Case Study: Global Phosphorus Network website

by Geoffrey Roberts
21st July 2011

About the Global Phosphorus Network

Who runs it

Live site

Project Planning

Proposed in November 2011
Layout already designed, development hadn’t yet begun
Hosting environment was to be shared host
Started with an interview to determine what was possible

Basic Components

Components of the site included:

Period of Development

Development started in November 2010
Mostly finished by mid-December
Final testing and polish early January 2011

Launched on 15th January
Minor bugfixes & updates afterward

Drupal Core & Module Setup

Due to shared hosting environment, Solr wasn’t able to be used

Interface & Theming

Module Setup: Profile

Module Setup: Utilities

Module Setup: Admin Tools


Drupal Customisation

The theme was a custom Drupal theme based on Basic

Custom modules written for the site included:

Not much theme customisation used, except in profiles

Content Types (1/2)

Content Types (2/2)


Resource Metadata

Stumbling Blocks - Theming & Environments

Issues with Invite

  • Had difficulties sending out invites
  • Mail system differences between environments

Theming issues and IE bugs

  • Lots of little theming fixes involved

Confusion over environments

  • Three environs: dev, test/beta, live
  • Some people trying to log into old environments
  • Manual lockdown

Stumbling Blocks - Data

Importing EndNote XML

  • Custom reader needed
  • Wealth of metadata, but how to index and display it?
  • Imported all we could and then themed around it


  • Keyword search was a persistent problem
  • Default Drupal taxonomy search unhelpful
  • Computed field substitute

Depth of data

  • Hundreds of resources to be manually catalogued
  • Extra features had to be added to allow mass tagging

Stumbling Blocks - Other