I've got to be honest -- I don't really like working with WordPress. That's probably because when I do, it tends to be last minute, desperate situations so the code I'm dealing with is usually a nightmare. It was really nice to be given an opportunity to use the good parts of WordPress and work from a totally clean slate.
The Membership Guide speaks to a lot of different journalism audiences, so naturally it has lots of types of kinds of information. Keeping it all organized, but within reach was a challenge. Content-rich WordPress sites are easy to get wrong, devolving into slow loading monsters. We had a really nice design to work from, which helped a lot. Since I had a clean slate, I was able to decide if I wanted to use traditional server WP, REST or pure-JS for most features as I went along. Overall, the result is a decent looking site that performs well and isn't immediately identified as WordPress.
You can see The Membership Guide at membershipguide.org.