Seattle Children's Alliance

Another Drupal 8 site upgrade! In June of 2016 we were approached by Seattle’s Children’s Alliance for a Drupal 5 to Drupal 8 migration. Their main concern was that their Drupal 5 site modules were no longer being supported by the community, along with a cease in security updates. Also, they wanted to have a site that was mobile friendly with a fresh look and feel.

We first started by identifying the user stories based on the guidelines that the organization had provided us. We rebuilt the site to reinforce the Children’s Alliance brand, voice, and organizational goals/values. Then, we re-shifted the content around so it would be a smoother user experience, whereas the user is clearly guided to the calls to action on the site. Following on that, we made sure to place more prominence on the user experience around joining and donating to the Children’s Alliance causes and organization.

But before we could really dig in, first and foremost we had to do the migration of content. What we planned was to do a very quick 2-step migration of site content: run a Drupal 5 → Drupal 6 upgrade on a copy of the site, and then use that as the base for a Drupal 6 →Drupal 8 migration. We made sure that blog posts and resources made it over correctly, with file attachments, titles, body content, and tags. We figured that if anything further came across, great! – but to keep the costs down we did not anticipate moving any custom functionality over, but to instead rework that on the new D8 infrastructure.

Once we did the migration, dropped in our Business Site Package template, rebuilt custom views, and began to rework the home page, we were able to improve upon the UX and user stories. Our out-of-the-box template made them mobile responsive, and then we were really able to dig into making their site much more user friendly. We integrated their Salsa SaaS donation functionality onto their site, built some really cool blog functionality, and completely custom staff bio page.

When we built the blog functionality, the client really wanted to have some color coordination in the theme that works with the type of blog posts, tags and taxonomy terms. So, we ended up color coordinating the types of issues for the posts, and then making sure that the tags were coordinated in the theme. Also, we found that using twig is much simpler than Drupal 7 PHP templates, and really helped us easily build more powerful applications around it. Tightened security is an advantage as well, since PHP code can no longer be embedded directly into templates. The blog came together wonderfully! We were able to launch in early December 2016.

Children’s Alliance is on our maintenance and retainer support plan, which is included with a base Business Site Package for 1 year after purchase. We’re very happy that we were able to work on this project. They’re a great group and work towards a great cause! Please give and help support if you can.  

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