screenshot of deutschland.de homepage

The cross-media Germany portal, deutschland.de, aims to present a comprehensive, modern and topical picture of Germany abroad.

Deutschland.de offers multilingual services primarily targeting international users. Six sections (politics, economics, culture, environment, knowledge and life) offer access to topics that are important to people in Germany. The diverse relationships with partner countries around the world are also given prominent treatment.

Deutschland.de's topical content is supplied by renowned German and international journalists and scientists, a dedicated editorial staff and other contractual partners of the Foreign Office (DAPD, dpa, Deutsche Welle).

The range of articles is extended by background articles, dossiers, videos and commented link tips.

It is a service provided by the publisher Societäts-Medien GmbH, Frankfurt-am-Main, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

The Frankfurt based media agency BlueMars, which was responsible for the overall implementation of deutschland.de, turned to Wunderkraut for Drupal expertise.

Wunderkraut built the site's Drupal architecture and implementation. We also provided the BlueMars team with training and consulting for Drupal and Agile methods, so they could quickly get up to speed for design implementation and import interface. We at Wunderkraut are happy to have provided Drupal and Agile expertise to this project to contribute to our partner's and customers' success.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

The new Drupal website http://www.deutschland.de is replacing three older sites that have been running on Typo3, a hierarchical open source CMS very popular in Germany. The new content concept, however, called for a more flexible structure, where editors categorize articles in different systems (topics, world regions, tags) and the site delivers topical streams of content for different kinds of interests and in different languages. Drupal is the perfect match: field-based multilanguage management, multiple taxonomies in parallel, semantic content types. Drupal delivered most of what deutschland.de needed out of the box.

A further reason for choosing Drupal was its flexibility and openness when connecting to other systems. Articles are, for example, imported via RESTful web services.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

Business objectives

The business objective of the deutschland.de relaunch was to:

  • Attract a global audience with a modern and more flexible magazine platform.
  • Integrate effortlessly with the existing cross-media publishing workflow.
  • Realize efficiency gains via consolidation.

The new Drupal website deutschland.de replaces three older sites running on Typo3, an old first generation hierarchical CMS.

The new content concept called for a more flexible structure: editors should be able to categorize articles in different systems (topics, world regions, tags) and the site should deliver topical streams of content for different interests and in different languages.

Technology: Drupal takes over the lead

Technically, the new deutschland.de concept called for:

  • Content structured using multiple taxonomies. This was achieved with Drupal's 'out of the box' taxonomy system paired with the Views module.
  • Iterative import from the customer's existing cross-media publishing solution. Drupal's open APIs, clean concepts and flexibility made it easy to adapt to the existing IT and workflows by using RESTful web services to push content to Drupal.
  • Multilingual content in seven languages (including Russian, Chinese and Arabic). This was realized with field-based Entity Translations.
  • Clean and highly-responsive design implementation.

Results

The different project partners managed to deliver a great integration of their teams and other professionals. Using Scrum as Agile project management method enabled smooth collaboration between distributed teams.

Efficiency gains have been evident from the start. The integration into the existing cross-media workflow works effortlessly across companies and networks.

The consolidated site's straightforward, unified Drupal interface is simple and fast to use. The new content structure offers editors and audiences great flexibility, and Drupal makes life much easier for the editors at Societäts-Medien publishing house in Frankfurt, compared to former solutions.

Modules/Themes/Distributions
Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 

The combination of Panels and Views was chosen for their flexibility in designing individual pages but still make page creation an almost automatic process with minimal user interaction.

The powerful tools to categorize content work in tandem with the Views module to create topical and regional 'feeds' that enable visitors to get content that interests them quickly.

Organizations involved: 
Community contributions: 

We committed improvement to "our" modules Content Menu (http://drupal.org/project/content_menu) and Search Api Entity Translation (http://drupal.org/project/search_api_et).

Project team: 

BlueMars GmbH (Lead agency), Frankfurter Societäts-Medien GmbH (Publisher), Federal Foreign Office of Germany (Partner)

article page on deutschland.de
a list of articles using panels to vary the format

Comments

Great to see a full multilingual, including arabic, that on top of that is responsive for tablets and computers screens!

Good case study Drupal.

I guess the creative agency lead is missing: http://www.wuv.de/agenturen/scholz_volkmer_designt_deutschland_de

The concept and design of the new deutschland.de website was developed by Scholz & Volkmer: http://www.s-v.de/press.php

However the website looks great, but i think it was better that when mouse moves overs images, links to be activated and by clicking on images, visitor goes to the link of content. Now only if user clicks on "More" he goes to the content. I think it makes the website more easier to surf.
I have a question too: How did you do this Ajax "show more items" ? Did you use any special module?

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

I have a similar question: how to make this done: title shows on the image, when mouseover summary and read more link show with a slide up effect.

Great work!

Oumar FALL (@knibals)
Lead Developer
SENTICAD

Petit à petit, on devient moins petit.

This site is great, good job.
Multilingual, great Design and easy structure to navigate.

Great web-developers who contribute to build this site. http://phoneunlimitedcall.com/globalworld/

Quería felicitar a los encargados de la traducción de la página al español por su gran trabajo. Es de agradecer que cuando se selecciona un idioma éste aparezca correctamente escrito y sea fácilmente entendible. Seguid así. Lo dicho... Muy buena traducción

It'd be nice to learn a bit more about the technical implementation. E.g.: What happened with the Typo3 content, has it been migrated somehow (if yes: how?), or was the site started from scratch? How where existing URLs handled, or was this a complete reboot? Which Drupal version was used (probably D7 as 'Entity Translation' suggests), and which problems had to be solved (D7 still has lots of bugs)? Why were ugly URLs used (https://www.deutschland.de/de instead of the less redunstant style and smantically more meaningful https://de.deutschland.de/)?

Thanks!

Multilingual, responsive and clean design.

what was the duration of migration project?

Gaurav Deshpande
Software Developement
Drupal (LAMP)

I have been negligent in not reading many of these case studies whereas there really is a wealth of info. to be taken from seeing how other similar companies solved their business needs. Especially solving their needs using the same CMS, like Drupal. All good stuff here guys. Many thanks!

Another big site with Drupal background! Great job!

Kevin

National Go Solar Foundation - Solar Energy is the Future