Launched March 2014
Awarely case study preview


Awarely is a media distribution company focused on innovation shaping our world and the people that make it happen.  We built them a web presence.

A few facts about Awarely:

  • Started in December, released in March 2014
  • We mastered WordPress plugins for video integration and social networking
  • Fully editable content


  • Build a fully editable web portal within highly limiting budget constraints



  • Best practices for performance and maintainability
    • combining and minifying of CSS and JS
    • automatic Compass-driven sprite generation
    • CSS data URI for images
    • CDN hosting for popular libraries such as jQuery and WordPress CKEditor
    • Using CSS3 backgrounds and stylized elements instead of images


WordPress was suggested by the client due to ease of management, as well as enormous selection of plugins and themes.

Our client picked Madidus for the base theme. We had to significantly modify and widgetize it via implementation of the custom widget areas. We were also required to build quite an extensive layout customization, as well as the ability to add various WordPress widgets on any page.  

WordPress Plugins

Performance Optimization

To improve WordPress performance, we are using caching on different levels by utilizing W3 Total Cache, one of the most progressive and advanced plugins with supplementary flush cache plugins:

  • browser
  • page
  • object
  • database

We also use the opcode cache for PHP, which reduces time for W3 cache generation.

WordPress benchmark validates our performance optimization effort for an AWS m1.small instance:



Due to budget constraints, we had to use minimal manual testing.  We’ve focused on the latest versions of desktop browsers, and also checked performance in several versions of Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11). Testing on mobile devices was also one of our priorities for the release of Awarely.


We had daily Hangout calls with the product team, which made it unnecessary to follow formal Agile processes.  We also ran an internal Continuous Demonstration once a week to ensure high code and UX quality.


Speed and Function is a web development company based in Philadelphia, PA