As part of our ongoing contract with Centaur Media Group to update and migrate a number of their sites to WordPress, Homebuilding was launched in late April 2015. The Homebuilding & Renovating brand covers both print and web and provides information and case studies on renovations, conversions and home improvement to the general public.
- Migration from Drupal to WordPress
- Responsive design
- ADTECH integration
- Plugin development
- Creation of a Registration Wall
- Ongoing user support
Key Client Requirements
Having worked with Centaur on previous migrations, we quickly identified what the client required and how best to achieve our mutual end goals. There were a number of key components to this build as outlined below:
- Migration from the Drupal platform onto a more common WordPress based platform.
- Implementation of a Sourcebook feature to allow home renovators to find information about suppliers and goods.
- Advert management using our Adtech plugin.
- Smooth handling across mobile platforms, including manipulation of designs, to ensure compatibility across screen sizes.
- Development of a credits system, enabling the ability to show different people involved in an article.
- Implementation of our Hub Pages technology, for ease of building and managing pages using the familiar WordPress UI.
- Advanced search.
Migration from Drupal
We have experience of migrating websites both from Webvision and Drupal and have developed our own scripts to painlessly assist with this process. The migration process was reasonably straight forward, as the source data was fairly consistent, allowing for a seamless transition to WordPress.
Improvements to site search
All projects come with their own challenges and constraints and this build was no exception. One challenge we faced was improving the performance of WordPress’s search without using an external system such as Google CSE, Elasticsearch or Solr, like we’d usually use on a site of this size.
Although we’ve got our own plugins to work well with external providers, in this case the client are building their own search platform, which we will work with in the future. Until this is completed we needed something that, on a large site like this, wouldn’t grind the servers to a halt – especially if too many people made search queries. The solution was to extend and update our WordPress Advanced Search plugin which leverages the database’s own indexing abilities. Although it has its limitations compared to a dedicated search engine, it gives relevancy to search results and has a far lighter load on the servers.
Implementation of Sourcebook
A notable feature of this build was the implementation of a Sourcebook feature. Users of the site are often interested to know where certain goods can be sourced and which supplier has been used. With this in mind, we have developed Sourcebook, to allow users of the site to find and source the information they require.
It is now over three months since the Homebuilding website was launched and we are pleased to report both a satisfied client and satisfied users. All in all this was another successful build for Centaur, who have been moving an increasingly large proportion of their portfolio over to WordPress. As a company we are happy with the results and feedback we have received. If you want to view the site yourself, head over to the Homebuilding site for a peek.