Migrating an Australian Broadcaster from Drupal to WordPress

Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) approached The Code Company to build three new WordPress websites and migrate data away from legacy Drupal websites ahead of their new ‘audience-first’ strategy.

The Challenge

A high-profile website migration on a tight deadline

With the Drupal end-of-life date looming, SBS needed to relaunch their publishing websites on the more content-focused enterprise CMS, WordPress.

The team also needed to eliminate historical challenges:

  • Outdated designs that failed to reflect the brand’s digital transformation
  • Editorial complexity: Drupal was hard for editors to navigate
  • Spiralling demands on in-house developers
  • Security concerns from operating and managing different versions of Drupal

The three websites — SBS Media, SBS Corporate and SBS Learn —all had strict compliance guidelines and tight deadlines ahead of business-critical Upfront events that promoted SBS offerings to ad buyers.

It made sense to move to WordPress – and what I love about The Code Company is that you became an extension of our tech team. Once you knew what we needed, you were able to build out the steps to help us achieve it.

Nic Christensen,  Head of Corporate Communications SBS

3 concurrent website projects

TCC’s agile methodology for a phased approach

SBS needed to launch three websites over a 6-month period:

Our engineering and design teams worked iteratively using The Code Company’s agile methodology to map content and create designs, before building out a series of re-useable blocks that could be utilised across all three websites.

The modular format of these blocks simplified the editorial experience, making it easy for the SBS team to create new landing pages and change the structure of existing pages.

To further reduce the maintenance burden on SBS’s technology team, we recommended the managed enterprise hosting solution WP Engine.

We’d be spending hours every month (maintaining) SBS Learn, the Corporate and Media sites, and those costs add up fairly quickly. TCC now handle the support and maintenance which means those extra hours our team has to work on the other sites. And so that’s a massive benefit.

Kunaal Ramchandani,  Head of Enterprise Digital Services SBS


SBS have successfully retired their suite of legacy Drupal websites.

The business impact of reaching the end of this extensive process is immeasurable for the SBS teams. Highlights include:

  • CMS platforms fit for purpose (and up-to-date)
  • Websites that provide a better reflection of the business and now “tell the story of SBS”
  • Websites that allow the SBS team to efficiently upskill, with a reduced need for documentation and training
  • Editors are more engaged with content-publishing

A long-term development partnership

SBS’s partnership with The Code Company continues.

We provide dedicated technical resources who continuously develop, optimise and maintain the SBS tech stack – and participate in strategic discussions about future digital innovation.

The internal SBS team is now able to focus on delivering internal KPI’s, leaving the PHP and WordPress expertise to The Code Company team.

There are opportunity costs on what would have been impacted by us building this internally. The organisation’s resources can focus on delivering the work that they’ve got against their KPIs, and that to me is tangible because that becomes real taxpayer money that’s going to make SBS more efficient and more effective.

Kunaal Ramchandani,  Head of Enterprise Digital Services SBS