The Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA) has been a longtime client and a Drupal CMS user for many years. Over those years, they have built a massive website with hundreds of pages, news articles, resources, and even subsites. We knew that upgrading a website of this scale from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 would be a large undertaking, but Rapid Development Group felt prepared to step up to the challenge.
CRCNA has been a client of RDG's for many years. We had built their previous website in Drupal 7, and in 2019 they returned to start the conversation about upgrading once again to Drupal 8. Along with the upgrade to Drupal 8, the CRCNA also wanted a minor design refresh to keep up with ever-changing web and design trends. The primary goals of this project were:
- Upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 and migrate existing articles to the new website
- Give the website a fresh new design without straying from their established brand
- Improve web accessibility of the content and structure to comply with ADA guidelines
We were able to achieve these goals while leaving the information architecture and content structure largely unchanged. Because they have many frequent users, CRCNA wanted to minimize the transition that their users would experience once the new website launched.
What We Did
We started by mapping out the existing functionality and content to determine what could be migrated and what would need to be recreated from scratch. In the end, we decided that sections with a lot of content (like news articles) would be migrated, and the remaining pages would be created manually. This allowed us to build a more robust landing page creation system using custom-branded "building blocks" to allow for more content variety and stylistic creativity. When we handed over the keys to allow CRCNA to start building their webpages, we stood by to offer assistance and make improvements until they were happy with the end result.
Drupal 7 will reach end of life in 2021
Upgrade to Drupal 8
Website started to feel out of date
Custom responsive theme with a fresh new look
The CRCNA has many properties that operate under the CRCNA umbrella, each with its own sub-brand. In order to accommodate these unique sections, we developed a system for creating "subsites" within the larger website.
We created an ADA-compliant color palette based on the CRCNA brand standards from which subsites can select their primary and secondary website colors. This allows subsites to differentiate their brand while still remaining an obvious part of the overall CRCNA brand family. In addition, subsites have a separate menu with subpages, custom logo and tagline, and a footer band containing that property's unique contact information.
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