Migrating a large legacy publishing website from Drupal to WordPress

Her Campus.com is the #1 publication for college women in the US.

When the business outgrew its original website, The Code Company was enlisted to lead a complex migration from Drupal to a high performance WordPress publishing platform.

The Challenge

Outgrowing Drupal

The original Her Campus website was built in 2009 on Drupal 7. It had low CLS scores and was struggling to provide the speed or editorial tools required of a modern media organisation.

After assessing their publishing CMS options, the team realised that WordPress offered a better solution for their business needs.

The biggest benefit of working with The Code Company was getting direct access to a team with such immense publishing experience.

They’ve become a strategic sounding board for all of our decisions. It’s had a huge impact on the business.

Dave Lievense,  Director of Product Engineering & IT Her Campus Media

Migrating 500,000 articles

We used an iterative data migration process to safely port 11 years of content from the redundant Drupal site into a new WordPress publishing platform.

Our migration team managed this process seamlessly.

The site remained live throughout the migration, and there was no disruption to the thousands of users that post content every day.

Migrated assets included:

  • 500,000 articles
  • 100+ static pages
  • 45,000+ authors
  • 24+ categories
  • 500+ chapters
  • 200,000+ tags

Load speed was cut in half and all of the scores we use to evaluate site health (such as engagement and page views) almost doubled.

Dave Lievense,  Director of Product Engineering & IT Her Campus Media

Re-imagining UX to increase engagement

The original plan was to replicate Her Campus’s existing design on the new WordPress site. However, it soon became clear that a migration was an ideal time to reinvent the brand with a full site redesign.

Our development team worked with Her Campus Media’s in-house designer to create and implement a new custom WordPress theme. This instantly modernised the site and encouraged users to view more pages.

Due to the new UX and cross-linking tools, people are now more inclined to click around the site.

Eliminating AdTech issues and improving CLS

Her Campus’s Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS ) scores were in the bottom 10% on their previous site.


Because Google penalises websites with low CLS scores, a new publishing platform needed to be stable, unshifting and able to deliver a smooth page experience across all devices.

Due to the limitations of ad management plugins, our ad tech specialists engineered a custom integration to connect Google Ad Manager to WordPress.This allowed the in-house team to lazy load ads and send ad calls using single request architecture.

Her Campus now scores in the top 10% for CLS.

Finding WordPress publishing experts

Like many niche publishers, Her Campus Media has limited development resources so finding the right technical partner was vital to its long term success.

The Code Company was uniquely positioned to offer specialist insight into digital publishing and make recommendations right from the start of the project.

This ensured the new website was built to last and prevented Her Campus from making costly mistakes.