American Heritage Magazine Digital Publication relaunched on Drupal 8

The American Heritage is one of the oldest and most respected publications in the United States as the leading magazine about American history since 1949. With more than 20,000 records to manage, AH needed a robust, scalable system with flexibility to handle numerous content types such as issues, articles, reviews, books, author bios, 4,000 historic sites, artifacts, and even recipes. Creators needed to view based on content types and creators to view content based on topics for workflow.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

American Heritage had an urgent need to replace a legacy site built on failing Drupal 6 code that was no longer supported. It was time to move to Drupal 8 which supports enhanced functionalities, access control for different type of web visitors and editors, and greater security.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

The Goal

  • Migrate 20,000 records including 70 years of articles by 1,300 authors
  • Implement content tagging to access and map content across the site
  • Build new functionalities on the new site

The Approach

Valuebound focused on streamlining the needs of the site with the main goal of AH being migration. American Heritage had a website with untouched data from over 7 years. It was built on backend which had no scope of future development. A lot of functionalities were required to implement an effective search and maintenance for a lot of data. It needed contents to be grouped and tagged according to categories and fix images that slowed down the website.


American Heritage needed a robust, scalable system with flexibility to handle numerous different content and user types. It also needed a scalable system since it expects a ten-fold increase in web traffic after the magazine is relaunched and multiple historical societies begin to use subscriptions to the magazine as a member benefit.

One of the challenges was to implement and support with popups for the website. No module was available for this so the team created Modal Blocks, it displays a block or set of blocks in as popup in a page.

Technical Excellence

The new website has enhanced user experience like navigation, search and workflow without compromising on content . American Heritage now has

  • Content tagging system to relate and classify existing content
  • Improved the performance and speed of browsing with faster loading Images
  • Device friendly responsive frontend and backend
  • Complete advertising support with a fully featured ad server to manage web advertising and provide reporting to clients.
  • Popups to generate subscription signups and donations from web visitors.

Client Satisfaction

After years of frustrating work with another vendor, it was great to have Valuebound take charge of architecting and implementing a solution. Their team were easy to work with, and accomplished an enormous job quickly and competently. Tasks requested at the end of the day were often completed by the next morning. I would strongly recommend any publishing company looking for a competent.
Edwin S. Grosvenor, President

Key modules/theme/distribution used: 
Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 

Thunder, a Drupal 8 distribution was natural choice for building the magazine site which has been built and contributed by coalition of publishing companies.

Organizations involved: 
Old issues listing page
Books Listing Page
Comments made by President George H.W. Bush for American Heritage Magazine