Website migration, improved features' redevelopment and Mailchimp integration

The primary deliverables of this beautiful project included: 1. Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration and rebuild and 2. Drupal Twig theme reconstruction and 3.  AA WCAG Accessibility rating, in accordance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 (ISO/IEC 40500:2012). 

ORION WEB project showcase: VoxDev Drupal migration

ORION WEB project showcase: VoxDev Drupal migration


Our client, VoxDev, is a globally respected platform for economists, policymakers, practitioners, donors, the private sector and others interested in development to discuss key policy issues. 

A highly technical implementation Drupal migration showcase: Header, main navigation menu

For the new website, our team implemented the following: 

  • Mailchimp integration for sending email digests of recently published content
  • CKEditor 5 (WYSIWYG rich text editor) installation and configuration (previously CKEditor 4)
  • Content search and filtering improvements (faceted search, combined search criteria etc.)
  • Multiple article view modes and styles
  • Existing functionality cleanup and improvements (e.g. admin back office experience, tagging functionality etc.)


Key challenges and achievements

Unavailable modules

Some of the Drupal 7 modules were obsolete on Drupal 9-10 so we had to recreate the same exact functionality with either different modules or some additional custom code. Fortunately, Drupal 9 and 10 make it much easier to hook into contributed modules as well as write bespoke plugins with minimal custom code, which made the task of maintaining (recreating) the existing functionality 100% viable. 

Recreating a Drupal 7 theme from scratch

Drupal migration of website, by ORION WEB

An essential requirement for this project was to recreate the front-end experience (UX, functionality, styling, AA WCAG accessibility) as a pixel-perfect, exact match on the new Drupal 9 application. To make this happen, we utilised the help of Senior front-end developers in our team who know the ins and outs of the Drupal theming engine as well as Bootstrap and Javascript-jQuery. 

We translated the main sections of the website into manageable categories and created tables of elements shared across the different sections. That enabled us to have a greater view of the high-level requirements for the new theme and worked our way towards creating the basic structure for templating and theming on the new Drupal 9 application. That provided the basis for all the theme work required to recreate the Drupal 7 theme. 

Additional Scope Search results View page - faceted Drupal search

While the project was in active development, our client discovered that some additional functionality was needed by the content editors in the team. We provided the estimates and quotes for the additional work and, following the client’s approval, we added one additional time unit at the end of the project which we used to develop the extra features. 

At the same time, our client was already testing the new build so the only required adjustment on the timeline for the project was one to two days of additional client QA testing. 


Project management 

We used JIRA and a dedicated multi-column board for this project. All the tasks were broken into tickets and sub-tasks with well-defined time estimates. 

While our developers worked through the tasks, we constantly monitored the velocity and recalibrated the implementation and QA testing time projections. That allowed us to foresee when it was necessary to accelerate, which we practically managed to do by adding resources to the project. As a result, we managed to deliver this project exactly on time. 

We mainly used Slack for communications and, as we usually do, we created dedicated channels for the project and added the involved stakeholders and resources. 

We established the necessary ceremonies for this project i.e. daily standups, weekly progress updates and ad-hoc meetings when it was deemed necessary for the project.


We truly enjoyed working on this project and delivering a beautiful, upgraded website to our valuable partner, Vox Dev.

Drupal migration: Latest articles Drupal Views

You can visit the VoxDev website and explore its rich features here: