Migrating and Distributing Content with Acquia Content Hub
by Adam DeGiorgio
Guest blogger Adam DeGiorgio is a Director at Salsa Digital, an Acquia agency partner. Adam was Salsa’s very first employee back in 2003 and has spent most of his tenure as Managing Director. Recently, he moved into a relationship management role to spend more time working with clients, his true passion. This is part two of the series.
Content management between multiple sites can be a challenge. When working with a large legal firm to deploy their “Graduate” family of sites after moving them from Sitecore to Drupal, we needed a tool to help facilitate content management between 50+ country and lateral sites that would be efficient for both administrators and non-technical users. Acquia Content Hub made that happen.
While designing the solution for our client in 2015, Acquia introduced Salsa to Content Hub and we decided to include it as part of the solution. We believe this was Australia's first implementation of Content Hub.
Implementing Content Hub
As early adopters of Content Hub we found a number of bumps in the implementation related to support for broader community modules. However, keeping an architecture that utilises Drupal’s core APIs kept those bumps to a minimum. With any new implementation late in the game, the main challenge was working out how to retrofit a new system into a site that wasn’t built with Content Hub in mind. Working with Acquia, and specifically our technical account manager Josh Waihi, enabled us to manage the architectural challenges that arose as we discovered the capabilities of Content Hub.
Initially, the individual countries were going to be configured in the backend, including their representation in the country selector in the front end of the site. Knowing that Content Hub was entity based allowed us to move this into a configurable entity, making it easier for content editors to have some control over how items in the country selector would appear in the UI, rather than it being defined in the code.
Overall we found that Content Hub was quite easy to work with. It’s based on the Drupal Entity API using UUID’s to maintain the link between content across the linked sites. Once that concept was clear it was fairly straightforward to structure the site to work with it.
Building a central authoring environment shifts traditional Drupal site projects from being just front-end focused to also looking at the UX for content editorial.
The structure of the legal firm’s sites ensured a straightforward process to replicate the site for new regions. The simple tag based filtering and synchronisation system within Content Hub made it very easy to link up the new sites. The backend configuration for attaching a new sub site requires just a simple form is completed to add in the API credentials.
Saving Time and Money
Using Drupal paired with Content Hub has transformed the way our client can go about spinning up new microsites, which in effect has created a massive edge by facilitating fast go to market for new campaigns. For example: before Drupal, a new basic five page microsite would cost many tens of thousands of dollars in licensing fees, plus another six figures for implementation and about three months to execute that one site. We’re about to set up over 40 new microsites which will cost less than these licensing fees alone, and be done in about 4 weeks, thanks to Drupal and Content Hub.
Content Hub was the right solution for this project. Given there was a need for numerous country sites with a lot of similar content, it made total sense to create a platform to easily share that content across those sites from one place, rather than duplicating the content multiple times. Without Content Hub, not only would this be more work initially, but an enormous strain on content maintenance resources and costs.