CNP is proud to announce the recent re-launch of a new website for one of our clients, Truthout.org, a large online news organization.  This is the first project CNP has undertaken involving a major migration from Drupal to Joomla!, and it’s been a very exciting process for us!  When we first started this migration, we looked long and hard for any technology or process that we could follow to help us accomplish this, but found none.  So we had to develop this technology and process from scratch.  Here’s a little bit about the challenges and solutions that we found worked best for our migration.

Content Construction

As I’m sure any developer realizes, the content structure and storage in Drupal is radically different than Joomla!, so mapping out each field, what it’s function was, where it appeared, and an equivalent location in Joomla! was crucial.  As you can imagine, Joomla!’s default content component (com_content) just wouldn’t cut it.  With about 15-20 different fields being brought over for every content piece we used the popular K2 Content Construction Kit to help us adapt in a Joomla! environment.  K2’s options like it’s image and media handling, and it’s versatile extrafields options made it much easier to handle content and still preserve good workflow for the editors and staff putting in content.  But we didn’t stop there.  We’ve created several custom extrafield types in order to answer several specific needs for users.

User Management

One of the major requirements for this site was the ability to have author attribution for multiple authors.  This is something that, historically, Joomla! didn’t handle.  Fortunately, CNP Integrations has already tackled this problem for another client also using K2.  Using custom solutions developed by CNP, K2 sites are able to easily select multiple contributors to an article that are then easily displayed in the article itself.  Another factor unique to a site like this was the fact that the contributors must be displayed in order according to the level of their contribution to the article.  Here again CNP developed unique capability to adjust the order in which the contributors/authors are displayed.  Using this makes it much easier to provide accurate attribution for articles with multiple authors or contributors.

Site Security

One of the major factors in the decision to overhaul the site was it’s security.  Before CNP Integrations was contracted, the Truthout site was getting maliciously hacked and taken down about once a week.  This, obviously, caused a lot of problems, both for the monetary efforts of the site, and also for the credibility to readers.  One of CNP’s top priorities with all our clients is security.  With our unique client base of government organizations, businesses that rely on their site for a living, and large organizations like Truthout, keeping our sites secure has been a top priority.  To help ensure minimal risk for all of our clients, CNP lays out strict security protocols that start with the basics of keeping every site, and every extension up to date.  On top of the basic security measures we implement the Securelive security suite allowing us to take a proactive stance in protecting our site by actively monitoring all traffic, preventing CMS specific attacks, and reporting attacks to law enforcement for further action.  Since implementing Securelive on truthout, Truthout.org went from being attacked and taken down every week, to having no successful hacking incidents in several months.

The list of interesting and exciting new features we’ve built into this site can go on for a long time, but I won’t list them all here.  If you wan’t to know more about the work we did here, the innovations developed here, or have questions about implementing anything in your site, feel free to get in touch, we’d love to talk with you!

As a Project Manager for many different types of Joomla! sites, Truthout.org is definitely one of the most interesting projects we’ve run across.  With it’s unique requirements for security, content, and user management, CNP Integrations was able to employ innovative solutions to help build the site into a successful, and secure portal with the potential to grow in the future.  We’re already working closely with Truthout in developing new features to better serve it’s readers.  The future definitely looks bright for Truthout, and with Joomla! at it’s core, CNP Integrations is proud to support it!