GTA recently announced its plans to change content management systems from Vignette to Drupal. Drupal is a free software package that allows you to easily organize, manage, and publish your website’s content, with an endless variety of customization tools and features.
Drupal is open source, which means that it's maintained and developed by a community of 630,000+ users and developers. This means:
- No proprietary licensing fees
- Flexible and customizable technology
- Resources for the Drupal code that far outweigh any custom-built CMS
- Years of widespread use and developer contributions
- Better security, with 180 state and federal government websites using Drupal, including www.whitehouse.gov
- Large install base and substantial, active development community.
Notable CMS features include:
- Many high-quality modules available for add-on capability including Google Analytics, mapping features, search functions, and more
- Support for multiple languages
- Easy drag-and-drop organization of content using menus, categories, and views
- Different permission settings for multiple users with easy disabling of access
Drupal is extremely well documented and very mature, having just announced its seventh major release. It has shown the capability to handle 50 million page views/month and 5,000 pages/ second. And it is easy to install and support, running on Windows or any LAMP (Linux, Apache, mySQL, PHP) system.
Other websites running on Drupal include:
- 180 federal and state agencies (http://groups.drupal.org/node/19885#USA)
- Sony Music
- Fast Company
- Grammy Awards
Why are you moving to Drupal?
It’s time for a change. Version 6 of Vignette is at the end of its life, and Vignette no longer supports it. Also, Internet Explorer 8 and 9 have problems with the WYSIWYG editor (eWebEdit Pro), and the editor is not supported in other browsers (Firefox, Chrome).
The transition to Vignette Version 7 (V7) did not go well. We experienced numerous problems with stability, usability and publishing in the system., and because these problems could not be resolved, we have decided to move to a system that is more reliable.
Who will perform the migration?
GTA has contracted with Phase2 Technology, a Washington, D.C.-based company, to lead the migration. They will work with a local firm, Mediacurrent, andAcquia, a Drupal hosting company, to build the new system, host it and migrate the sites. Acquia will also offer ongoing Tier 2 support for any issues that cannot be solved in-house.
When will the migration occur?
Over the next few months, we’ll be working with Phase2 to develop requirements for the new CMS. They will install and customize the new system, help create templates, and write scripts that will automate the migration of content to the new system.
We plan to move V7 sites first, since that platform is the least stable. We should have those sites moved by the end of FY 2012, and the V6 sites should be completed by September 2012.
We will work out a schedule for migrating sites, taking into account the complexity of each site plus other scheduling factors. You will be notified in advance when your site is upcoming in the queue so that you can prepare.
What is Drupal?
Drupal is a free, open source content management system that has been in existence since 2001. It is supported by developers worldwide and is the CMS of choice for such sites as whitehouse.gov, The Economist magazine and the U.S. Department of Education.
What’s the difference between Drupal and Vignette?
Drupal has a lot of benefits over Vignette. It has a larger customer base, including many federal, state, and local government customers. It has a large support community, and the system can be tuned for government-specific needs. Drupal has more useful modules and features that we will be able to use as we make the switch.
Drupal is also more user-friendly. Adding and updating content in Drupal is more intuitive, and actions often require fewer clicks than they do in Vignette. For V7 customers, you will be happy to know that publishing in Drupal always happens instantly, just like it did in V6.
Am I going to have to learn something new?
As when switching to any new software, Drupal will look different than Vignette. But at its core, it does the same thing: manage content. You will still have a WYSIWYG editor, and it will work in all major browsers. And for V7 customers, you will still have in-context editing.
What will I have to do?
You may want to do a little spring cleaning, getting rid of any outdated content or menu items. You may also want to back up any expired or archived content; only live content will be moved.
We’ll notify you when your site is scheduled to be migrated and work with you to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Are we going to get a redesign?
We will offer some new themes and new colors with Drupal, each designed for usability and built with the latest standards. They will give you your own look and feel while still giving users a common experience throughout the state’s website.