The Markle Foundation
The Markle Foundation, a non-profit located in New York City, aims to harness the potential of information technology to solve public problems related to economic security, health, and national security. Their website serves as a platform to communicate their mission, share news articles, and provide access to a library of around 10,000 reports, policy documents, and related material. The organization sought my assistance as they were dissatisfied with the support they were receiving from their current agency. The website faced several issues, including security, performance, and scalability problems, an outdated design that was not mobile-friendly, and a cumbersome document library that made it difficult to find documents.
Upon being commissioned by Markle, I conducted a website review and discovered the following problems:
- More than 12 months had elapsed since any updates or security fixes had been carried out on the Drupal core or its modules.
- The previous developers had altered the Drupal core in a manner that prevented future updates.
- The custom modules were not created in accordance with Drupal guidelines, leading to several security risks.
- The web server was a Rackspace Virtual Cloud server that had not been set up properly and was not being updated regularly.
Markle hired a design firm to revamp the look and feel of their website, while I was responsible for updating the backend and integrating the theme. The theme was designed using Bootstrap 3.
Due to the impending End of Life of Drupal 6, the website was migrated to Drupal 7, which would secure Markle's investment in the new site for the long term. The modifications made to the Drupal core were removed from the code, and new custom modules were developed as needed to preserve its functionality. Apache SOLR was introduced to enhance document library search capabilities.
The administration interface was overhauled, providing content creators with a more user-friendly platform for creating, editing, and maintaining site content.
The website was transferred from Rackspace to Pantheon, which not only resolved the issue of server monitoring and maintenance but also reduced costs by 75%.