Our Work

Project Q

Screenshot of Project Q Home page


Client Since
October 2016

Project Q is an Atlanta-based news source magazine for gay men, lesbians, transgender people, and all those who identify as queer.

Screenshot of Project Q Story page
Services Provided

In late 2017, Project Q got in touch with us about some design updates necessary to coordinate with the launch of their print magazine. We worked on a tight deadline to get the site looking good, first putting in place a separate set of tools and templates so that the new look could be previewed without affecting the live site.

While we were rooting around in ExpressionEngine, we noticed some issues that are commonly associated with performance bottlenecks.

The site had been running in ExpressionEngine for many years, and in an earlier iteration, public-facing site registration was enabled. Site registration like that can provide an ingress for spam member accounts, a problem common to most membership sites, not unique to EE. However, having tens of thousands of spam member accounts, even unused and un-accessed, can still mean a lot of extra load on the database server and of RAM when generating pages. We cleared out those many defunct spam accounts, and site performance improved immediately.

We also found a few site configuration errors, and noticed some EE functionality in a few templates that was being called but never actually used. There was also one issue with the site’s CP entry forms that was adding 2-3 seconds when loading that page… not enough to be a show-stopper, but certainly the kind of thing that grinds you down when you’re a regular site editor.

A few cleanup tasks later, and Project Q’s editor Matt Hennie reported perceptible improvements in how quickly he can add and edit articles to the site. This is one of those projects where everything looks and works better in both the front and backend, one of our favorite combos!

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