Migrating the Worlds Largest Website onto Drupal - Weather.com

Click here to watch Migrating the Worlds Largest Website onto Drupal - Weather.com

The Weather Channel (TWC) has one of the most highly visited web sites in the world (www.weather.com). And, it’s certainly among the largest Drupal sites under development.

The approach was to break the engagement into two phases, the first to address editorial concerns and the second to replace legacy systems and take over the front end serving.

Join Jason Smith (Mediacurrent) and Chris Hill (TWC) to get more insight into the architectural decisions that allowed us to address this complex site’s requirements. Learn how Mediacurrent and TWC were able to work together to both understand and efficiently tackle engineering challenges as they arose.

Here are a few of the pain points that TWC came to us with, and that we will discuss:

  • With over 2 million locations with unique forecasts cache efficiency was low.
  • Feature velocity was a challenge as requirements sometimes change quickly
  • Too many hurdles in the current platform to content generation
  • Too many legacy platforms to support

Some novel innovations that were created within the Drupal framework to support TWC:

  • Presentation framework allows independent teams to create flexible widgets that can vary in presentation based on the consuming device (ESI, native, inline or AngularJS)
  • How mobile has become a hub that supports the mobile apps
  • How the content workflow is write once use many places
  • Highly leveraging ESI and a novel routing concept to increase cache efficiency

Jason Smith Solutions Architect (Mediacurrent)
After helping to put the dot in dot com by building and configuring enterprise class solutions with WorldCom as a Sun hardware and software engineer, Jason went on to AAAS (the publishers of the journal Science) to direct the technical needs of the education directorate. Jason has built or architected solutions from the enterprise class to the small business class and has found in Drupal a flexible, scalable, rapid development framework for targeting all levels of projects.

A long time beneficiary of the open source movement, Jason is an avid supporter of open source projects and believes strongly in giving back to the community that supported him. To that end, he has spoken at or organized a great many conferences and organized charity builds to educate and give back.

When not at his desk, Jason has many hobbies including juggling, European board games, electronics (Ask about the Drupal powered wine bot) and spending time with his beautiful wife and mischievous sons.

Chris Hill VP, Web Development (TWC)
Chris Hill is the Vice President of Web Development at The Weather Channel, where he oversees the development and maintenance of the web properties of The Weather Channel. Having been at TWC for 14 years, he has seen all sides of the weather business from TV to Digital and has a passion for bringing the best products to the customers of TWC, regardless of the platform they are utilizing.

With a long commitment to open source platforms and the community as a whole, Chris is looking forward to extending Drupal’s enterprise presence and pushing the CMS to its limits.

When not leading his web development team, Chris enjoys spending time at home with his beautiful wife and teenage daughters. He loves tinkering with cars and aspires to be a mechanic some day. He is confirmed to have an addiction to Amazon's 1-click ordering!

Schedule info
Experience level: 
Drupal Version: 
Drupal 7.x
Time slot: 
Tuesday · 02:15-03:15
E - Phase2 | 4th floor


Jason is the brains behind the internet. If it can't be done in Drupal, he'll pull it off. And if it has been done, he can do it again. He's an engaging and entertaining speaker, and he never fibs and never makes mistakes (or so he told me.. or was that me).

This session sounds really interesting and highly relevant to a DrupalCon in many ways. Looking forward to attending!