Gumtree

Building smart, fast and informative content
hubs for the UK’s leading classifieds ads website

Gumtree is the UK’s number one classified ads site – over a third of the country’s population uses it every month to find cars, services and second-hand items locally and affordably.

The company, which is part of the eBay group, recently commissioned Big Bite to build an enterprise level WordPress ecosystem, enabling it to efficiently self-build and self-publish articles across multiple content hubs.

Optimised editorial to increase traffic and consumer confidence

Working in collaboration with the brand and its editorial providers, we launched its first content hubs – Gumtree Cars and Gumtree Lifestyle – in April 2021. The sites have been developed to give users a wealth of information around the types of goods featured on Gumtree, empowering them to make well-informed choices about their purchases. We built a unique Gumtree WordPress theme to facilitate a wide range of article formats, including:

  • Advice articles – Comprehensive guides covering everything there is to know about purchasing and selling pre-owned items
  • Best-of lists – Unbiased expert opinions and recommendations suitable for every budget
  • Reviews – In-depth analysis of popular models and professional advice on the latest car tech

Rich content not only improves the SEO of the hubs to gain more organic traffic, it also significantly strengthens consumer confidence, answers questions potentially acting as purchasing barriers, and ultimately encourages further sales via Gumtree’s classified ads.

Accurate data available in an instant

Specifically for Gumtree Cars, the client required a unique page for each make and model, including detailed vehicle specs to ensure its users have all the info they need to make a purchasing decision. To achieve this manually would’ve taken an astronomical number of hours from its editorial teams, and would be extremely difficult to maintain – crucial for accuracy – so we took an API-approach to resolve the challenge. By merging and integrating two APIs into WordPress, we were able to bring together a vast amount of car specifications and make the data instantly accessible to Gumtree’s end users. Now, when users search for a particular car make and model on the hub, they’re presented with a page that includes an incredible array of vehicle info including fuel type, engine capacity, and boot dimensions, all neatly displayed in a concise table.

Gumtree Date Table

Launching new verticals faster than ever

In addition to developing its content hubs, Gumtree appointed Big Bite to enable it to self-build and self-publish content in the longer term. To deliver this requirement, we developed an infrastructure using the Gutenberg block editor – an ideal solution for an enterprise level organisation that wants to create and launch landing pages in-house while maintaining an on-brand core design, high levels of information security and a refined UI and UX. Now that Gumtree has a solid WordPress foundation and the building blocks it needs to create and publish content efficiently, we can continue to help it launch more verticals quicker and easier than ever before.

The WordPress ecosystem also acts as a central point for all of the brand’s current and future hubs, which means content can be easily shared across its sites and linked back to a single source to manage updates and revisions. Content can also be unsynced to allow localisation on individual content hubs.

Publishing with Gutenberg at enterprise level

The work we’ve delivered on behalf of Gumtree is the latest in a series of case studies that demonstrates the power, flexibility and usability that WordPress, and specifically Gutenberg, offers publishing teams. The editorial workflows that exist in the multi-site environment enable Gumtree’s teams to quickly publish new content, further enhanced by the additional custom-built tools, workflows and REST API developed by Big Bite. 

Even before Gutenberg’s official release in 2018, Big Bite has been focused on pushing the boundaries of the block-based editor. The popularity of the drag and drop CMS continues to grow, with some of the world’s largest sites including The Times and Octopus Group using Gutenberg components. Nick Gernert, CEO of WordPress VIP talks here about Gutenberg being the single most important development in the history of WordPress and cites Big Bite’s work with News Corp as a best-in-class example.

From car guides to our safety hub, our new WordPress powered platform allows us to reach more users in more ways. Prior to working with Big Bite, we had limited ability to publish and seed out content. Big Bite developed our platform using Gutenberg, to allow our non-technical teams to self-build and self-publish content, ensuring we can drive scale and at speed without relying on technical resource in-house. We’re also able to create and publish articles in a vast range of formats across multiple content hubs, all via a single interface.

Hannah Rouche, Chief Marketing Officer