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Headless Move For Celebrity Client

A custom site is an awesome thing but when the site speed suffers and the client is unable to update content on their own, the site becomes more of a burden than an asset. This is where headless wins the day.


Our team at Civilized Savage was approached by Matthew Gray Gubler, a renowned actor, director, and illustrator, to address the concerns he was having with his existing WordPress website - Mr. Gubler's website was unique in that every element on the site was hand-drawn by him, adding an irreplaceable personal touch to the digital space. However, the prevailing content management system, Wordpress, was not flexible enough to accommodate updates to the hand-drawn items, making it difficult for the client to have full control over the content of his website. Recognizing the need for a more flexible and customizable CMS, we proposed a transition from WordPress to a custom headless CMS, ensuring that the site's unique hand-drawn design would remain exactly the same. The results were highly encouraging, with a significant improvement in bounce rate and session duration.

Bounce Rate Headless Re-Creation

The Problem & Solution

Wordpress (Problem)

The original website was built on WordPress, a traditional CMS. Although WordPress is user-friendly, it wasn't suitable for the unique requirements of As an artist, Mr. Gubler wanted the ability to update his hand-drawn content independently. However, the rigidity of WordPress's theming and content management system meant that he was reliant on external help every time he wished to update the site. This limitation was not only inconvenient but also time-consuming and costly.

Bounce Rate & Session Duration (Problem)

We noticed that the website was experiencing a high bounce rate and shorter session duration. This indicated that users were not engaging with the website content as much as expected, and many were leaving without browsing through other pages. Our client wanted to ensure that his audience was truly engaging with his content, making it essential to find a way to improve these metrics.

Headless Transition (Solution)

Understanding the unique needs of Mr. Gubler, we proposed a transition from WordPress to a custom headless CMS. The key selling point of a headless CMS is its decoupling of the front-end presentation layer and the back-end content management system. This flexibility would allow Mr. Gubler to freely update the hand-drawn items on his website without affecting the design or layout.

Development Time (Solution)

Our development team worked tirelessly to ensure that the transition was seamless. We recreated the exact design of the website on the new headless CMS, providing the client with an interface where he could easily update his content without any technical assistance.


Bounce Rate

33.3% improvement in the bounce rate

Session Duration

Session duration increased by 69.1%


Matthew's team has full control for updates


The Wordpress site was being phished constantly. All hack attempts stopped once the headless site was live.


This case study of is an excellent example of how a custom headless CMS can provide unique solutions for unique needs. Not only did it provide Mr. Gubler with the flexibility and control he needed for his website, but it also significantly improved user engagement. Despite the intricacies of transitioning from WordPress to a headless CMS, the results clearly show the potential benefits of such a switch, particularly when dealing with unique design requirements and a need for greater content control. The flexibility and power of a custom headless CMS not only eliminated the need for external technical help every time a content update was needed, but it also preserved the unique, hand-drawn design of the website, which was integral to the brand's identity.

Interested In Going Headless?

We offer many paths to headless: re-create your existing site, design a custom one or choose from our high-converting pre-builds.