Drupal Gardens enables easy website rebuild and maintenance
Asked to assist with the company’s aging website, William Hayes, Senior Vice President of Platform Development at Selventa, a biomarker discovery company, could see that drastic measures were in order. Because the site was built with a difficult custom CMS, no significant structural changes could be made without the original coders. The site needed to be completely rebuilt.
Having worked with Drupal for four years, Hayes knew that the open source platform would play a part in the new site. He also wanted a site that the company’s Business Administrator, Alissa Stanley, could maintain. The solution had to provide all the features on Selventa’s wish list. Hayes found everything he wanted with Drupal Gardens.
“Drupal Gardens provides powerful tools that give me control over the site. I can make changes as I need them without having to wait for a developer.”
– Alissa Stanley, Business Administrator at Selventa
Hayes explains, “Managing our own Drupal site would require a fair amount of administrative time. Drupal requires a lot of updates, both for contributed modules as well as Drupal core. Acquia takes care of all that for Drupal Gardens.
“Other basic infrastructure, for example, hosting, is set up very well. In our research, we found some difficulties in dealing with Amazon servers. With Drupal Gardens, Acquia handles that.”
Having decided on Drupal Gardens, Hayes needed a developer to set up the site and duplicate the previous site’s look and feel, or theme. Through an associate in the Drupal community, he found Susan MacPhee, a Drupal Gardens partner. Hayes remembers, “Having Susan do the initial setup and a lot of the theming was invaluable. That was a level above what Alissa could do or what I had the time to help with.”
For her part, Stanley has enjoyed her involvement with Drupal Gardens. “The thing I like best is being able to make changes myself rather than going through someone else, then testing it and making sure it works before I make it go live.
“Editing content is very easy, and adding graphics, but I can even making structural changes.” Views functionality, available through Drupal Gardens, provides an interface for organizing a site’s content. Stanley continues, “When Selventa participates in conferences, team members often present posters. We wanted
to display these on our website, and with Views, I created a page to do that. When Selventa presents posters in the future, I can easily input them, and they’ll automatically be included in the view in the order in which they were presented.
“I have some background in HTML, which builds the structure of the site, but I don’t know CSS, which determines display. With Drupal Garden’s Themebuilder, I’m able to create custom padding, borders, and other design elements not available to me before.
“For our old site, we evaluated our SEO with online tools, and discovered that we were a little behind. Drupal Gardens has good SEO design built in and makes it simple to put key words in the right spots. It’s easy to refresh content and keep it relevant, also important for SEO.”
The new site launched in September of 2012. Hayes reports, “Drupal Gardens has made a world of difference. Selventa.com is a workable website now, completely managed by Alissa. She can do a lot more with the site now than she ever could before.
“The first site I set up in Drupal was a departmental website. Even though the staff could use it well, I had to get involved with anything beyond the ordinary. In contrast, I haven’t helped at all with our selventa.com website, and neither has anyone else from our IT staff. Susan set it up and Alissa has managed it thereafter. Which for me is great, and frees me to concentrate on our core mission of using biomarkers to determine which drugs will be most effective for an individual.
“I would recommend Drupal Gardens to anybody, and I’ve actually helped set up several Drupal Gardens sites for associates and friends. I recommend it because it’s quick and easy to set up and easy to manage.”
- 100% improvement in control of website
- 100% improvement in response from vendor support
- 0 time needed for in-house IT support