A smooth migration from Drupal to WordPress with Plan International
Migrating a site from one web platform to another is no small task, but the team at Plan International knew exactly what they needed from their provider. With a clear vision and some epic teamwork, here’s how we helped make it happen.
About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Operating independently from governments, religions and political parties, they have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are active in over 70 countries.
Baking in efficiency for Plan International’s teams
Due to high levels of customization and the specific version number used (7), Plan International’s Drupal platform wasn’t able to update automatically. Sites and languages were managed manually via URL, which led to lots of potential issues with duplicated content, non-canonical URLs and a website in need of some organization.
As the current CMS had been developed organically over a number of years, it wasn’t user-friendly – functionality was clunky, buggy, and problems were not easily resolved. With up to 200 editors worldwide and 50+ sites, Plan International also wanted to improve their language capabilities, and to grant varying levels of ownership and editorial control to non-admin users. Empowering local users to manage content without the help of the digital team was also key.
When Plan International approached us, their sites’ pages weren’t being added to the XML sitemap automatically, and some legacy pages were still listed. Lots of bespoke development had eventually resulted in a difficult-to-maintain site which ran slowly and had historically been prone to outages, leading to extended downtime if occurring outside business hours. There was also a lack of documentation and training materials for new users.
Empowering local teams with user-friendly functionality
Altis reached out to our partner Angry Creative to deliver the consultancy, design and production of the new site. Working hand-in-hand with us, Angry Creative provided consultancy to match Plan International’s desired UX and design vision with a practical Gutenberg approach and wider WordPress compatibility.
Since a big part of Plan International’s requirements centered around local editorial needs, ensuring that the switch from Drupal to WordPress included tailoring to non-technical users and supported multi-language functionality was key.
As well as setting up subsites to allow transitions between language versions, we also helped Plan International move to an efficient multisite setup with custom domains. Altis Cloud’s 202 content delivery network points of presence (CDN PoP) helps with this complex multisite setup, particularly when so many languages are involved. While this isn’t possible in an out-of-the box WordPress solution, Altis’ cloud capabilities made it happen, creating efficiencies by helping the client’s team shorten their operational process.
When it comes to significant numbers of users and content creators, it’s important to maintain consistency as well as security. The subset architecture means each relevant stakeholder only has access to certain areas of the site, and with Angry Creative, we helped design custom automated workflows and publication checklists to improve operations in a trustworthy way.
Add to this Altis’ minimal cookie defaults and inbuilt consent solution and we were on to a winner: consistent styles, correct-size images, and fully GDPR compliant.
Supporting fundraising through CRM & data capture
With Angry Creative, we undertook product management to ensure maximum value. Moving forward, Plan International will be following a roadmap of fine-tuning and development using the Altis A/B testing functionality.
As a global non-profit organization, some microsites are used for fundraising purposes, and so supporting these efforts through CRM and data capture, as well as social media integrations, will be on the near-term horizon. The structure and processes that Human Made and Altis have provided will help to springboard these initiatives.
What’s more, the site architecture is also helping to kick off a cultural shift towards a more hands-on approach to content creation.
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