We were engaged by the History of Parliament Trust to work on their flagship website that publishes the results of research into the members and constituencies of all British parliaments since 1386. This data rich web site is managed by the Drupal CMS and has tens of thousands of 'nodes'. We were tasked with solving various issues with the site's performance and importing data from the DTP files used to create the published volumes.
A real challenge that required an in depth understanding of Drupal and how to get the best performance from the database and the web site code. The data import was made possible by our in-house XML translation tools. We re-factored much of the existing code and rebuilt the site using the existing 'theme' design. Due to go live in 2011 the site now performs excellently and uses a variety of caching and other performance techniques. We refactored a lot of the existing code and developed the technology 'stack' to maximise the site performance. This involved a degree to troubleshooting the Drupal installation and removing bottlenecks in the code base. The resulting site is a high performance rich Drupal site that uses the original design and navigation. The work undertaken resulted in a leaner code base and streamlined page production process. Highly significant performance gains were delivered through the use of caching and code optimisation and the reconfiguration of the server environment. This resulted in a faster, more secure site with a lower footprint.
We were also commissioned to extend the functionality of the site to present a preview version of the latest research period 1832-68. For this we used a variety of modules both custom and contributed and extensions to the existing theme to enhance the backend data editing functionality and the fron end presentation.
We also undertook integration of Google analytics and search engine optimisation ready for the site to go live. The site is currently in client and invitation review and is password protected on a public facing site on a dedicated server.
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