EducationCity is an award-winning, leading developer and publisher of educational content and online interactive educational resources.
With offices in both the UK and US. they employ over 100 people and their products are well known in both countries, with more than 15,500 schools trusting EducationCity to support the learning and development of their pupils in a wide variety of curriculum subjects.
Having provided Drupal support and development to EducationCity since 2012, we were delighted to have the opportunity to work with the team during this year to develop and launch three brand new international marketing portals for their brilliant online learning resources.
The brief from EducationCity (EC) for the new portals included two very key elements. The first was to be able to run multiple websites out of the same Drupal instance, one for each of their key marketing territories - the UK, US and International. This has been achieved with the use of the Domains Access module for Drupal. IP address detection has also been added to the sites to automatically redirect visitors to the relevant portal, based on their detected global location, from the main www.educationcity.com address.
The second key requirement for the new portals was the ability to create attractive content pages, with varying layouts, colours, imagery and other options, all via the Drupal CMS. The team at EC have their own in-house resource for producing great content and graphics, so our remit when developing the site was less about us creating great looking pages on their behalf, but instead providing EC with the tools to be able to build the pages for the website themselves. This needed to be achieved purely through the Drupal CMS though so the EC team were not left having to work directly with fiddly HTML and CSS code to achieve the desired page layouts.
The solution that we've therefore built for the new sites harnesses the power of Drupal's flexible Panels system, which enables users to build up a large variety of different page layouts to suit their needs, all via an intuitive drag and drop system within the CMS.
To further support the ability to build page sections up quickly, we also utilised the Fieldable Panel Panes module to provide a range of drop-in section templates that can be used to easily put together different styles of pages featuring a variety of text/image combinations, video embeds, carousels, content tiles and more.
For each section of the page to be created, the EC team simply drag the required panel style into place and then populate the specific fields within that panel to add their content.
In addition to setting the content itself, each panel also provides various options for setting design elements for that section, such as background colours/graphics, font colours, image alignment and call-to-action buttons. The video-specific panels also include options to set whether a video should play automatically, if it should loop once played once, whether video controls should be shown and so on.
The resulting impact of having all these options within the CMS has been that the EC team have been able to build large sections of the new websites directly themselves, making the new portals not only flexible to work with but also reducing development costs by not relying on the Adaptive team to build the content for them.
"We are really pleased with our new portals, especially the fact that they are so flexible to update and edit. We add a lot of content all the time such as blogs and free content so it's great to be able to do this ourselves, but still keep it looking modern and dynamic at the same time with video plus the rolling panels, carousels and accordions."
Leigh Foley, acting Head of Marketing, EducationCity
"EducationCity.com and Adaptive have worked together since 2012 to design, build and integrate our two key websites. The guidance and expertise from Adaptive has been invaluable throughout the process and resulted in an intuitive, manageable solution that is adaptable to meet our international market growth demands."
Pete Johnson, former Head of Marketing, EducationCity