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ANSTO: Drupal 8 Website

Web Development Case Study

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is the country's premier nuclear science facility. As one of Australia’s largest public research organisations, ANSTO is recognised as an international leader in nuclear science, technology and research. In early 2018, ANSTO engaged PreviousNext for the development of a new website on the Drupal 8 platform.

ANSTO Feature image


ANSTO’s previous website was in need of a complete overhaul as it didn’t meet current accessibility standards, wasn’t mobile-responsive and was running on an expensive legacy Content Management System. Serving as one of the key communications tools for external relations, ANSTO required a website that would not only reflect current web standards but that would also meet their key business objective of increasing community engagement. In addition to this, in 2013 ANSTO had merged with the Australian Synchrotron, a particle accelerator research facility located in Melbourne. The merger of the nation’s most significant nuclear science infrastructure meant the redevelopment of the website was a perfect opportunity to consolidate under new ANSTO branding.

Prior to partnering with PreviousNext, ANSTO engaged an external design firm to undertake a review and provide design approaches for the consolidation of content from both the ANSTO and Australian Synchrotron websites onto a single platform. The updated designs were developed using data gathered from user research sessions in order to meet the key requirement of increasing community engagement.

To ease the significant task of populating the new ANSTO site with content, PreviousNext developed tooling that migrated news and researcher content from the previous version of the ANSTO and Synchrotron sites to the updated one. Refining the design approach, PreviousNext and ANSTO collaborated to develop a component-based design for the new site, an approach that gave ANSTO increased flexibility in the creation of their new content pages. To further improve upon the current levels of public engagement, a Search Engine Optimisation audit was conducted and configurable News, Events and Social Components now feature on the ANSTO homepage. 

The new ANSTO website was launched in August 2018 to coincide with the national Science Week. The updated site consists of pages created entirely with the newly-developed library of components that were built using Drupal 8. The new library of components made available to ANSTO now allows internal content editors much more freedom and flexibility to build custom pages across the website by selecting the components of their choice.

The website is now hosted, managed and supported on PreviousNext's cloud hosting platform.