PEER 1 Hosting Multisite Homepage

PEER 1 Hosting is one of the world's leading web hosting solutions providers. The company is built on two pillars: Ping & People. Ping represents a commitment to their high performance and reliable SuperNetwork(TM) backbone. People represents a commitment to delivering friendly FirstCall Support(TM) to its customers. Their portfolio of hosting services include Managed Hosting, Dedicated Servers under the ServerBeach brand, and Colocation.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, PEER 1 Hosting was founded in 1999 by two businessmen, Lance Tracey and Mark Teolis, who wanted to make the Internet available and affordable for companies of all sizes. Since 1999, PEER 1 Hosting has grown to include 17 data centers and 21 network points-of-presence throughout North America and Europe.

In the Fall of 2011 Appnovation Technologies was chosen by PEER 1 Hosting to create websites for their UK, US and Canadian businesses. PEER 1 Hosting wanted to rebuild all its major web properties and create a long-term, scalable website platform. The project was built and executed using Drupal and also involved migrating information from PEER 1 Hosting's existing sites.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

The Drupal CMS was chosen for its multisite framework and multilingual capabilities. The multisite platform also allows for easy addition of new websites and site maintenance as all sites share the same code base.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

Business Goals

  • Reduce the amount of code releases required for new content
  • Enable multi-language support
  • Reduce workload requirements on Peer 1’s marketing department
  • Provide better integration with tracking systems – analyze traffic and usage
  • Optimized for performance and SEO
  • Content publishing workflows and ability to add new workflows
  • Reduce the number of entry points and access management
  • Isolate data, logic, content and markup from each other to provide better security, portability and customization
  • Automate simple everyday tasks – reduce the workload on admins
  • Enable non-technical users to make updates

Drupal Version

The project was developed using Drupal 6 as we had recommended them. When the project was originally proposed Drupal 7 was not mature enough. The client is already considering and reaching out to us about moving to Drupal 7.

The key functionalities built into the new site include:

Multisite Platform

  • The new web site will be built using the Drupal multisite platforms
  • This system allows for the easy launch of new websites on the same code base while allowing for a selection of features
  • The platform allows for the easy management of the website code base but separates the database data storage such that the websites can have unique content

Intelligent Site Search

  • Apache Solr will be set up for the new website
  • Fuzzy search such that users can easily find the appropriate content

Workflow

  • Workflows for publishing content as outlined by PEER 1 Hosting requirements
  • Multiple triggers and actions were configured

Multi-Language

  • The Drupal multilingual module was included to allow for multiple content nodes for different languages

SEO

  • Modules were installed to create SEO-friendly URLs, and allow for complete control over titles and meta tags

Analytics and Live Chat

  • The current CRM API code was embedded into the site
  • The current Live Chat system was embedded

Knowledge Base

  • An integrated Drupal knowledge base was set up to replace the old knowledge base system
Organizations involved: 
Modules/Themes/Distributions
Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 

Apache Solr Search Integration - PEER 1 Hosting was using a third party system for their search and knowledge base functionality, which was not up to par with Apache Solr. Apache Solr allowed Appnovation to not only search the content within the node, but it also allowed the system to extract and index content from attached documents. The previous system would only allow for searching on a single type of content, whereas Apache Solr provides for a site-wide search, which can be customized to exclude nodes, node types, and even configure bias settings.

CCK - Any site built with Drupal cannot do without the Drupal Content Construction Kit (CCK). CCK was used to create a multitude of content types used throughout the PEER 1 Hosting site. The site had about 10 content types ranging from basic page nodes to complex product pages, which were integrated with Panels and Views.

Panels – The Panels module was used in order to allow PEER 1 Hosting to supply different layouts for different sections of the site. Previous to this site, PEER 1 Hosting was forced to manipulate template files for every change, which then would need to be pushed to production by an IT team. Ultimately they wanted an easier way to manage the layout, without the need to modify any sort of code. The Panels module supplied the site with a very simple way of modifying layouts and content within the layout thus giving people with non-technical backgrounds the ability to manage the site. Essentially, Appnovation gave PEER 1 Hosting the basics of Panels, without inundating them with all the great features of the module, which they did not really need.

Views - Just as with CCK, no site can be built without the versatile Views module. The PEER 1 Hosting site had over 15 Views to be incorporated. Views were used throughout the site to show things like related content, slideshows, and videos. Default Views were set up to allow PEER 1 Hosting to pick and choose various Views within the Panels interface to fill out content on certain pages.

Domain Access - Domain access was used here to allow PEER 1 Hosting to have both a Canadian and American site. PEER 1 Hosting wanted to support both a Canadian English and American English site. This was not necessarily translation, but was still treated as such, since the site was going to be translated for French. Domain Access allowed us to set up domain-specific variables and images.

Project team: 

The project team included:

1 Project Manager
1 Solutions Architect
3 Drupal Developers
1 Front End Developer
1 Themer

Comments

How did you make the live chat page to move when scrolling the page up and down? did you use any special module?

Doubt is the father of invention..... Hubmesh | download converter

that's just some JS :)

drupal sucks. No really.

What is the base theme for this website? The design looks impressive.

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I am a PHP programmer. moving to become drupal programmer