Industry: Active Nutrition, Weight Loss, Dietary Supplements.
Challenge: Before migration, a lack of WordPress-specific server configurations and support resulted in sub-par performance. Post-migration, Iovate requires agile tools to support brand growth, increased eCommerce activity, and the ever-present need to do more with less.
Results: Overall performance enhancements, including a 10x server response time improvement, leading to higher visitor traffic, engagement, and conversions.
Internal workflows streamlined; Iovate’s marketing, development, and sales teams have access to tools and solutions that harness the power of WordPress, allowing them to bring new brands to market quickly.
Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. is a dynamic, leading-edge nutritional company that delivers high-quality, innovative, and nutritional products around the world. Their brand innovations include MuscleTech®, Hydroxycut®, Six Star®, Purely Inspired®, Cut Energy, and XP SportsTM, among others. Iovate is committed to being the number one active nutrition and weight loss supplement company in the world.
Arguably one of Iovate’s most well-known brands, Hydroxycut, is the number one selling weight loss supplement brand in America. Originally started in 1995, Hydroxycut now has multiple formats including Pro Clinical Hydroxycut, Hydroxycut Gummies, Hydroxycut Drink Mix, and Hydroxycut Black. These products, formulated with a scientifically researched key ingredient, are intended to work symbiotically with diet and exercise in order to help people reach their weight loss goals.
"With all of these tools and resources in place, we’re able to build sites faster than ever. As we focus on being more agile and working smarter, having the ability to produce sites this way, on WP Engine's platform, has been a game-changer."
—–Nairica Hansotia, Senior Web Designer
Laying the groundwork for a growing digital presence.
In 1995, Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. began as a direct-to-consumer mail-order business and launched its very first Hydroxycut product. The company soon began selling in retail locations around the country and their products started flying off the shelves. As time went on, Iovate’s marketing team also began focusing on the need for an informative and impressionable online presence to complement its in-store efforts.
“While we had grown accustomed to dominating the physical shelf during the early stages of the company, we also experienced how the digital shelf is limitless, and almost anyone can post their products online,” said Associate Director, Digital Marketing Michael Gavrovski.
“We knew how important it was to have a fast, scalable site in order to remain competitive in the industry while delivering an outstanding customer experience on our site.”
Beginning with an in-house, DIY web setup, Iovate eventually moved its growing portfolio of sites to WordPress, where internal teams could work more efficiently and independently, without requiring developers for needed updates and changes.
While that proved to be the case for many of the company’s content creation needs, managing sites internally still meant Iovate’s IT department was responsible for numerous tasks, including server monitoring, updates, and ongoing performance optimization—all increasingly important as the company began building new brands and expanding its eCommerce footprint.
As that list of brands and sites grew, so did the associated IT challenges, and the team at Iovate ultimately began searching for a hosting provider that could apply WordPress-specific expertise to their growing digital presence. After evaluating numerous options, WP Engine was selected based on the high-level of speed, security, and support Iovate required.
A powerful engine for site performance and brand growth.
As the first order of business, Iovate’s WordPress installs were migrated to WP Engine’s platform, providing immediate benefits to the company’s marketing team, while lifting the burden off its IT department.
“Previously, if we experienced downtime or errors on our website, we would have to pull in our IT department for a resolution,” said Nairica Hansotia, Senior Web Designer at Iovate.
“Once we migrated to WP Engine, we were able to own the entire workflow. If an issue arises now, we’re notified right away via WP Engine’s application performance solution. Working with our web development team, and WP Engine support if needed, we’re able to address the issues ourselves. This makes our workflow that much faster and more efficient.”
Improved processes, it turned out, was just the beginning. As soon as Iovate’s sites were up and running on WP Engine’s platform, they began loading faster and responded seamlessly to higher-than-normal traffic.
In turn, Iovate’s engagement and conversion metrics began to tick up, leading the marketing team to explore additional ways they could optimize their sites.
Looking at WP Engine’s Premium WordPress Themes, Iovate began by changing the framework and themes used on existing sites to Genesis-powered themes.
“When we heard about Genesis, we were immediately interested in putting it to use. The easy ability to create and install themes, the excellent support that’s available, and the fact that it’s included with our plan, all made it a no-brainer,” said Senior Web Designer, Gericco Abella.
Today, many of Iovate’s installs are leveraging the Altitude Pro theme, which means they’re all optimized for the latest version of WordPress, and they’re mobile responsive, customizable, and integrated with HubSpot.
Reaping the benefits of a fully managed WordPress host.
As noted above, Iovate’s initial migration to WP Engine’s platform netted immediate results: page speeds improved by 38% across their sites.
Additionally, WP Engine’s WordPress-specific server configurations resulted in a 10x server response time improvement. Bounce rate improved by 6% and more customers began completing their purchases online.
In addition to overall performance improvements, using Genesis also provided a workflow and performance boost, allowing Iovate's marketers to build better sites faster, with the peace of mind that each one is fully optimized for today’s digital audiences. In 2020, the team at Iovate launched three new brands:
XP Sports: energy drinks and gummies for gamers and esports athletes, with a focus on alertness, performance, and eye health support.
Conscious Kitchen: a line of products focused on conscious wellbeing with nutritive plant-powered and functional fat-fueled ingredients.
Cut Energy: a sparkling energy and weight loss drink with a superior taste and zero sugar or calories.
Armed with the ability to bring these new brands to market quickly, Iovate has seen all three consistently beat forecasted user traffic, engagement, and conversions as they continue to grow.
Existing sites have also benefited. The sites for Iovate’s top brands Purely Inspired and MuscleTech both saw between a ~50-60% performance improvement after changing to Genesis, while Hydroxycut saw a ~26% performance boost.
Those improvements included an additional boost in page loading speeds,
Other WP Engine-specific features the Iovate team continues to benefit from include easy access to Dev-Stage-Prod environments, which provide greater agility across all of Iovate’s sites.
“The Dev-Stage-Prod sites UI within the WP Engine User Portal is a very clean process,” Hansotia said. “Being able to group all of the installs this way is another helpful feature for our workflow. When we move from one stage to another, there’s less risk for overriding another property.”
Additionally, the Iovate team continues to view WP Engine’s support channels as an essential part of their day-to-day responsibilities.
“The 24/7 chat is absolutely phenomenal, we utilize it all the time,” said Iovate’s Senior Digital Marketing Specialist Lauren Leibner. “There is so much value in being able to connect with the WordPress experts whenever we need to.”
“With all of these tools and resources in place, we’re able to build sites faster than ever. As we focus on being more agile and working smarter, having the ability to produce sites this way, on WP Engine's platform, has been a game-changer,” Hansotia said.