Farm Journal's MILK Magazine in Drupal 8

Farm Journal Media is the nation's leading agricultural media company. Its magazines are the 138-year-old flagship Farm Journal, as well as Top Producer, Beef Today, Dairy Today, and Implement & Tractor. The company produces and distributes "AgDay", "U.S. Farm Report," "Corn College TV" and "Leave a Legacy" national TV programs. The company also handles the industry-leading website AgWeb.com, the syndicated radio show "AgriTalk" and recently launched a new division, Farm Journal Mobile. Farm Journal Media also licenses detailed industry data through its FarmReach database, publishes the Pro Farmer and LandOwner newsletters, produces numerous large-scale live events and provides extensive custom publishing services.

The mission of Farm Journal's MILK is to connect with large-dairy producers(those with 500 or more cows)and provide them with the information and resources they need to run their operation and continue to expand opportunistically.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

Most of the web brands of FarmJournal are currently run on ASP.Net. However, gradually Farm Journal is adopting Drupal as a new platform and had begun to spin-off a few sites in Drupal 7 using a multi site architecture. With the release of Drupal 8 they were keen to determine if its successor, Drupal 8 would fill their requirements. They approached this migration in a gradual way and the Milk site was the first they wanted to test the flexibility and scalability of Drupal 8.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

The main objective was to have a separate portal for the Milk brand in order to organize the dairy coverage. In addition, it was a high priority to deploy the site quickly, in 2 weeks of time.

Integrate advertising from 3rd party ad servers

An essential requirement was to display ads from a 3rd party source. These ads were basically blocks of JavaScript codes inserted on the pages. The challenge is the ad administrators were not software developers, but they needed to change variables for these ad blocks. The solution we developed was a custom User Interface module where ad administrators can modify the ad variables for these add blocks.

Scheduling content publishing

The scheduler module adds an additional element of control to the ad blocks, and is used to give editors the ability to schedule nodes to be published and unpublished at specified dates and times in the future.

Geolocation maps for Events

The site also has an events section. The challenge is users do not know the longitude and latitude of the event location. To solve this we first embedded Google maps into the event pages to present the exact location of the event. Then we configured the geolocation module to feed the location name instead of latitude and longitude of the event for easier authoring experience.

Other notable tasks

  • Custom theme development for the new look of the site.
  • ReCaptcha implementation for comments and user registration

Project Outcome

In terms of deployment timeframe, we were successful in reaching the target and the project only took 11 days of development time. We extensively used the Drupal 8 Configuration Management to have a synchronized configuration across all instances. We used Bootstrap custom layouts for nodes and views to get the desired structure for theming.

Organizations involved: 
Modules/Themes/Distributions
Key modules/theme/distribution used: 
Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 

In order to implement passing event name instead of latitude and longitude, we selected the geolocation module

We used the Recaptcha module to add SPAM protection on the comment fields. This required us using Drupal’s core commenting system with the new recaptcha because there was no 3rd party commenting system available.

We used the scheduler module for the editors to schedule publishing of the contents by the editors.

We used Bootstrap for creating the custom theme for the site. In addition, we also used the LESS preprocessor, which really reduced the development time in the theming section.

Farm Journal's MILK Magazine New Website sub page in Drupal 8
MILK Magazine Website Blog list page in Drupal 8