Our Work / Chicago Gang History Ii

Jekyll migration to WordPress, site redesign, premium hosting, real-time performance monitoring, relational database, custom newsletter, media contact form

Chicago Gang History II

Customer Story

After 8 months the Jekyll version of Chicago Gang History we put together in 6 days started seeing some scaling issues with media assets. Rather than hacking it we instead worked with CGH to perform a complete site redesign, leveraging existing ad revenue to migrate them to WordPress self-hosting.

Work Involved

With more than 20,000 users per month at the time of migration—most driven by organic search traffic—we decided to pull out all the stops to prepare Chicago Gang History for their next period of growth.

All in all the CGH-II redesign involved more than 200 hours of research and development, design and testing. And the results are already speaking for themselves.


More information will be added as data becomes available.

  • Increased eCPM/RPM by 1500% within 2 weeks of redesign
  • Tripled indexable page count
  • Improved URL-based key phrase density site-wide
  • Surgically redirected traffic with automatic 301’s
  • Eliminated reliance on third-party newsletter provider
  • Stay tuned!! More to come.

New Features

The WordPress redesign enabled us to sneak in some much-needed features, including:

  • Rich image galleries with social sharing and deep link support
  • Site-wide HTTPS with HSTS and A+ SSL rating
  • CDN with high-speed varnish caching and 40+ global POPs
  • Fully integrated newsletter and user management
  • Super intelligent and extensible ad placements
  • Integrated keyword search tool
  • Dynamically generated internal links
  • Support for contact form media uploads
  • Improved SEO and structured data


The Chicago Gang History site has been a great success since December, more than I could have bargained for. The redesign has blown my mind further, easier navigation, even sleeker design and beautiful taxonomies. Pretty much 100% of the new redesign ideas were imagineered by Josh Habdas and I was happy with every bit of it—it’s way better than I’d hoped for.

View Chicago Gang History Ii →