Building a Faster, Better Honolulu Star-Advertiser with WordPress – On a Budget!

As the eighth largest newspaper website in America by traffic, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser faced considerable challenges. As a highly visible publisher, it was a common target for hackers, and with constantly growing traffic, just keeping the site running was a challenge. On top of all that, the newsroom placed constant, time-critical demands on the internal development team for creating new features to supplement coverage of current events.

Resources in the challenging newspaper industry are famously tight. How could the Star-Advertiser meet all of these demands at once?

The homepage of the Star-Advertiser formerly took 14 seconds to load. We brought it down to under one second.

Our responsibilities have since grown to include the regular development of new features for the newspaper, as well as work to improve the security, performance, and scalability of the site. For example, Command Media implemented a new version of site search based on the best-in-class Elastic Search, which scans hundreds of thousands of articles and returns relevant results in mere fractions of a second. Command Media also reduced the load time of the Star-Advertiser’s homepage to under one second!

By integrating Elastic Search into the Star-Advertiser’s search results page, we were able to make it load in fractions of a second.