ProPublica on Craft CMS

For reliability, start with the right tool for the job.

Propublica cs
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Who?

ProPublica is your best friend right now. They are investigative journalists making good on the promise of The Fourth Estate.

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What?

We built ProPublica's first website. This time we again built from the ground up, on Craft CMS.

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How?

Once they moved beyond start-up stage, ProPublica built a digital team in house. We augmented that team and owned the overall architecture and implementation of the new Craft CMS site.

ProPublica & Craft CMS: When Excellence, Quality & Craftsmanship Are The Only Options

Solspace has been honored to serve ProPublica as their web development agency since 2008. They are an extremely busy investigative journalism organization with a critical role in our democracy. In these trying times, in this turbulent age, they offer a sober perspective, in-depth evidence-based reporting, and data-driven investigation. We know that we must work at the speed of their business, staying reliable and flexible and fast—providing consistently excellent results. The tools we choose must do the same.

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A Ten-Year Partnership

Solspace has been a trusted partner of ProPublica since 2008. We’re trusted because we come through time and time again with great solutions and expert advice, and are always there when they need us but stay out of their way when they don’t. We know our client, and we know this formula works. So when it came time for ProPublica to choose a new CMS to support a new version of their website, based on what we know, we argued for Craft CMS.

There’s a reason that even in this modern age of quick fixes and cheap substitute products from all over, quality still counts. People in positions of responsibility generally don’t have the time to manage assets that don’t work properly, and generally aren’t interested in the additional business risks associated with second-rate tools. There are still many situations when the only real solution to a problem is excellence provided by quality craft and years of experience.

Craft CMS: Doing The Job And Staying Out Of The Way

We knew from working with Craft that it provided the right quality of design and construction, and that combined with our expertise it would be the best solution for ProPublica’s new website. It had the core features that they needed, and well-written, well-architected code. It was based on a widely used and stable platform, Yii. It could work well with a CDN and any other website accelerating services ProPublica might want to employ.

We also knew from working with ProPublica that the busier they got following the launch of the new site, the more they would need their underlying tools to just do the job accurately every time, so they were out of the way of the user’s experience, and out of the way of the journalism. This was the value proposition we used to push for Craft, and happily ProPublica agreed to use it for the new version of the site. The build and deployment went beautifully.

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How About Now?

We’re now a full year and a half post-launch of the new propublica.org site on Craft. We hear very few complaints, and as far as we can tell, the things that need to just do their job beautifully and stay out of the way are doing exactly that.

The Solspace team feels very smart for recommending Craft as a solution for ProPublica, but we know we owe a big debt of gratitude to our friends and colleagues at Pixel & Tonic for building Craft with such high standards of excellence, quality and craftsmanship. Their product does exactly what it’s supposed to and stays out of our way when we develop customized solutions for our clients. The solutions we build can do exactly what they’re supposed to, while the technology stays out of everyone’s way.

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