Under the leadership of Somedia Publishing project manager Tom Schneider, the development of the new version of the biggest newsportal of Grison has already begun at the end of 2016. MD Systems was involved right at the start with Sascha Grossenbacher as a technical lead.
Like the previous version, suedostschweiz.ch is based on NP8. Since the release of the last version (in 2015) NP8 has experienced numerous improvements and extensions. Thus it contained much more functionality this time. However, this was only one of the reasons for a relaunch after only two years.
Another reason was that the design of the website was modernized and is full-responsive now. The design was created and implemented by Somedia. The old, separate mobile site could thus be completely replaced. Furthermore the development of the new app was thereby simplified. All these factors lead to improvements in the performance of the website and make all the features of the website accessible on mobile.
Numerous customer specific features
Some additional customer specific features have been developed during the project. For the first time, MD Systems dealt intensively with Drupal Commerce 2.x for the implementation of the subscription shop of suedostschweiz.ch, for example. More about our experience with Commerce 2.x is available in a separate blogpost.
In addition to the integration of Paragraphs, SDA videos, Elvis DAM, and improved regionalization, there were numerous other minor and major issues and tasks which MD Systems resolved. Since we gained unique expert know-how with Drupal 8 news portals in the past years, we could ideally support Somedia in various implementation tasks.
Additionally, MD Systems took over the extensive migration - probably one of the first Drupal 8 to Drupal 8 migrations ever! Numerous users, 620'000 news articles and 250'000 media files were migrated.
A first complete migration with all news, media files and users has already been carried out for the Beta-Go-Live at the beginning of April. Afterwards, the new and the old version ran in parallel for another month. The articles, media, users, and all changes made on the old system during this time have been incrementally transferred to the new website. This ensured that the new productive system was up-to-date at the Go-Live.
The result was great! As planned, the beta version was already live at the beginning of April and on 2 May, shortly after 10.00 am the official Go-Live took place. Some few minor problems occurred, but that happens at every relaunch of this project scope and all of them could be resolved quickly. Generally, everything ran very smoothly. This was also due to the close and well coordinated cooperation between Somedia and MD Systems.
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