How GolfNow partnered with Reaktiv to move over 1,700 sites to WordPress VIP

By the Numbers:

  • 1,700+ sites
  • 44 themes
  • 10,000+ users
  • 2024 theme variations

GolfNow is a part of NBCUniversal with golf coverage and marketing. They have a hosting service for golf courses around the country to create sites. These sites include several tools that make it easy to show off the course, allow booking tee times, and host events, along with several other features.

The Ask

GolfNow had a large multisite install that needed to migrate the sites using the Genesis theme framework over to WordPress VIP hosting in order to improve performance, security, and uptime. This involved 1,700+ sites, custom plugins and code, and individual site customizations via some off-the-shelf tools which could pose a security risk.

The Challenges

Over 30 themes, an outdated version of the Genesis Framework, a wide variety of plugins doing similar tasks on individual sites, and a set of customization tools that opened the door for security risks and complicated migration are among the challenges facing this project. The hosting system and combination of custom and off the shelf plugins created a fragile system that was difficult to update without affecting the other sites and risking breaking sites in unforeseeable ways. Migrating this many sites with so many themes, variations, and custom plugins presented a daunting challenge.

The Plan

Reaktiv Studios came up with a migration plan to consolidate the number of plugins used and update Genesis. We also made a new solution for activating tools and inserting them via the customizer, which allowed for simplifying and securing common uses of the custom solutions individual sites were doing over and over. Finally, we built a migration tool that scanned the database for each site and built a more secure custom file for individual sites. As a bonus, we also added some accessibility features to several of the older themes that did not currently support the Genesis framework accessibility tools.

The Migration

Part of the plan was to do some trial migrations first, so we also had to have a way of updating the database with new sites so all of the original migration sites would be retained. We started with some small batches, then larger batches, and eventually the remainder of the sites. This ended up being one of the largest migrations to WordPress VIP and everything went off smoothly because of the tools we built and the planning.

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