Project Brief.

Ipswich Borough Council wanted to convert its corporate website and CMS to a non-vendor specific solution. They had identified that in switching to an Open Source solution they would achieve two main objectives: reduce costs and position themselves to be able to work independently of the supplier. WPP partners JDi Solutions and Artychoke worked together on a Drupal  solution under a 4 year SaaS licence.

Working with Ipswich to implement and configure the Drupal solution meant identifying a configuration for Drupal on JDi Solutions’s servers that offered as much independence as possible to Ipswich’s Web Team so they can develop ideas, features and microsites under their own steam.

This is achieved in three main ways.

The first is to provide three instances of Ipswich’s domain/site on JDi Solutions’s live server; in other words a LIVE site, a TEST site and a DEV site. The DEV site allows the Council Web Team to implement and test their own fixes, changes and updates to their version of Drupal, then have them passed to the TEST site for testing by the JDi Development Team and then uploaded to the LIVE site once all QC checks have been implemented.

The second is by keeping the design and user experience of the site as simple as possible. Ipswich opted for a very lean and task-oriented design for the website in recognition of the fact that the vast majority of visitors to their site were there to undertake a very specific task or transaction. A benefit of keeping design simple is that it is far easier and less costly to maintain accessibility and usability of the website over time. For example, mobile devices and their operating systems are continually evolving and improving. A user is less likely to encounter problems accessing your website with the latest mobile device and/or operating system if your website isn’t overly complicated in its design, content layout and functionality.

The third is by configuring the custom-built distribution of Drupal known as Panopoly.  It significantly reduces the amount of time needed to implement a new Council website and CMS. It provides pre-built, “out of the box” features and functions that are useful to all Council stakeholders: content editors, site administrators and public users of the website. The integration of simplified site building and content management tools in conjunction with the Adaptive Theme used as the template for the website’s design and page layouts means that Ipswich’s Web Team is able to build new pages and microsites independently without team members having to be knowledgeable in the underlying code and technologies of Drupal Core or having to worry about any new pages failing to be accessible or responsive to mobile devices. The 3 tier configuration of Ipswich’s domain on JDi Solutions’s live server provides additional quality control to ensure that internal workflows and the public user experience are optimised as and when updates and new pages are published by the Councils’ Web Team.

Key project features:

  • Drupal implemented to maximise self-sufficiency and efficiency for the client
  • Simplified Drupal distribution ensures Council Web Team can work independently
  • Use of an Adaptive Theme for design and page layout means any web pages have been stress-tested for accessibility and usability even before site build commences



Project Info.


Ipswich Borough Council


Web Development, Web Design, Drupal, Hosting, Support & Maintenance