Headless Drupal Development for POWDR Corporation

Headless Drupal development helps skiers find resort information quickly

45% decrease in bounce rate
50% of users enter a purchase path from homepage
2017 Acquia Engage Award Finalist
Boreal Mountain Mobile
Boreal Grid
Boreal Mountain Grid
Boreal Mountain Webcams

View the case study on drupal.com

We worked with Hoorooh Digital on the development of the websites. Decoupling the front and back ends allowed the team to retain the structure and great admin experience provided by Drupal 8, while using a modern javascript framework for the front end.

Why headless Drupal?

In the simplest terms, on a headless Drupal site, the user is not actually interacting with Drupal, but with a front-end framework. This solution left Boreal’s options wide opened on the front-end while providing an extremely stable CMS solution on the back-end. Development and design were able to happen quickly.

A headless Drupal solution offered a powerful and flexible solution that allowed for websites to be spun-up quickly, something Drupal 8 is capable of alone. But in this case, a headless allowed more customization for the client. Boreal Mountain Resort is part of a large system of 17 ski areas. By going headless we will be able to develop an unlimited number of sites under the framework, using the same codebase on the frontend.

Prior to this project, Powdr Resorts was suffering for their disparate systems and an inability to quickly update the many sites connected to the brand. We wanted the resort owners to focus on their business, not site updates. Ultimately, headless Drupal saved us time and our client money.

Drupal 8 development

A successfully decoupled build requires a solid back-end foundation. Drupal 8 is perfectly suited to provide this foundation as its content architecture can be adapted to serve limitless opportunities on the front-end.

With this in mind, our back-end development centered around a componentized site build. This approach is based around building small, focused elements that can be combined in different ways to create reusable pieces of content.The advantage is that components are easy to share and tweak to serve other purposes within the broader scope of the website. Unlike some development methods, we are not limited by the number of page templates we can create, and don’t spend time rebuilding the same elements on several pages. Our developers create components that can be easily compiled to form an endless amount of page configurations.

Boreal Headless Drupal Site

Building from components provides a consistent and reliable code base because page elements are simply adapted from pre-existing components, allowing for massive gains in efficiency and reliability.

Hoorooh’s headless front-end design

With a customized back-end admin suite in place, Hoorooh Digital jumped in to lead front-end design and development.

A headless Drupal approach freed up our friends at Hoorooh to push forward with an immersive front-end experience that is tailored to the Boreal brand identity. Hoorooh’s design process brings the expertise of all team members to the table so the process is streamlined and results, seamless.

Acquia’s Support

The flexibility of the Acquia platform matched perfectly with Boreal’s decoupled website. For this reason, Acquia was selected as a hosting and support partner for this project. With Acquia’s backing, we were able to build the resort’s site faster and with fewer roadblocks.   

Built for expansion

Headless Drupal leaves Powdr with even more room for scalability going forward. New updates like weather reports and conditions will be quick to add and configure within the decoupled system so that as the websites mature, they retain a dynamism and liveliness that will help bring the mountain even closer to eager adventurers.

To learn more about this project, check out the webinar we produced with Acquia and Hoorooh Digital. 

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