised for Dexerto’s key advertising infrastructure. This platform now continues to be developed, in line with Dexerto’s aspirations for the future.

"We were looking for an agile and performance-focused team and Box UK more than delivered... we have started to see growth within our traffic that’s taking us to new peaks, and we are at all-time bests on some of our core performance-driven KPIs."

Elliot McDonagh
Head of Product, Dexerto

Website performance, at scale

The Dexerto website attracts millions of users each month, offering a range of esports media including breaking news stories, insightful commentary, and highlights from across the world of gaming, esports and entertainment. The site also serves a wide range of advertising partners, who promote their services to Dexerto’s vast audience, and rely on the platform to deliver them relevant and valuable traffic.

Dexerto first approached Box UK when it was discovered that performance issues with their existing WordPress platform were significantly impacting site traffic, revealed through analysis of their Google Lighthouse scores. They required a new platform that could deliver high levels of performance at scale, and which could be delivered at speed to enable them to respond rapidly to changing traffic trends.

Person working at a computer, shot from behind

Building a robust WP Engine solution

After assessing a range of potential Content Management System (CMS) solutions, WP Engine was identified as the platform that would best support Dexerto’s requirement for performance and speed. An enterprise-level WordPress platform, WP Engine provides a rich toolkit for developing and hosting fast, reliable and secure WordPress sites, and is a highly popular choice for leading organisations across the globe, powering over half a million digital experiences for 120,000 customers in 140 countries.

With this robust underlying platform in place, Box UK’s WordPress developers began migrating the existing Dexerto site across to WP Engine, employing stringent coding standards and best practice to ensure performance considerations were baked in from the outset. Additional bespoke development work was undertaken to provide the client with the specific features and functionality they needed to effectively deliver rich multimedia content, optimised to support a responsive and impactful end-user experience.

3x mobile screenshots showing the Dexerto site

As advertising is a key revenue stream for Dexerto the platform was also built with this in mind, including replacing previously hard-coded functionality with flexible settings in the WP Engine back-end, implementing improved support for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework, and integrating a powerful WordPress ad management plugin. Dexerto’s Ad Ops team now has much greater control over how ads are displayed across the site, enabling them to respond to changing trends and behaviours, and supporting the continual improvement of their advertising strategy.

A platform for the future

Underpinned by optimised Agile processes, Dexerto’s WP Engine re-platforming project – and subsequent performance improvements – was delivered at speed. The client now has a robust web platform capable of supporting high levels of traffic without impacting performance, as well as offering extended functionality to serve targeted advertisements that maximise returns from this crucial revenue stream.

The new WP Engine platform has also been built to support Dexerto’s future ambitions, and Box UK continues to work with the client to implement valuable bidding functionality and further performance enhancements. Additional work is underway to provide support for WordPress’ powerful Gutenberg editor that will enable the Dexerto team to dynamically create richly-featured pages, increasing responsiveness and efficiency as they continue to build and grow their site.

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