Case Study

Rolling Stone

Media & PublishingNorth America
250,000+ Media artifacts migrated to WordPress
25+ Years of content migrated seamlessly


Unlocking Innovation with WordPress

Since its inception in 1967, Rolling Stone Magazine has been an influential voice at the crossroads of music and popular culture. Renowned for its impactful journalism, Rolling Stone not only documents the evolution of music but contributes significantly to broader cultural discussions, leaving an enduring imprint on our cultural landscape.

This is the story of how XWP, as part of a wider partnership with parent company Penske Media Corporation, helped Rolling Stone transition seamlessly to WordPress; unlocking scalability, empowering its teams with modern editorial workflows, and amplifying its capacity for innovation.

The Challenge

Rolling Stone was ready to scale, but its proprietary CMS was holding it back. It lacked modern editorial features, hindering the team’s ability to publish quickly, and its uniqueness compared to other sites in the PMC portfolio became a drain on development resources, stifling innovation and responsiveness to market changes.

To address these challenges, and enable an “80/20” approach to their portfolio, where 80% of their tech stack is shared across their properties and 20% is customized, PMC embarked on a mission to migrate more than 20 years of Rolling Stone content WordPress, while undergoing a full site redesign and implementing new SEO-driven editorial features.

The Solution

After completing the Discovery phase, we were able to map and execute a comprehensive, stable, and secure migration solution:

  1. We leveraged secure cloud services to build a highly scalable, multi-stage import routine for existing content, achieving impressive processing speeds and allowing us to capture live changes.
  2. Content was mapped and transferred into WordPress without data loss, and technical SEO was preserved by redirecting old URLs during migration—all while being accomplished significantly faster than traditional methods.
  3. QA played a major role in the solution’s success. By the time our team was ready to push the ‘migrate’ button, we had thoroughly tested the process to ensure it would run without issue and with complete accuracy.
  4. Because of the clever cloud-based functions our team created, Rolling Stone’s migration took minutes and seconds rather than hours and days.
  5. Post-migration, we focused on new features, collaborating with Rolling Stone’s Editorial team to engineer custom (SEO and revenue-driven) functionality for ‘listicles,’ including dynamic URL changes, numbered workflows, and dynamic header adjustments.
  6. Finally, we focused on custom site-wide functionalities such as numbering and reordering list items, focal-point image cropping, template selection, and pagination—and because Rolling Stone has now joined other PMC heavy hitters on WordPress, these custom functions have since been shared across the portfolio!

If you want to learn more about any step of this solution with extra technical detail, check out our full technical breakdown.

Key Results:


Media Artifacts Moved to WordPress

25+ Years

Of Content Migrated Seamlessly


Data Entries Requested Every Second During Migration

0 Seconds

Of Downtime, Start to Finish

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

Nicola Catton

“This was one of our smoothest and most successful launches to date. Everyone who reviewed the site – both before and after launch – commented on the exceptional quality. This was down to an incredible effort led by you all, with a focus and dedication that was a joy to be involved in.”

Nicki Catton, Director of Development at Penske Media Corporation

The rolling stone logo.

Project Highlights

Looking for more detail on any of the aspects of this project? Check out our full run-downs!

XWP & PMC: The Full Story

Our work on Rolling Stone was part of a larger partnership with their parent company, PMC. Read the full story.

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Technical Deep Dive: XWP & Rolling Stone

If you want to learn more about our work with Rolling Stone with additional process detail, check out our full technical breakdown.

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Tune in: XWP, Rolling Stone & WordPress VIP

Learn how Rolling Stone and their parent company PMC have optimized their technology stack on WordPress, enabling them to respond quickly to market changes and create customer experiences that drive revenue.

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