Migrating The Worlds Largest Website Onto Drupal
Congrats to Mediacurrent and The Weather Channel (TWC) for relaunching Weather.com on Drupal!
I attended their presentation at DrupalCon [ https://austin2014.drupal.org/session/migrating-worlds-largest-website-drupal-weathercom ] and really enjoyed it.
Weather.com is of the most highly visited web sites in the world. And, it’s certainly among the largest Drupal sites in the wild.
To migrate, TWC and Mediacurrent had to address editorial concerns, replace legacy systems, and take over the front end serving.
Jason Smith (Mediacurrent) and Chris Hill (TWC) provide more insight into the architectural decisions that allowed them to address this complex site’s requirements:
Here are a few of the pain points:
- With over 2 million locations with unique forecasts cache efficiency was low.
- Feature velocity was a challenge as requirements sometimes change quickly
- Too many hurdles in the current platform to content generation
- Too many legacy platforms to support
Some novel innovations that were created within the Drupal framework to support TWC:
- Presentation framework allows independent teams to create flexible widgets that can vary in presentation based on the consuming device (ESI, native, inline or AngularJS)
- How mobile has become a hub that supports the mobile apps
- How the content workflow is write once use many places
- Highly leveraging ESI and a novel routing concept to increase cache efficiency