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Migrating The World's Largest Website onto Drupal - Weather.com

At Drupalcon, we had the opportunity to share with the community a case study featuring The Weather Channel (TWC), which has one of the most highly visited web sites in the world (www.weather.com). And, it’s certainly among the largest Drupal sites under development.

The approach was to break the engagement into two phases, the first to address editorial concerns and the second to replace legacy systems and take over the front end serving.

I teamed up with and Chris Hill from TWC to get more insight into the architectural decisions that allowed us to address this complex site’s requirements. Learn how Mediacurrent and TWC were able to work together to both understand and efficiently tackle engineering challenges as they arose.

Here are a few of the pain points that TWC came to us with, and that we will discuss:

  • With over 2 million locations with unique forecasts cache efficiency was low.
  • Feature velocity was a challenge as requirements sometimes change quickly
  • Too many hurdles in the current platform to content generation
  • Too many legacy platforms to support

Some novel innovations that were created within the Drupal framework to support TWC:

  • Presentation framework allows independent teams to create flexible widgets that can vary in presentation based on the consuming device (ESI, native, inline or AngularJS)
  • How mobile has become a hub that supports the mobile apps
  • How the content workflow is write once use many places
  • Highly leveraging ESI and a novel routing concept to increase cache efficiency

Additional Resources:

The Weather Channel Case Study

Building an Enterprise Class Website - Mediacurrent Whitepaper