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The Weather Company

Weather.com launched on Drupal and became one of the highest trafficked websites in the world to run on an open source content management system.

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Video Interview

Weather.com Moves to Drupal

Project Highlights

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, teamed up with Mediacurrent to migrate from their previous content management system to Drupal.

Not only were we able to help TWC adopt an open source solution, the new website, structured via a “decoupled” solution, has drastically improved page load times and reduced infrastructure requirements.

  • 100 M

    Monthly visitor support with increased feature velocity and scalability.

  • 100 %

    Increase in cache efficiencies, drastically improving page load times.

  • 175 %

    Streamlined editorial process, reducing publishing workflow from 32 clicks down to 1.

Lightening over a night city scape

Development

Performance and Scalability

Serving weather updates in over 3 million forecast locations creates a resource and traffic-intensive environment. To meet these major performance requirements, we increased cache efficiency by utilizing Javascript and Edge Side Includes for client-side rendering and optimizing calls made to the content delivery network (CDN).

Development

Content Creation Workflow

The previous editorial workflow forced TWC content editors to go through a 20+ click process to publish content. To increase the editorial velocity and simplify the user experience for editors, the Mediacurrent development team had to not only utilize Drupal’s content creation strategies, but also create a number of novel editorial enhancements.

Responsive

Truly Responsive Content

Once editors enter the content for a page on the website, the Drupal system automatically displays the appropriate layout based on the user’s device.
 

Webpage

Flexible Page Layouts

We integrated the configuration and layout of Angular widgets into Panels, giving The Weather Channel team complete control over content placement on a page.

Search Document

Improved Previews

Editors can make quick, low fidelity previews early in the content creation process, allowing them to review the work without having to publish the content publicly or work with a content server.

QuoteIcon of Quotation Marks.

Weather.com serves millions of pages to more than 100 million people each month. The Weather Channel’s move to Drupal shows how complex, content-rich sites benefit from an open, agile platform to deliver an amazing experience for every site visitor.

Dries Buytaert Acquia CTO and Drupal project creator
Close-up view of computer code

Project Management

Flexible Requirements

Knowing that new requirements would emerge throughout the development process,  Mediacurrent chose to manage the project in an agile way. We committed to delivering functional elements of the website in each 2 week sprint. We kept both teams in sync every morning in our daily scrum: reporting on the prior day's work, clearing roadblocks, and setting expectations for what would be completed that day. Keeping in close communication and using short feedback cycles allowed us to easily reprioritize our work as requirements evolved.

Front End Development

Decoupled Drupal

A custom framework, built by Mediacurrent, offers unique advantages as a decoupled Drupal solution. Now, front-end developers at weather.com can rapidly deploy javascript and java widgets while the editorial team modifies pages — no Drupal developer required. This empowers individual teams to work independently, improving both content and feature velocity simultaneously.

Final Thoughts

A Targeted Solution

Moving Weather.com to Drupal was a very complex process, which is why The Weather Company, an IBM Business, turned to Mediacurrent.

By taking the time to understand the requirements and the impact of each decision, Mediacurrent planned a resilient architecture that allows TWC to quickly respond to changing business needs without major disruptions. Our team was able to predict and provide solutions for numerous potential implementation traps that a generalist digital agency might not have been able to recognize.