5x50 is an inspirational fitness challenge that promotes healthy living. Unlike one-off fitness goals, 5x50 is designed to change your exercise habits for life. What started as a personal challenge between 2 friends caught the imaginations of many and resulted in over 5,000 people taking part in 5x50’s first year. What’s more, it raised over £75,000 for charity.

Industry: Health and Fitness, charity

Platform: Drupal

Head Office: Glasgow

Challenge: With 5x50 growing faster than anyone could ever have imagined, it needed a website that could cope... fast.

Charity membership site for Challenge

"When we invited developers to present to us for this project, Cohesion Digital was the only company that could meet our strict service level agreements and supply the back-up we needed to limit the risk going into what we’re hoping to be our busiest ever year"

Brian Canavan, 5x50 Trustee

The challenge

Build a site that can manage the unprecedented growth and traffic the 5x50 challenge is attracting, integrate with charity and social sites and create a community where 5x50 participants can record and share their fitness achievements.

When people started to show an interest in the challenge, 5x50 aimed to get 200 people involved. What they got was over 5,000 in 43 countries.

With similar numbers the following year, it was clear the challenge had really inspired people worldwide.

As a result the site grew organically and the unexpected popularity meant it would buckle when traffic was high.

There were also sometimes issues with people not being able to make donations if partner sites were having problems.

With Sport Relief and JustGiving forming new partnerships for 2014, 5x50 is getting increased exposure and is expecting even higher numbers. It was important to have a website that was properly built and could cope with high volumes of visitors.


A secure, cost-effective and beautiful site built with Drupal

Cohesion Digital recognised straight away that Drupal was the right platform for the job.

With Drupal, 5x50 now enjoy's:

  • Seamless integration with external sites such as JustGiving, Facebook and Twitter. Naturally 5x50 can only control the experience the participant gets on their own site, so in case there are problems on a partner site such as JustGiving, clear customer service messages from 5x50 have been built in.
  • An infrastructure that will scale with demand. So when thousands of people log on in March at the start of the challenge, a consistently good user experience is had by all.
  • Large time savings. Previously the people behind 5x50 found they spent a lot of time managing sign ups and donations – something that wasn’t convenient as most of them run their own businesses. Now the site takes care of it all.
  • Ongoing support and contingency from Cohesion Digital. With the weekend that marks the start of the challenge always the site’s busiest time of year, Cohesion Digital is on standby to monitor the site and hosting.


A usable, enjoyable website that can cope with demand.

  • Website delivered to spec and met strict service level agreements.
  • Participants can share achievements through social media with auto-tweeting and auto-posting options – key to 5x50’s growth.
  • Smooth donations process through JustGiving, which hands the user back to 5x50 when the donation is complete.
  • Experienced developers on hand in the event of unexpected problems, limiting risk and allaying any fears.

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