Backpacker Magazine is one of the leading outdoor enthusiast magazines. With gear reviews, product features, and thousands of hikes, we set out to create a site that contained the information readers wanted in an easy-to-digest package.
The redesigned site launched in 2014 after much effort placed on importing data from an outdated CMS and creating a home for the active forum base. In addition to the look and functionality of the site, my tasks included spearheading a geocoding and mapping extension to the site. I created a plugin to allow for the geotagging of all content, creating a quick IP lookup so we could deliver custom content (news, products, gear and hikes) based on geography.
Performance was always a challenge with the large number of posts and users migrated from previous versions. Through a combination of htaccess, caching schemes and query improvements we were able to get the site to load consistently well though not at peak levels we expected. Even so, readership and sponsorship throughout the site continued to grow.