Supplier Case Study
Big Blue Door is one of our suppliers, and we asked them to write about their experience of LocalGov Drupal....
At Big Blue Door we’ve been building local authority websites on Drupal for 10+ years and have utilised the LocalGov Drupal framework for clients including Sheffield City Council (for both their public facing site as well as their Intranet) and West Lindsey District Council.
We are currently in active builds using LocalGov Drupal for clients including North Kesteven, Rutland, Hart, and Worcestershire councils.
Our Managing Partners and Client Services Director are active participants in the LocalGov Drupal working groups and steering committee, and have discussed future elements of the LocalGov platform with the central team.
We believe in the vision of the LocalGov project, and are keen to utilise LocalGov with a wider variety of clients in the future as the platform develops further - we are particularly interested in the Microsites workstream.
The benefits of LocalGov Drupal are clear - the framework can provide an improved digital experience for users while ensuring that inhouse teams from across communications, marketing and IT departments gain significant benefits in terms of how quickly a new service can be delivered, alongside sizeable cost savings.
With an extensive range of features that are often used across government sites including workflow, newsroom, directories, sub-sites, service templates, A-Z features and alert banners incorporated into the standard build, clients can use their resource to easily customise these to their own specific requirements.
While the framework provides a solid basis and a fast start for project teams it is also eminently flexible and open to change.
Our experience has included working with inhouse teams from both development, devops and content production perspectives with our team providing additional capacity as well as helping upskill teams in areas such as coding standards and deployment best practice.
Working with the LocalGov Drupal team has been incredibly satisfying and rewarding for our team.
Not only have we been able to work with a mature platform that delivers for clients, and save them time and money, but we have also been able to work collaboratively with a like-minded group of product owners, developers and editors who share the same values and aspirations - delivering great public services in a fair and transparent way for the benefit of all.
Sheffield City Council project
Big Blue Door recently worked alongside colleagues at Sheffield City Council to relaunch their corporate council website, https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/, and Intranet, both using LocalGov.
These projects were completed within a nine-month timeframe and included automatically migrating content from their legacy Adobe Experience Manager platform into LocalGov for both sites, using a migration script to support rerunning the process multiple times throughout delivery, ensuring only minor disruption for the content production team. This migration process included content, documents and images from xml files and migrated approximately 2,000 pages for the public site and 1,000 pages for the Intranet.
LocalGov Drupal’s flexible templates proved ideal for this approach and we have continued to support a commitment to WCAG2.1 AA from an accessibility perspective. The public site included well over 35 “campaign” sites (e.g. https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/campaigns/housing-services) which were developed by enhancing the LocalGov page-builder.
Big Blue Door’s team managed the delivery using agile methodology and fortnightly sprints for the core development and this process culminated in launching the new service in August 2022 and included working closely with an in-house developer who has expanded our own development team throughout the project and has integrated with our own workflow process.
Our team supported knowledge transfer and upskilling across Drupal throughout the project. The sites are now hosted on an auto-scaling AWS solution with all data based in the London region.
About Big Blue Door
We are a full-stack digital and hosting agency based in central London.
Working almost exclusively with the public sector, we have developed hundreds of Drupal websites, and our flagship clients include the Church of England, East London NHS Foundation Trust, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, National Museums Liverpool, V&A Museums, St Paul’s Cathedral, Leeds Inspired, Manchester Central and the Greater London Authority.
Our work is underpinned by a desire to be fully transparent as a company, so that clients view us as part of their own internal team. We pride ourselves on exceptional digital delivery and therefore invest as much time in educating and upskilling our clients about their products and the best ways to use them, as we do developing them.
We support the full stack of digital services including: discovery, UX, SEO, content production, development services, hosting, and ongoing support and maintenance.
All our services meet the Government Digital Services Service Standard, and we adopt principles from the service manual wherever possible. We have passed a number of NHSX and GDS service assessments and work to the latest accessibility guidelines as our starting point for all projects.
We are ISO9001, ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials certified, AWS Partners and a London Living Wage Employer.