Unity Blog - Multilingual blogging system

Industry
Entertainment
Solution
CMS solution
Technology
Drupal, React, NextJS

Unity blog is a successful interactive blog, part of Unity Technologies the world leading video game company. Unity as a company is consolidating their web technologies and they needed their blog portal to be able to support the roadmap that the company had set for itself. 1xINTERNET helped Unity create the foundations for their future web development, supporting the strategic interests of Unity Technologies in their scope for growth over future multiple services.

Who is Unity?

Unity blog is a successful interactive blog, part of Unity Technologies the world leading video game company. The Unity blog is high traffic and content heavy with over 4000 blog posts. The blog was outdated from both an aesthetic and technical standpoint and Unity wanted to relaunch their web blog using Drupal to ensure that it was solving for the present and ready for the future. Unity as a company is consolidating their web technologies and they needed their blog portal to be able to support the roadmap that the company had set for itself.

What was the challenge?

1xINTERNET was contracted to implement a headless version of the blog for Unity Technologies using Drupal as the backend, and React / Next.js as the frontend. The previous blog was implemented using Wordpress, and the rather unstructured data had to be migrated into a solid data model, to enable  publishing as a headless application.

Unity also needed to improve their content discoverability, increase content engagement and users' time present on the site. The goal was to build a blogging system that provided a good user experience with a state of the art editorial experience for the team and contributors of the blog.

How could we help?

1xINTERNET worked with Unity to come up with a solid idea of what the target system should look like and opted for a decoupled Drupal /  Symfony backend with a frontend based on React / Next.js. Data was exposed with GraphQL to later allow for a federated GraphQL API, styling was done with Tailwind CSS, and components were prepared in Storybook. 

The migration from Wordpress to Drupal of such a large high traffic website was a complex task but this enabled the unstructured data within Wordpress to be moved and transformed into highly structured data within Drupal. This structured data is a much more effective foundation for the development of the blog project. In the old Wordpress blog there was limited language support. This was migrated into the  powerful Drupal multilingual system, which holds solutions for translations to multiple languages using different automated translation services.

The Unity blog is a cornerstone website for Unity. It is one of their most important web properties, providing a place for the community to discover, learn, and grow. It was essential to create a platform in which both users and editors experience great functionality whilst allowing scope for growth.  Unity chose headless over regular Drupal in order to support the long term strategic roadmap. The headless implementation is inherently decoupled, which calls for less dependency and therefore gives the ability to “create once publish everywhere”. The ability to reuse content across platforms allows  traffic to be driven around within the Unity websphere.

Main features of the project

Migration from Wordpress to Drupal

This was a complex migration from a multilingual site with over 4000 blog posts, a high traffic website with 200k visitors per month. Unstructured Wordpress data was migrated into a highly structured data model in Drupal. This allowed the data to be stored in a more structured way which was better for the management of content and to support the future growth of Unity.

Support of meta tags, redirects, and media 

Regular Drupal functionality was used to generate meta tags of different types as well as publishing structured data using JSON-LD. Also standard functionality for redirects, media, and many more could be used by having Drupal as a headless backend.

Optimal image editing by combining Drupal and Next.js 

Images had to be dealt differently that the default Drupal way, therefore 1xINTERNET contributed to the Drupal project an image resizing plugin that returns to the Next.js frontend images correctly and with the expected properties in order to handle the styling in an efficient automated fashion.

Editorial experience 

1xINTERNET built an advanced state of the art editorial experience creating a workflow for the large editorial team, using the inbuilt functionality of Drupal. The team at Unity also works with external editors who send content to be published. Before publishing on the blog, the authors need to review the content on the blog and approve it. 1xINTERNET created a module that grants access to unpublished pages using access tokens and extended GraphQL to support this functionality.

Unity ID

Unity already had a login system meaning that anyone who engages with Unity through the forms, blog or commenting system gets a Unity ID. Once this was integrated for the blog it allowed a seamless single sign-on experience for user interactions across the Unity services. This is a great improvement for a streamlined user experience.

Unity Blog relaunch at DrupalCon 2021

Why was Drupal a good fit for this project?

It was important to Unity to choose the right technology to fit their goals. Unity has a long history using Drupal. Also in this case Drupal was the best choice as it allows fast iterations, can be easily extended, gives the API capabilities Unity were looking for and is a great platform to build on, allowing great scope for future expansion.

Drupal logo

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