Creating a Decoupled E-Commerce Solution for Waldo’s Friends

About Waldo’s Friends

Waldo’s Friends is a not-for-profit organisation that runs an online store and a collection of resources for creating awareness and raising funds for animal rescue. Their shop has dozens of ethically produced goods including bandanas, vests, T-shirts, pins, mugs and more that add to the ever-growing selection. 

Previously, their internal design team used Material UI for website design. When their WordPress setup started causing issues with performance, speed and ease of making plugin updates, they felt it was time for a revamp.

An engineering overhaul

Waldo’s Friends ( communicated three key pain points they wanted to address performance, speed and future proofing. The website was image-heavy and ran on WooCommerce for its e-commerce features. The goal was to get the user to the checkout page as fast as possible.

rtCamp immediately set out finding a platform for the frontend and Next.js ticked all the boxes perfectly. 

The Power of Decoupled WordPress

WordPress CMS was hosted on Flywheel, and the Next.js application on Vercel. When a visitor lands on the site, Next.js breaks down the homepage elements and serves them up using decoupled WordPress. 

Speed and performance

Using Next.js, rtCamp could also implement lazy loading of images across the site to boost performance. And that was paired with automatic image compression, removing the need for similar or related action on the WordPress side. 

Since Waldo’s Friends was moving from a .com to .org domain, the rtCamp team had a little more work to do on the SEO front. All links and SEO juice remained intact, crucially preserving Waldo’s Friends’ rankings. 

Fast and efficient e-commerce checkout

The shared aim was getting visitors to the checkout page as quickly as possible. We achieved this by implementing the Stripe Gateway for purchases. Our team came to the decision that Stripe would fit Waldo’s Friends best based on the platform’s robust security when collecting users’ credit card information.

This checkout feature runs on Stripe’s own servers, which made it an easy and secure choice to leverage. 

Benefits of Gutenberg

With customized Gutenberg blocks, we gave the internal team the power to create new pages efficiently. In terms of performance, landing pages and single article pages consistently load within 30ms.


The focus was creating backend infrastructure that supports a fast, high-performance website. At the same time, Waldo’s Friends still wanted the easy content creation made possible by Gutenberg’s block-based editor. That was all the more crucial as, at the time they reached out, they were planning to significantly increase the number of landing pages they had. 

A Faster-Performing, Easier-to-Update Website

With a re-engineered website that uses a decoupled architecture to combine the power of Gutenberg and a powerful frontend, Waldo’s Friends can more easily update their content while offering visitors greater speed and responsiveness.

When users shop the range of apparel and accessories on the site, Stripe’s secure platform keeps their credit card information safe. And all these improvements came as Waldo’s Friends seamlessly switched to a .org domain that captures their mission-driven work.

Logo of Waldo's Friends - rtCamp's Client

From day one, rtCamp impressed us with their extreme attention to detail and project management. They implemented our designs beautifully and launched the new domain – including a full migration from .com to .org within the forecasted timeline.

If your brand needs expertise in decoupled WordPress architecture along with e-commerce, get in touch with us and our experts will start a conversation.

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