MTV-UK runs Drupal

For anyone interested in seeing a Drupal site that pushes all the known limits of what Drupal can do, check out MTV-UK's newly relaunched site.

From the Lullabot press release:

Our users now have the ability to create and upload content to that will also be showcased on the broadcast channel. Drupal’s social networking capabilities make it a good match for our local development team’s needs and the software’s extensibility has allowed the creation of modules to interact with our on-air systems as well as SMS mobile and Flash-based interactive systems.

The site is built on Drupal 4.7 (with several improvements contributed for Drupal 5.0) and utilizes over 40 contributed modules, including the Content Construction Kit, Image, Buddylist, PrivateMsg, Views, VotingAPI, Webform and others. In addition, several additional modules were developed by the Lullabot team just for MTV.

This story can be Dugg here.


rbrooks00’s picture

Also important to note that there were a lot of contributions back to the community in the form of modules (including enhancements and bug fixes to many of the ones mentioned above) and patches that came out directly as a result of this project.

Big projects like this are important because they really help advance the product and push the limits.

skimo’s picture

You can always get far by working in a team, internet gives us the ability to work as a team with a lot of people around the world and with no physical contact.


Mini Juegos

gusaus’s picture

Yet another great showcase for what Drupal can do - especially in the realm of rich multimedia and social networking. Would be extremely helpful and informative if at some point we could get a 'behind the scenes' look at how sites like MTV or TWIT were being constructed. Possibly a special edition podcast and/or screencast?

Really look forward to seeing what kinds of sites that 5.0 will enable...

Gus Austin

greggles’s picture

Growing Venture Solutions
Drupal Implementation and Support in Denver, CO

-- :)

rbrooks00’s picture

This hit the front page of the Entertainment section - great work!


da312’s picture

Very nice, I don't think the design is bad, perhaps it is not a conventional style, but it still looks nice.

I wonder if is planning to convert if MTV-UK is a success.

budda’s picture

Thee fact that the design is not conventional is another plus point in showing how flexible Drupal can be.

Walt Esquivel’s picture

I like the creative aspects of the site.

With regard to the negative post above, everyone is different and yes, some sites look better than others. However, as was pointed out with regard to the demographics, the site was built to attract a certain type of customer. Is it designed for someone like me? No, but that's perfectly fine! It is, after all, designed for a much younger audience and I am no longer a teenager! ; )

So congrats to Lullabot on another success and break out the champagne bottle... or microbrew if you prefer. ; ) Great job! I live in Austin, Texas and I would love to someday see the Austin City Limits Music Festival "powered by Drupal". After having done MTV's site, perhaps Lullabot would have an interest in taking on this project? : )

Walt Esquivel, MBA, MA
President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing

v1nce’s picture

Congrats on the MTV gig. I must agree the design needs work... especially the subject pages with all the white space and the usability issues.

Love seeing Drupal in the limelight!

toemaz’s picture

Well done Lullabot. A nice Drupal showcase.
Just one remark: Opera doesn't like the theme.

alechendry’s picture

Hi all,

This is Alec from MTV UK - I've been a bit absent from the boards as our team are currently swamped with the launch of a new channel launching next week - MTV Flux. The launch of Flux is the main reason we moved away from our website running Dynamo, Sybase and a custom built CMS tool managed by MTV's technology group (used on a pan-euro basis). Our requirements to have a number of community tools in place, along with traditional cms functionality could not be met in the timeframes required unless we moved development for our services to our local MTV region. We had to replicate the existing website and users over to Drupal, as well as build out the whole new section for MTV Flux. Timelines were short, requirements kept changing. I think the final designs and functionality for the MTV Flux parts were only handed over to Lullabot about three weeks before we needed them to go live, so they did a fantastic job making this all come together.

Design side of things - (not my area - lol), each "channel" area of the site follows the official channel branding used on and off TV which is very familiar to our audience. The interesting thing with the site, is that it is in effect a series of subsites for each channel (9 broadcast, 2 mobile TV and 1 broadband) - that each has a different target audience. Keeping the mtv2 fans happy compared to mtv hits is a constant juggling act!

With MTV Flux there was quite a rush to get this launched for August 1st (MTV's 25 Birthday), and that may show in places - since then our team (currently two people - but Im looking for some new developers (I'll post a specific mention for that)) and Lullabot have been working on rolling out bug fixes, updates, performance improvements. Our graphics team and editorial team have also been putting new elements together. We have just completed a big usability review of the Flux section and will be looking to implement a number of updates to improve the site. There's a lot of editorial missing in places to help guide people through various processes.

Another area we've been working hard to improve is our hosting. We're running on a shared LAMP platform managed by our technology hosting group - of which a number of other MTV sites use. Two big new servers are being put in place this weekend, and we should also be moving to a new database server early next week - the current database server appears to be a big bottleneck in our ability to serve pages quickly. (We have high concurrent usage of the site).

I should be attending EuroOscon and DruaplCon - and will be speaking with Lullabot on how we implemented the new mtv site along with our learning's, the patches, updates and modules that have been contributed back to the community and giving more of an insight into how it's running, how we plug it all into our TV and mobile stuff, etc.

I'll try and keep an eye on the forums - so would welcome any feedback. If there are any specific questions that you would like us to cover off at DrupalCon, do send me a message or use our feedback form at

(Oh btw - I guess Im meant to say somewhere here that the comments above are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of mtv - yawn!).

drumdance’s picture

I'm not a huge fan of the design, but that just reflects my age. The overall site architecture seems solid. It must've been tricky getting it to work with their Flash avatar builder.

Question: how did you generate the square profile pics like on

Is that a custom module? I'd like to do someting like that with one of my sites...

The following sentence is true.
The preceding sentence is false.

drumdance’s picture

I think I just found it:

The following sentence is true.
The preceding sentence is false.

markus_petrux’s picture

Congrats to lullabot and the whole Drupal community!

It is promissing to see yet another big site running Drupal.

Would it be possible to know something about the infrastructure behind the site? load balancer? number of servers? any kind of cache (php, drupal, memcache)? mysql? myisam or innodb tables? I believe this kind of information may help others choose Drupal too. Thanks

Doubt is the beginning, not the end of wisdom.

chrishaslam’s picture

Like Markus above it would be great to see some about the infrastructure, it's interesting to see how a site with X hundred users concurrently online would be handled with 40+ modules, look forward to seeing this in the future!

Great job


Managed Drupal hosting from Ixis IT

arsart’s picture

Wow! I see sIFR installed there, respect!
I'd never said that it is Drupal before digging into source.


d_l’s picture

Yes .. sIFR .. and I see FlashObject.js (perhaps should be updated to SWFObject?).

elv’s picture

By the way I use FlashBlock extension in Firefox, so sIFR can't work. The regular titles are displayed, but they are white on a white background. I only saw them when I moved the mouse over.
But a simple css rule with color: #000 for these links should fix it :)

bertboerland’s picture

but the graph on alexa is showing a good trend for the recent days



bert boerland

mwu’s picture

the design is fine. it's not to my taste, but then, I don't watch mtv. I imagine it can be quite appropriate for its target audience. I think the poster earlier in this thread really went too far.

I really want to congratulate the Lullabot team for being chosen for such an important, high-profile project. It really validates what a great CMS Drupal is.


elhombresinatributos’s picture

I came back to see the comments about this webpage and I found that my comment (it was the first or second) saying that the design was really horrible is just... deleted. Nice work, I really didn't expected this attitude.

The design is very nice. Don't delete my comment again, pretty please.

ericG’s picture

This is very disturbing.

It seems that the people doing moderation on this site have become much too close with one development group. People have had valid comments deleted, others have had accounts terminated. The connecting factor in all of this is that the victims of this over-zealous moderation have shown themselves to be critical of Lullabot. (please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that lullabot has not contributed to drupal, they have, and are a tallented group of folks)

When we can't even debate this site, things have taken an ugly turn for the worst.

Where is the transparancy (that should be at the core of any f/oss project)?

If one group becomes beyond criticism the community as a whole suffers.

There is a discussion in the drupal developers mailing list right now about the direction to take for the default theme in drupal 5. The debate that was removed from the site damages that developer discussion. I came back to this page to get info on the criticisms of the mtv uk design because I remembered an interesting debate having existed at this url. That debate is now gone. Down the memory hole. Big Brother loves drupal?

I'm not sure what the correct forum is to demand accountability on this, but I'll look for it and raise this there.

greggles’s picture


Just as a point of information (not to agree or disagree with your comment, I think you raise a good point about transparency and accountability) there is a "Site Maintainer's guide" which provides a guide for the 50+ site maintainers.

However, it is a subjective process and therefore open to some interpretation.

Thanks for bringing up this issue.


Growing Venture Solutions
Drupal Implementation and Support in Denver, CO

-- :)

Dublin Drupaller’s picture

I agree Eric.

Removing spam comments is one thing and understandable, but, deleting genuine comments because they are critical is disgraceful.

If it's possible to find out who deleted the comment, their site maintenance privilages should be revoked imho.


Currently in Switzerland working as an Application Developer with UBS Investment Bank...using Drupal 7 and lots of swiss chocolate

sepeck’s picture

there was a comment thread that bacame rather vicious by several people within a few comments off the original. The thread was removed. The original critisim was also not contructive but used inflamitory phrasing that triggered the thread. It was not a critique but a flame and phrased in a way that read as an attack.

There is a lot critical comments of and those threads are often left. This was removed as inflamitory not from some overall plot against or for someone. Your speculations about the reasons are incorrect.

As to where to discuss it further would be the infrastrucutre forum.

-Steven Peck
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

-Steven Peck
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide

juh’s picture

Just to remind web designers that for users who don't like Flash content it could come out like this
(using Firefox flashblock extension)

criznach’s picture

I think the target demographic is probably fine with flash. Look at any major media sites these days. The all use flash. Some are mostly flash. On the same token, this site also probably doesn't sit well with people who don't like pop or rap music, or TV.

SSHGuy’s picture

Looks great! They had nice sites before too, but most of the time they where made in flash.

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Abstract Art’s picture

I'm not a huge fan of flash myself (as you can probably tell by my website). People tend to go over the top with flash animations.