Organizing and architecting the content was actually our biggest challenge. Bigger than building the site. Here were a few of their pain points:

1. Multifaceted content needed search.

The Basilica has an enormous amount of content. People seek out the Basilica for everything from weddings to baptisms to outreach to art fairs. Visitors were always searching for something, and no two searches were alike. With dozens of contributors constantly posting new content and blog posts, there was too much content to ever be contained within navigational elements. We wanted visitors to immediately find what they were looking for, rather than taking ten clicks to find out the next mass time.

Most people don't browse when they come to a website. They search. That's because most people don't know what they're looking for. We've found this true across e-commerce, marketing, and many other websites. It was also true for the Basilica's audience.

2. An editorial bottleneck.

The church had a website committee of eight people, each representing a different department. Getting everyone to agree on look, feel, and content was challenging. The person in charge of content for Ministries isn't in charge of content for the Youth section. What if they sound different? They also didn't have a way for all of those users to be able to edit content. One person, the designated editor, was the holdup. They wanted to streamline their approvals process and define one cohesive message for everyone.

3. Users transitioning from desktops to mobile phones.

As we all know, mobile websites are a necessity these days. This church is a fixture in the community. Events are always going on. Lots of foot traffic, commuting. People want to easily find things from their mobile devices.



Our clients didn't know they wanted Drupal. We recommended it because it could meet all their business requirements. It's a best-in-class open-source tool specifically for CMS, and it does most of the jobs we need it to do the best. Here's why we recommended Drupal for this project.

1. Multiple editors needed to be able to edit content.

2. They needed multiple levels and roles for editing. for example, Editors vs. Publishers.



A few things came into play:

1. Enables simultaneous website and content development. 

We needed to continue development work and finish the site while our client entered content, which took about two months. Pantheon's identical Dev, Test, and Live environment allowed many people to access the site for training, for content, and for approvals. They entered content into the test environment while our team built out in dev. Then we'd merge and push things to the live production environment. When you have that amount of content, you really need to be able to merge everything easily. The entire process took 3 to 4 months.

2. One-click security updates.

As a popular ministry, there's always the risk of being targeted for an attack. Pantheon allows them to stay up to dates by doing one-click merge with Drupal Core, saving money over time. Instead of paying us to download the Core, put it in place, push it to our staging, test, and do it all over again for production, it's just one click. It takes ten minutes.

3. Baked-in premium features like Soir for search.

Pantheon's baked-in features like memory-based caching, Redis, and Soir allow our client to get premium search without infrastructure overheads. Soir's search is so fast. It's better as an actual search engine than Drupal's built-in search. When you're dealing with this much content, it's great to get fast and relevant search results. These features are a lot more expensive and difficult to set up and maintain on other traditional hosting providers. It's not part of the build.

4. Scales through software.

As traffic increases and they grow as an organization, the ability to move up to a higher plan by clicking in the admin area is also quite appealing. We've got the easy ability to upgrade or downgrade hosting resources.



  • Streamlined editorial workflow. Now, instead of one editor to approve all content, they trust their people to be able to add content themselves. Users submit content to their department heads. Once it's approved, they push it to live.
  • A faster website. From the hosting side, they noticed the speed right away. We hear nothing but praise from them, and from the people who are visiting the site.
  • Support has their backs (and ours). Obviously, having a team like ours plus the Pantheon team via support tickets is helpful. Our client is definitely happy from that perspective. From our perspective, Pantheon helps us to do our jobs better, which makes it an easier and less expensive support term for the client.