Creating the Right Climate for Change

GlobalChange.gov

 

Every four years, the U.S. Global Change Research Program develops The National Climate Assessment, the definitive report summarizing the impacts of climate change.

Forum One provided strategy, design, development, and hosting support for GlobalChange.gov, which we migrated from Joomla to Drupal 7. The new site gives users actionable tools for exploring climate change data, resources, and multimedia by region and topic.

Yes, That’s a Government Website

From the beginning, our team and our client knew we wanted to steer away from presenting the data in a typical, text-heavy government website. Our design team created a stunning visual presence for GlobalChange.gov by featuring large-scale satellite imagery and compelling photographs.

The design grabbed attention and helped reignite a national conversation on climate change. On launch day, the White House held a stakeholder event covered by dozens of national media outlets, and our design received high praise from John Podesta, a senior advisor to President Obama.

GlobalChange.gov
GlobalChange.gov
GlobalChange.gov

Our Technical Environment Adapts to You

Behind the scenes, the new site had some complex integration requirements: it needed to work seamlessly with the NCA3 module designed by Habitat Seven (also in Drupal), and accommodate content from three separate sources – all while remaining secure and FISMA compliant.

Forum One’s technical architects created a custom multi-site environment in Drupal 7 that uses Apache Solr to index both sites, while retaining separate Drupal instances. We also worked to integrate reports and datasets from the Global Change Information System API.

GlobalChange.gov
GlobalChange.gov

300,000+ Visitors? Right this Way

Our hosting environment needed to be able to handle a huge influx of visitors immediately after the NCA release. We used the Varnish caching solution and the CloudFlare content delivery network, which handled over 95% of the traffic served and significantly reduced stress on the Drupal site.

In the days after launch, the site welcomed over a quarter million unique users, including peaks where more than 2,500 people were active on the site at once. Amid this heavy traffic, the site remained online and quickly accessible, with an average page download time of less than ⅓ of a second.