Publishing / Media


IT news portal with global audience migrated from two Wordpress to to a Drupal 8

Case description

The first version of was launched in 2013 on WordPress. The site has been remade on Drupal 8 due to the WordPress' lack of adaptivity to a 21st century CMS and its needs. As part of a remake, we migrated two news site’s content into a single Drupal and integrated many 3rd party services.

Case goals and results

Our scope was to remake a site in a more comprehensive and future-proof way learning from the mistakes made in the past. This way no major visual upgrades were made for the end-users, but the backend has its own improvements. During the migration from WP to D8 we made many structural changes including changes to the main navigation, reorganized the content and threw out the unnecessary features in order to achieve the best possible performance.
Since the platform is 3rd-party-heavy, we just as much needed to rely on the community as much to create custom modules. We provided a new Contextly integration, made several patches for Yoast, ported and improved the Contextly module written originally for Drupal 7 and customized the Thunder admin theme. During the project, we learned the iframely, Algolia, AMP, Disqus and from inside out to achieve the desired goals.

As a result, we created a platform much faster than WordPress was with a clean backend and an editorial UI already way better than stock Drupal including workflow management for external editors.

“Some @diginomica site stats for the nerds - now running 78% faster (close to Google speed), traffic up 15-16% consistently, bounce rate down 3.5%, thanks to @BrainsumCOM” -

SEO boosted by the performance, thanks to the CDN and a full AMP implementation organic search traffic is now up by 26%!


Wordpress is fairly good at this point, so we had to work on the admin UI to avoid dissatisfaction. Luckily the Thunder admin theme was available and offered a much better UX for editors than stock Drupal.

Contextly - a smart suggesting system based on the metadata of the content
Disqus - instant commenting solution
Algolia - the fastest search we've ever seen
iframely - the media provider for cca 2000 media types - the better version of Google Analytics
Yoast - SEO optimization service
AMP - a custom responsive theme for Google's search result cache
Google Analytics Reporting API is used to download content statistics and generating "Best of" lists.

We were able to design a better content structure with Drupal, but during the migration from two Wordpress sites we had to deal with inconsitencies and edge-cases.

Community contributions

We rewrote the Contextly module to Drupal 8 and added some extra features missing from the D7 module, like the manual selection of related articles.
We added multiple patches for the Yoast SEO module and the Thunder admin theme.

Why should this case win the splash awards?

Drupal has proven its strengths and advantages compared to WordPress, but we also got a closer look at the benefits of WordPress and areas where we could improve our CMS.
The Drupal community should be proud of this win and the world should recognize Drupal as the go-to technology for the media and publishing industry, especially for complex, larger projects.
This project is also a proof of the open-source approach and the power of community. Without the contribution of other developers around the world, we could not achieve our goals and meet the deadline, while maintaining client satisfaction.