Challenge: Migrate an outdated website from a proprietary CMS to WordPress, and streamline the overall user experience.
Solution: WP Engine Digital Experience Platform.
Results: Higher site traffic, improved conversion rates, and an overall increase in revenue.
Airtrain is a privately owned commuter railway line that extends from the Brisbane Airport into the city center and beyond. Opened in 2001, it offers travellers a convenient option for getting to their final destination after arriving in Brisbane.
MyWork is a digital agency that specialises in building digital experiences for businesses of all sizes. Founded in 2009, the agency was built around the idea that every business in Australia needs more than just a website, but rather a website that actually works.
Airtrain has been thrilled with the results, which obviously makes us happy. Having the ability to go in and add our design touch was important, but matching that with WP Engine’s performance boost really made this a one-two punch for the client.
—–Matt Holme, CEO and Founder, My Work
Brisbane’s Airtrain is the fastest and most cost-efficient way to travel between the Brisbane Airport and the city’s Central Business District, the Sunshine Coast, and the Gold Coast. Owned by Airtrain Citylink, the train line was introduced in 2001 as an alternative to taxi or bus service in an effort to cut down on congestion and provide travellers with an added, convenient option for getting where they need to go.
Airtrain’s web presence followed soon after the railway opened, and it served, much as it still does today, as an informational hub and ticketing platform. After managing the site with a proprietary Content Management System (CMS) for nearly two decades, Airtrain’s staff decided to rebuild the site, and they enlisted digital agency MyWork for that very task.
“Airtrain came to us and said they wanted to move over to WordPress,” MyWork Founder and CEO Matt Holme said.
“Their staff had a basic skillset when it came to website management, and they had heard good things about WordPress,” he said. “They knew it was a good option for their content creators, who they wanted to arm with the ability to update content themselves, without having to engage a developer.”
Holme and his team got to work on the project immediately. In addition to migrating the site to WordPress, it needed a refresh, both for look and feel and overall user experience (UX).
“Obviously, navigating the train system is the type of process that needs to be extremely streamlined,” Holme said. “That’s especially true when you have users who might be visiting Brisbane for the first time, and who are unfamiliar with the city and its surrounding suburbs.”
In addition to redesigning the site visually, and creating a more modern, easier to navigate UX, the MyWork team also needed to ensure that the website had stellar uptime and was easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Further, they needed to integrate the new site, using an API, with Airtrain’s ticketing platform.
WP Engine, Holme said, was the go-to solution for everyone involved.
“WP Engine was an easy recommendation from our perspective, and the team at Airtrain was pleased with the idea,” he said. “They didn’t want to risk having the website go down at any time, and they wanted to make sure the site loaded quickly and was highly responsive, so the value of working with a partner that had WordPress-specific expertise was abundantly clear to them.”
Holme and his team got started migrating Airtrain’s old site over to a new WordPress install, a process that involved WP Engine from the start.
“We brought WP Engine in during the proposal stage, so by the time we began working on the new site, all those pieces were already in place,” Holme said.
While MyWork lent their expertise to the design aspect of the rebuild, the team at WP Engine was hard at work migrating data over from Airtrain’s old, proprietary platform. The original ticketing system, which Airtrain had built themselves, remained intact, and together, MyWork and WP Engine were able to build the new site so that it worked seamlessly with the old ticketing software.
“Now, with the new site, you don’t ever leave the WordPress environment, “Holme said. “We set it up so that it connects directly to the ticketing platform without any latency or delay.”
The MyWork and WP Engine teams also needed to integrate Airtrain’s Google Adwords account information into the new site, which Holme said was an easy process through WordPress.
“WordPress integrates well with so many martech tools, this was an easy ask,” he said. “We set up the new site so that it would retrieve the metrics they needed and convert them into tangible statistics.”
Overall, the project concluded in a matter of months, and the team at Airtrain was immediately pleased with the look and feel of the new site. The new level of performance the site offered, however, went above and beyond their expectations.
Airtrain began benefiting from the new site almost immediately. In addition to the new layer of service and support that came from their relationship with WP Engine, the overall performance of the new Airtrain site started paying dividends.
From the time the site was launched in Q4 2018 through April 2019, the following year on year metrics have seen continuous improvement:
- Pageviews: +15%
- % New Users: +2.2%
- Pages / Session: +20.71%
- Conversion Rate: +2.44%
- Bounce Rate: 32.98%
“Airtrain has been thrilled with the results, which obviously makes us happy, ” Holme said. “Having the ability to go in and add our design touch was important, but matching that with WP Engine’s performance boost really made this a one-two punch for the client."
Additionally, Holme said the WP Engine partnership with his agency was also beneficial from a service and support standpoint.
“Being a relatively small team, our senior developer’s time is naturally stretched across multiple projects,” he said. ”It gives us peace of mind knowing that the WP Engine team is always there and able to help fix any issue, big or small.”
One of the things Holme said he and his team like about working with WP Engine is that if one of their project managers is working on a client project like the Airtrain site, and needs help with something, they don’t have to tap an internal team member for help.
“They can just jump into a live chat and say, ‘this plugin isn’t working the same,’ or ‘this page isn’t working.’ WP Engine either fixes it or points us in the right direction,” he said.
“That’s been huge for us, and we can rest easy, knowing that even if it’s 11 p.m., clients like Airtrain, who we’ve set up with WP Engine, have the ability to jump into those support channels too.”