- Move the existing portal from a fully decoupled CMS to a hybrid CMS.
- Create custom pages and reusable layout components.
- Rebuild the portal and native mobile apps with a fresh look and feel, as well as rich and responsive UX.
- Migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 with the ability to auto-sync data from the existing CMS to the new one.
- Limited control over the existing CMS, less flexibility, high maintenance cost, and no reusability options across brands.
- Little to no control over placement of information on pages like advertisements and recommendations.
- High developer dependency to create pages and add components to article pages.
- Lack of opportunities to effectively engage portal or application users.
- Restricted content personalization.
- Zero advanced search capabilities for CMS, web, and apps.
We transitioned the portal from a fully decoupled CMS to a hybrid CMS, without compromising on core CMS capabilities. The hybrid CMS uses Drupal for both the frontend and backend.The mobile apps were built through native Android/iOS architecture and REST APIs being exposed for mobile users. The solution employed a two-pronged approach to address different needs; one for CMS users and the other for product users:
CMS users are now able to:
- Easily curate content and tag pages.
- Quickly add new components, features, and sections. For example, special reports, microsites, layouts, and so on.
- Extensively leverage the drag and drop UI feature.
- Safely push content by using the article locking feature.
- Leverage SEO friendly modules to ensure the SEO readiness of content.
- Exercise better control over advertisements.
Web site/App Users:
Chinese portal’s web and mobile users can now:
- Read news, hassle free, due to the seamless interaction on the platform of their choice- desktop, tablet, or mobile.
- Enjoy a personalized experience with news feeds based on their preferences.
- View live and exclusive content in the form of live blogs, live broadcasting, and so on.
- Easily share comments or feedback with the editorial team through WhatsApp or email.
- Receive content recommendations from CIA and Outbrain.
The following diagram illustrates a top-level view of the CMS architecture:
The transition to a hybrid CMS was executed through EzContent - a Drupal distribution built by Srijan, and with Acquia Cloud Platform as the host. For the web front end, we implemented the Emulsify Design System. We used the Swift and Kotlin programming languages for native iOS and Android implementation respectively. Additionally, third-party integrations for different platforms, such as Cloudinary, Brightcove, Algove, and Omny Studio, were built into the CMS.
- Higher user retention on the web portal and mobile apps through new and improved UX.
- Content publishing cycle greatly reduced for content editors.
- No developer intervention required to create unstructured landing pages via layout builder.
- Readers receive Push notifications for breaking news and the most important stories of the day
- Faster delivery of content and substantially lesser strain on the backend.
- The client is planning to extend the capabilities of the hybrid CMS to other media brands in its portfolio.