Equipping a global network to defend freedom of expression better

ifex website screenshot

Project overview

Working closely with IFEX, the leading global network of organisations defending and promoting the right to freedom of expression and information, we created a brand new ‘magazine’ style website in WordPress, migrating more than 150k pieces of content from Bricoloage CMS to WordPress. The new site is now almost twice as fast and much easier for users to navigate, thanks to a cleaner, more sustainable design and improved elastic search function.


  • Bricolage to WordPress migration
  • Cleaner UX design
  • Custom newsletter template
  • Improved search function
  • WordPress Multilanguage


CO2 per page view (down from 2.77g)


Page size (down from 1.46mb)

1.6 secs

Page load time (down 46%)

International stakeholder discovery

The discovery process involved several stakeholders from IFEX, representing their diverse audience. As a global member organisation, this audience includes their 100+ members, the public, donors, specialised media and researchers across 70 countries around the world.

ifex website screenshot

Algolia elastic search

The original search function on the old IFEX website had poor functionality, meaning that website visitors were often leaving without the information they needed.

To resolve this issue, we added Algolia elastic search to the new site, allowing for deep content exploration. This new functionality is much faster, giving instant search results from more than 150,000 pieces of content.


Large scale migration of over 70k articles

The IFEX website holds more than 70,000 articles, all of which needed to be migrated from their old Bricolage CMS, to the new WordPress website.

Beginning with the articles themselves, we imported the content and began building the relationships between the languages, images and content, as well as creating redirects to ensure no search engine ranking was lost and users never reached a dead end.

In total over 150,000 data points were migrated from the old CMS to WordPress.

ifex website screenshot

Modular content editor for improved editorial control

By using Advanced Custom Field (ACF) to create flexible content blocks, IFEX now has the ability to change their content across the new site. This flexibility allows them to update pages to highlight particular campaigns, using a wider range of media to create dynamic content.

Changing to WordPress has also allowed us to offer the IFEX team different levels of responsibility for updating the website. The different user roles within the team include translators, authors, editors and administrators, who all work together to produce various types of content in different languages.

Erin Woycik, IFEX’s Content Specialist, said “I am starting to realise with WordPress I have so much more access to fix things than I did with Bricolage.”


Multilanguage functionality

We added WordPress multilanguage (WPML) functionality, to ensure the new IFEX website would be accessible by all users in the countries in which they operate.

The site is now available in English, Spanish and French as well as Arabic, which reads right to left. In order for this to work, we needed to consider this requirement from the discovery period, to ensure that it was an integral part of the initial design and development process from the start of the project.

screenshot of IFEX website

Lessons learned

The main challenge for this project was around the migration of content. This was one of the largest migrations we have undertaken due to the technical requirements needed to migrate this volume of data, which included various different custom post types in different languages.

Although it was a challenge, we were pleased with the way we worked together with the IFEX team to achieve a successful solution. The new website provided this important organisation with the tools they need to continue their work defending freedom of expression across the world.

Visit website

It was easy to work with Wholegrain Digital, even given the many time zones between us, because they were diligent about planning check-in calls and using online platforms that made it possible to collaborate on wireframes, designs and schedules.

ifex logo

Erin Woycik