Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest (RAGOM)

Extensive site rebuild and data migration for a large non-profit organization with over 500 active volunteers and more than 5,700 dogs rehomed.

Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest

What did they need?

RAGOM's website houses a constantly-growing database including thousands of dogs, plus tens of thousands of affiliate records for applications, adoptions, updates, and more.

The original site had been built as a custom collection of PERL scripts, but proved to be difficult to update and modify. After several years, it became necessary to rebuild the site in a more flexible, scalable, and manageable CMS. It needed to accommodate multiple content editors, complex data structures, and all of the legacy data from a platform unimproved in over a decade.

What did I do?

I carefully planned migration of the data from the old database using a combination of custom scripts, temporary pivot tables, and Drupal import tools to test and move more than 70,000 individual records with over 1,000 user accounts into Drupal 7.

As part of the process, I improved the consistency of content formats for elements edited by a large group of volunteers, added new record types and dozens of dashboards to help search and filter old records.

I continued to provide security updates, develop new features, troubleshoot issues, and maintain the server environment.

Who did I work with?

I worked closely with a user experience and content expert to implement an overhaul of the site navigation, interface features, and editorial restrictions on the many user account roles. I worked with a front-end specialist to implement graphical and stylistic features as planned by the designer. I also worked with organization leadership to improve workflow within the website to match daily operational needs, conduct user training, and inform site design.

What did I learn?

This was a large scale data migration that allowed me to learn more about what could be finessed with scripting, and it was an introduction to the Paragraphs feature in Drupal to set up pre-determined building blocks for layout that allow for restricted content formats to improve consistency across the site.

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