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National Historic Ships

National Historic Ships

Supporting and funding historic vessels throughout the UK


Merging two flagship websites into a single Drupal 8 website with a multi-directional sync of ships registration data with an external data repository. 


Bringing two very distinct identities (The national historic ships website, and the shipshape network) into a single website brought with it several challenges. The client required that a seamless journey across the content from the 2 sites was the result, but also wished to retain the distinct visual identities of the two sites.

The other major challenge was the legacy data repository which contained the full detail of each vessel's particular registration history. Legacy reporting tools read data from this database and there was insufficient budget to reengineer these so our solution had to retain the integrity of this database and ensure it was real-time synchronised with the new CMS.


A stunning Drupal 8 front end, masks a highly complex backend performing multli-directional sychronisation between the Drupal website and a legacy data repository.

Drupal 8 webforms (with extensive workflow) allows members of public to submit and update vessel registrations.

Anonymous content creation allow the public to submit notices for services, crew and jobs,  to the "shipshape network". 

A powerful Solr search provides a unified search across vessels, services, jobs, and companies, and allows for keyword filtering and faceting. Extensive tagging is used to provide regional hubs.

The website

website screenshot

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