EPA website next to go Drupal; NASA may follow

At least 150 federal websites are now operating on the Drupal open source content management system, and more are preparing to migrate.

Federal agencies, led by the White House, began adopting Drupal three years ago as a more flexible, open and engaging platform with which to interact with citizens on the Web.

To date, websites sponsored by about 130 federal agencies, 20 offices in the House of Representatives and several dozen state governments have converted to Drupal, according to a Drupal wiki page that lists government adoptions around the globe.

Major U.S. departments that have converted websites include Commerce, Education, Energy and Veterans Affairs.

An agency in the process of converting is the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently selected Forum One Communications to develop the agency’s new “One EPA Web” website built upon Drupal, according to a Feb. 22 news release.

EPA awarded Forum One a three-year contract valued at $1.8 million.

One EPA Web, which will be launched at the EPA.gov Web portal, will incorporate the the main EPA site and additional micro-websites that may be created as needed.

“The new platform will be developed using responsive design to work equally well on desktop, tablet, and smart-phone devices,” the news release said.

NASA also may be moving toward conversion as well. The agency recently released a Request for Information and a statement of work to get ideas from vendors.

Nick Skytland, program manager for open government, said the department wants choices such as open source software, cloud computing technologies and an integrated approach to search, video, and social media. Drupal is probably the most widely-adopted of the open source options.

“NASA.gov is a very high profile website with more around 600,000 unique visitors and 43 million hits per day,” Skytland wrote on NASA’s open government Web page on Feb. 18. “The architecture itself is massive, with roughly 140 disparate websites and web applications and more total 700,000 web pages across 10 centers. It’s no small job and we need someone who can help usher us into the future and develop a web architecture appropriate for an agency like NASA.”

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.


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