NASA Redesigned Its Main Website Using WordPress: Ditching Drupal
Changes are needed every time, and for various reasons. And on the web, things are constantly changing, because the internet is evolving fast.
NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is a U.S. agency that “explores the unknown in air and space, innovates for the benefit of humanity, and inspires the world.”
Its main website, which can be accessed by visiting nasa.gov, is a governmental website, meaning that it’s already significantly influential on its own, just to say the least.
And this time, after a lengthy development, the agency has finally removed the beta label on its website, and revealed that it has ditched the popular content management platform Drupal, in favor of another popular content management website, WordPress.
It took the agency 18 months to migrate all of its data, create a custom web development project, and content building, to this new platform.
NASA ditched Drupal in favor of WordPress.
NASA has a long history, and for more than a few decades, remain as the few places on the web considered to have valid and legitimate data concerning humanity’s knowledge of what lies beyond Earth.
As part of a flagship website, and the source of many other scientific websites, NASA’s website is known for showcasing the innovation and discoveries that have defined the agency for more than 65 years.
And its shift from Drupal to WordPress was a multi-million dollar project began a few years prior, when a combination of the IDEA Act and Drupal 7 end-of-life made the team at NASA to rethink and reconsider the CMS they should use, at least for the foreseeable future.
And this is where the agency began its partnership with Lone Rock Point, a WordPress.com VIP Gold Agency Partner.
The team from the two sides began a year of active user experience redesign, and a thorough evaluation of various enterprise CMS’s that would ultimately end up supporting 456 CMS users, 68,698 migrated pages, and 3,023 new landing pages.
And after the process of redesigning and migrating was completed, the who NASA’s website infrastructure was then migrated from an Amazon Web Services environment to WordPress.com VIP.
It’s said that NASA evaluated both proprietary and open source solutions, and took into consideration over a hundred CMS platforms in the market.
In the end, they narrowed it down to four CMS’s – two were commercial and two were open source (WordPress and Drupal).
And after further consideration, the team completed high level prototyping and user evaluation on all four of the finalists, and concluded that WordPress is the way to go
According to Toothman, there are some factors that set WordPress apart from Drupal. But they main keys include the fact that the learning curve for using WordPress is less steep if compared to Drupal.
This also also highlights WordPress as a reliable CMS with exemplary adaptability for enterprise-level projects with complex publishing requirements.
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