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Moving Your Hospital Website to Drupal 8

Is a redesign in your future? Consider these additional opportunities as you plan a move to Drupal 8.

From design to content, a platform change provides a great opportunity to rethink how you want to structure your website. If you’re planning to upgrade to Drupal 8, be sure to take advantage of these new features.

If your current healthcare website is on an earlier version of Drupal, you’re probably thinking about moving to Drupal 8. Since the first releases in the fall of 2015, Drupal 8 has added many features, including significant changes to file structures, enhanced structured content capabilities, a greater focus on object oriented programming, and improved multilingual functionality.

Upgrading to Drupal 8 probably isn’t possible unless you’re up for a complete site overhaul. But if you have a redesign in your future anyway, then definitely consider building on the latest version.

Drupal 8 Redesign Considerations

From design to content, a platform change provides a great opportunity to rethink how you want to structure your website. If you’re planning on moving your hospital’s website to Drupal 8, here are some other opportunities that a redesign affords:

  • Rethink Content: Drupal 8 takes structured content – the tagging of content in consistent, predictable ways – to a completely new level. The enhancements make it easier than ever to create customized experiences for different site visitors. To do this well requires substantial work on the front end to think about your audiences and what content they will engage with during their unique patient journeys.
  • Move to a Patient-Focused Site Structure: Most healthcare redesigns today are moving away from a location-based approach to a system-centric approach. This not only leverages the size and scope of your system, it reduces duplicate content and makes it easier to manage the site long term. Not to mention, it matches how users search for health services. If you’re planning on a redesign, consider structuring your site around your system, instead of around your locations.
  • Figure out Your Functionality Plan: Developers are gradually converting Drupal 7 modules to Drupal 8, but not all will make it. This is a great time to think about how you’d like to enhance some of your site’s modules. Consider finding a new Drupal partner, preferably an agency with healthcare experience, to create updated versions of your core functionality, including modules for providers, locations, and calendar and events.
  • Embrace Mobile: Drupal 8 is built for a mobile-first world, with responsive tables and a responsive editor interface. Plus, every core theme is now built on a responsive framework. So take time beforehand to think about how the content and design on your new site will be broken down and presented to mobile audiences.
  • Maximize SEO: A redesign is a great opportunity to address issues that might be hurting your search engine rankings. It’s also a chance to implement the semantic markup that helps search engines serve richer, more relevant results to your prospective patients.

Put Your Site Visitors First

Regardless of what platform you’re considering building on — Drupal 7, Drupal 8, or a completely different CMS like WordPress or VitalSite — a redesign represents the perfect opportunity to put your site visitors at the center of every decision. From moving to a patient-focused sited structure to rebuilding your provider module to match the way health consumers select doctors today, creating an optimal user experience is key to your website’s success.

Moving Your Hospital Website to Drupal 8