Weather.com Moving to Drupal
by Dave Terry
Today, I am proud to announce that one of the highest profile websites in the world, Weather.com, will be joining the Drupal community. With 100 million unique visitors per month, to my knowledge, Weather.com will be the highest traffic Drupal site in existence, validating the open source content management system's power and flexibility within the high-traffic website landscape.
It is easy to understand why Weather.com, based in Atlanta, Ga., though barely two years into a contract with its current vendor, needed to rethink its content management system approach. One of the primary goals of the media organization is to get content out of the editor’s bay and onto its site in minutes. Anything that slows that process down, stands in the way of the company’s success.
The existing CMS takes too long to get content to the audience and is cumbersome. Users have reported that the system had a clunky, hard-to-use interface and required up to 14 clicks just to publish content. With the velocity at which weather reports occur, Weather.com needed a platform that would allow content administrators to rapidly release those updates. This is an area where Drupal excels.
To identify a new CMS, Weather.com spent about a year doing a significant amount of due diligence, ruling out proprietary systems, such as Adobe CQ and SDL Tridion. Weather.com did not want to be held hostage to a 5-year product road map or be highly vendor dependent. This ruled out closed-source code options. Drupal became the top choice for its ease of use, flexibility, and speed in which it allowed users—even non-technically savvy ones—to publish new content. Additionally, the ability to innovate and create customized features were highly appealing.
"We have often turned to excellent large-scale open source projects to solve our technology needs. Drupal is a fantastic CMS backed by a highly skilled and motivated set of developers. It is a great fit for us from both a technological and cultural standpoint," said Chris McClellen, Senior Vice President, Systems Engineering for The Weather Company.
Over the last six months, Mediacurrent and Acquia have been shepherding Weather.com’s on-ramping of Drupal via a proof-of-concept and discovery engagement. The media organization will now have a platform it can grow with and will no longer need to worry about delivering timely content to its massive amount of followers. We are looking forward to the next part of the journey.
Dave Terry is a partner at Mediacurrent, a Drupal consultancy based in Atlanta, GA. In addition to making sure everything is running smoothly behind the scenes, Dave’s most important responsibility is ensuring that Mediacurrent exceeds client expectations on every project.