How AmCham Shanghai Consolidated 5 Platforms Using Drupal

AmCham author

AmCham Shanghai

The modern-looking AmCham Shanghai website ITC designed is incredibly user-friendly, both on the front and the back end. The performance is truly impressive, showcasing the capabilities of using React in combination with Drupal. We are truly confident that, thanks to this new website, AmCham can continue to deliver the same high-quality services to its members in the future years.

AmCham desktop
IT Consultis Projects AmCham Shanghai mobile mockup
AmCham desktop
IT Consultis Projects AmCham Shanghai mobile mockup
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In this IT Consultis case study, we will explain how we transformed the AmCham Shanghai website into a modern and straightforward portal to connect with its members and partners.

About The Client: AmCham Shanghai

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) is the largest American Chamber in the Asia Pacific region. It is known as the "Voice of American Business" in China.

Founded in 1915, AmCham Shanghai was the 3rd American Chamber established outside the United States. As a non-profit, non-partisan business organization, the organization is committed to the principles of free trade, open markets, private enterprise, and the unrestricted flow of information.

Thus, it always strives to deliver up-to-date information and high-quality services to its members. However, like many long-standing organizations, AmCham Shanghai also noticed how it needed to catch up with changes in user experience expectations and the fast-paced technological growth.

Therefore, in 2020, the organization worked with IT Consultis (ITC) to completely make over its website to match modern needs. This is one of the key touchpoints with its members, partners, and potential leads.

The homepage of the AmCham Shanghai website that IT Consultis developed

Objectives

For AmCham Shanghai, the first issue was the look and feel of its old website: it was simply outdated. Having been left untouched for many years, it certainly was not adhering to the newest principles of web design.

Secondly, different departments of the Chamber were represented on completely different platforms. In total, AmCham was using the following 5:

  • The Main Page on Microsoft CMS
  • The Small to Medium Entrepreneurship site on Drupal
  • The Articles and Resources page on WordPress
  • 2 different Chapter sites on separate WordPress pages.

In addition, the organization was utilizing too many tools at once. As a result, this considerably hindered the website's usability and manageability. It was a big challenge to unify all these sites under one platform.

Solutions for AmCham Shanghai

Another view of the homepage of the AmCham Shanghai website that IT Consultis developed

AmCham Shanghai started out with 5 running websites which were all extremely outdated. Thus, ITC stepped in not only to build a consolidated one but also to provide a strategy consulting touch.

The first step in the right direction was choosing the right partner for this project.

Many of ITC's clients are members of the Chamber in China; therefore, the decision-makers of AmCham Shanghai could hear truly unbiased feedback on our work and make a well-informed choice.

Secondly, we helped AmCham revamp its sitemap. After reviewing the sitemap of all 5 websites, ITC sat with relevant stakeholders across multiple AmCham departments to consolidate them into a single, comprehensive one.

Thirdly, we decided that the headless technology should best match their content needs. This architecture separates the front from the backend. Ultimately, it enables efficient content presentation, management, and storage in the front without affecting the back.

ITC developed a headless architecture for AmCham Shanghai website. The frontend is React, connected via API to the backend framework Drupal 8. The backend is also connected via API to the CRM tool built with EventBank.

In particular, ITC helped AmCham select Drupal as the most suitable Content Management Software (CMS) unifying all previous platforms. And for the frontend, we chose React.

The backend and frontend were connected via API using a custom module built by our team. Thanks to this module, all the different content types, taxonomies, and menus created on Drupal were exposed.

This ensures that a front-end developer is free to process many changes without actually accessing the back-end, as explained above. For example, they can fetch partial data, filter a list of content, choose the display format for an image, or even use Drupal search functionality!

ITC utilized Event Bank to make a CRM tool connected to the site to give AmCham full autonomous management capability

Furthermore, we integrated Event Bank to create a CRM tool connected to the site via API. This connection ensures that AmCham has powerful means to manage its website in complete autonomy for:

  • Supporting memberships
  • Capturing valuable data
  • Building and monitoring CRM strategies
The Events page on the AmCham website

Last but not least, based on the finalized sitemap earlier, we moved forward with customizing UX/UI design for the website to deliver a content-driven experience.

ITC gave the Drupal website in China a complete revamp in design and development to create one that is not only stunning but also user-friendly and easy to navigate. The visuals are simple, classic, and modern, while still perfectly matching the Chinese perception and expectations.

The AmCham website in mobile view

Results

On top of designing a modern and professional-looking website, ITC also significantly enhanced the usability of the whole AmCham ecosystem. Website management has never been more efficient thanks to the seamless connection with the CRM tool Event Bank as well.

Moreover, the impressive performance of the website has showcased the capabilities of using React (frontend) in combination with Drupal (backend). (ITC also provides recommendations for our clients when there is a new version of Drupal to help them update their platform accordingly, ensuring optimal functionality and security.)

Finally, we are happy to say that the client perceived our work as outstanding, and was very satisfied with the delivered website. This is what Kenneth Jarrett, President of AmCham, thinks about the website and cooperation with IT Consultis:

“We wanted a website that was modern, user-friendly, and easy to maintain, and IT Consultis delivered against all these objectives. With the support of IT Consultis, we took a big leap into the modern digital era and now have a website that is mobile-friendly and easier for us to manage. We would recommend IT Consultis to others with similar needs.

Testimonial of the President of AmCham Shanghai - Kenneth Jarrett. He stated that they were pleased with IT Consultis's revamp of the website.

We are truly confident that, thanks to this new website, AmCham Shanghai can continue to deliver the same high-quality services to its members in the future years.

Considering Drupal web development to give your website a revamp as well? Looking for an expert Drupal agency in China?

Contact the experts at IT Consultis to get a detailed analysis and consultation on what your site CAN look like! We are a digital transformation agency based in Shanghai with over 10 years of experience in crafting tailor-made enablers to deliver the best digital experiences to your clients.

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