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Case study: decreasing Aisling Event’s monthly support costs by 90%

Paudie Fearon – Managing Director of Wibble Web Design belfast
By Paudie Fearon 11 January, 20245 MIN READ
case study: decreasing aisling event’s monthly support costs by 90% by Wibble Web Design and Web Development

web design case study

Aisling Events is a Belfast-based events company that delivers unique conferences and events around the world. They have been a client of Wibble’s since 2016 when we took over a number of their WordPress sites under the Wibble Rescue Package – a full suite of managed WordPress services including managed web hosting, WordPress updates, security updates and direct web support.

Issues with bought theme templates

We managed their sites for a number of years but we started to run into some issues around maintenance and plugin dependency. As their previous site was built with a bought theme from ThemeForest, we encountered the same recurring issues that come with using a bought (or pre-built) theme. The site was slow, hard to maintain and it had started to break – the page builder the site was using, Visual Composer, was no longer loading and all content had to be added using short codes and HTML to achieve the layouts required.

The issue of using bought themes isn’t unique to this project, we have faced this issue on multiple occasions with other bought themes. For absolute clarity, none of the web design projects in our work page are using bought themes, they are all custom web design and developed in WordPress by our award-winning web design team, out of our studio in Belfast. However, from time to time we do use ThemeForest themes but are always very clear to the client that we are using them. There are only two situations where we will use bought themes: when there is no time or there is no budget.

For quite some time we have documented our reservations of using pre-built themes from theme marketplaces as there tends to be huge issues around site speed, over-dependence on plugins for functionality and inflexibility with the theme to allow us to make any substantial changes to them.

Aisling Events’ growing support hours

As a result of the issues using the bought theme that the site had been runing, the team at Aisling Events were unwilling and, at times, unable to make content changes. Bear in mind that the team needs to make constant updates for upcoming events: schedule changes, speaker changes, speaker announcements, photo galleries, ticket info etc.

The previous site became so unusable for a non-developer that every single content change had to come through Wibble. We have an amazing web support team but their time was not being utilised correctly when they were adding photo galleries or speaker bios, which are basic content functions.

Unusable WordPress dashboard

As the theme was built with very little native WordPress functionality and relied upon plugins that were no longer being supported, the site had just slowly started to fall apart. Our support team did an amazing job at keeping it running for years with no exploits but even they were at their wits end as more and more functionality started to break. The site was unusable, see below for an idea of what the back of the site looked like.

WordPress dashboard
WordPress page

Benefits of a custom-designed and developed website

Using a custom-designed and developed website rather than purchasing a pre-made theme from an online marketplace like ThemeForest offers a huge range of advantages. One of the key benefits lies in delivering a unique design – Aisling Events’ previous site looked like a WordPress theme and didn’t have a unique look or bold aesthetic that they needed to stand out. A custom-built site allowed Wibble to create bespoke functionality and features that were desperately needed to enhance user experience and content management, previous requests were not doable with the earlier theme.

Another critical advantage is performance optimisation. Our custom themes are built with a focus on efficiency, eliminating unnecessary code and features that can weigh down website performance – a term called Code Bloat. This approach by Wibble results in faster loading times, improved user experience and, potentially, better search engine rankings.

Additionally, security is a huge concern with any website. Wibble’s custom themes are less susceptible to vulnerabilities since they aren’t as widely used as off-the-shelf themes, which can be targeted by malicious parties. The reduced risk of security breaches contributes to the overall reliability and trustworthiness of this website. Add to this the Wibble Support Package, which manages all required security updates, patches, backups, scans and monitoring and this website has a much smaller chance of falling victim to hacks and attacks than it had previously.

our custom web design and build for Aisling Events

Screenshot of the new website for Aisling Events - Designed and Developed at Wibble using our WordPress custom theme
Aisling Events new site designed and developed by Wibble

It became abundantly clear that the previous site was not fit for purpose and early last year we started the process of redesigning and rebuilding the entire site. We followed our well-worn web design and development process and have delivered a bespoke and unique website that the client is delighted with.

Financial and time savings

Before the new site, the amount of monthly web support provided by Wibble was around 10 hours, on average. It is now less than 1 and has been like this consistently for the last 6 months. A lot of agencies would be annoyed that they are losing out on ad-hoc billing but I, genuinely, don’t see our clients like that and am delighted that Aisling Events has taken full control of the content management of their new site. We still host and manage the site for them and are there to provide any bespoke support that they require but this has been minimal.

The client made a relatively large financial commitment to re-build the entire site from the ground up but based purely on the savings they have made from reducing the previously required support from Wibble, they broke even around 6 months later. For me, this is the best part of the project.

What the client said

The client has been with us since 2016 and we have been their go-to web design and development agency during that time

We have been working with Wibble Web Design & Development since 2016. Their service is fast, efficient and of a very high standard. We are always impressed with how fast our requests are dealt with.

aisling events

Aisling Events

View website


In summary, a custom-designed and built theme offers a unique, flexible and performance-optimised solution that aligns seamlessly with a business’s objectives, fostering a distinct online presence and helping to future proof any website.

If you want to move away from prebuilt or bought themes and want an award-winning, Belfast based web design and development studio to deliver a project of similar quality, get in touch with the Wibble team to find out how we can help with your website requirements.

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Paudie Fearon – Managing Director of Wibble Web Design belfast

Paudie Fearon

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