Building A High-Performance Website For Lifestyle Brand

London-based SheerLuxe is a leading online magazine with a huge fan base for its rich fashion and lifestyle editorial, both on page and in video. Their focus is attracting and keeping visitors – with very high concurrent visitor numbers during peak times. Superb site speed and spot-on recommendations for follow-on content are vital to keep readers in SheerLuxe’s stylish world. 

When SheerLuxe first came to eighteen73, their visitor numbers were rapidly growing but their site was feeling the strain. We stepped in to enhance the online experience.

The Brief

To build a website which could easily handle extensive content, frequently changing functionality & layout requirements, and a proliferating number of readers.

Our Services

  • Website
    Digital Performance

Two-Phase Development

First, we took on the existing Drupal site, working to stabilise and improve site performance. We maintained that website (through a complete front-end redesign) for a number of years then, having demonstrated our technical credentials and learned the practical requirements they have, SheerLuxe commissioned a complete rebuild, giving us the brief to enhance technical delivery and provide the team with new page-building tools which make great looking content that is consistently on-brand.

The Clever Stuff

Learning from the old website’s most problematic aspects that were selectively rewritten and improved upon during our tenure, we optimised some the highest resource loads (competition email subscription handling) by offloading them to a separate custom Laravel web app which could run those relatively slow tasks as queued actions and not hold up the public website. Abstracting those elements also saves the website itself from being tied to any particular 3rd party service, giving SheerLuxe more flexibility to make partner changes without worrying about big changes to the website.

 Many gains have come from moving to an alternative hosting infrastructure (saving money while also boosting performance!) as well as our work on website content caching and database performance. Knowing their peak traffic loads, we have verified (through real load testing) that the website will hold up to sustained traffic many times higher than that experienced at the moment.

We manage SheerLuxe hosting, allowing a 360-degree perspective on site speed and user interactions. Again, making a series of regular iterations, some small others more substantial, ensures an effortless browsing experience on a site packed with content.

Technical Optimisations

Whilst our developers may never feature on the fashion pages, they are ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing highly technical performance optimisations. Years into our relationship, we continue to work very closely with the SheerLuxe team on a weekly basis, discussing and implementing new ideas and small optimisations as they arise. We’ve also recently launched SheerLuxe Middle East and SL Man.

4.5 Million

Monthly page views


longer on website vs. competitors


Saved on hosting costs

Why We Love


SheerLuxe are extremely good at what they do and know their audiences inside out so that’s a big tick from us. Their site has to perform very quickly for huge numbers of users across thousands of pages of content, making it the type of technical challenge we love. They don’t stand still, always pushing to get more our of their website, and their ongoing investment also means we can work closely with their team to continually work on optimisations as the site grows.

Explore our Portfolio