Content Before Code - A D8 Case Study


Getting content ready for launch is tough for all involved, especially clients. They are often faced with two challenges - tailoring their content to audience needs and restructuring their content to align with the architecture of the new site.

It can take months for product owners to develop content, a process that relies on writing the content and managing internal feedback cycles from the CEO to program-level staff.  Clients who envision a seamless transition between development and launch are faced with a mad dash of content entry, or a protracted pre-launch period where the development team is no longer available to respond to questions.

Many of the current solutions available to developers and content strategists pose problems as well. Allowing clients to access the development environment so they can add content as the site is built can introduce unexpected configuration changes and create duplicative work when developers need to make architectural changes to content types or taxonomy.  Updating and restructuring content on an existing Drupal 6 or 7 site in preparation for migration can limit the client's ability to restructure content. It can also create missed opportunities for the client to update critical information architecture structures like the primary navigation and taxonomies.

We gave our client, AcademyHealth, a solution that we’re going to share with you today - an external content development tool (GatherContent) integrated with our Drupal 8 development process.

This approach allowed the client team to:

  • Restructure their old content and prepare new content well in advance of development.  experiment and explore content hierarchy independent of design or technical implementation

  • Evaluate how their content and menu structure functioned within the site at the end of each sprint during development

  • Have a quick turnaround time between the end of development and the site launch

And allowed our team to:

  • Have open conversations with the client about content structure early on in the project

  • Confine client content to mutually-defined structure using content fields and templates

  • Make design and development decisions based on real content

  • Seamlessly migrate client-curated content to development environments using the GatherContent API with Drupal 8

In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use GatherContent to create content

  • Migrate structured content in conjunction with Drupal 8

  • Collaborate with clients in planning, structuring and curating content prior to development

Who this session is for:

  • Content Editors

  • Developers/Engineers

  • Content Strategists

  • UX practitioners

  • Project Managers

Session Track

UX/Content Strategy

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Thursday, 27 April, 2017 - 14:45 to 15:15
307 - Acquia