The New Republic: A Drupal Success Story

(This is a modified version of a talk I gave at the NYC Camp Media Summit describing the site architecture and site building process. I have attached the slides from this talk, but for BADCamp I will be modifying the talk somewhat to fit the "Site Building and Using Drupal" track, whereas the NYC Camp focused more on the business concerns as they related to site building.)

The New Republic launched their new Drupal 7 site on January 28th, 2013 with an exclusive interview of President Obama, and was featured in the New York TimesHuffington Post, and ABC News and received an enormous traffic spike on launch day. Hear the inside story of how TNR, Alley Interactive, and Pantheon did this site relaunch with Drupal 7.

TNR is a great example of the old guard print media (it has published continuously since 1914 and has a storied place in American political commentary) embracing the web, open source and Drupal. When Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes bought the magazine in 2012, he announced plans to completely rebrand and relaunch it, including and especially its web presence.

The session will touch on the technical philosophy of the rebuild, which focused on bold, forward-looking design, bringing the desktop and mobile experiences in close proximity to each other, de-emphasizing ads and pageviews, and creating a product that offers a rich reader experience.

The format of the talk will address common site building challenges and point out how they recur on both small and big sites, and how we solved our problems in a way that was straightforward to develop as well as scalable and acceptable to the TNR newsroom.

Several technical details of the site build will be discussed, including:

  • Basic site architecture and mobile-responsive theme.
  • Content migration from the legacy Drupal 6 site.
  • Storing the reader's progress through an article and providing a "resume where you left off" feature synced across both desktop and mobile devices (with node.js integration)
  • Spoken-word versions of articles using SpokenLayer
  • Management of TNR print and web subscriptions using Stripe and the print fulfillment vendor's API.
  • WYISWYG workflow to support complex markup being inserted into content.


nyccamp_tnr.pdf3.56 MB
Saturday, Oct 26th
2:00pm - 2:45pm


Skill Level