Building Blazing Fast Decoupled Sites with Easytech Green

Lucas Mingarro, Co-Founder & CEO of Easytech Green, filled us in on an exciting new project with one of the only two liberal arts colleges in Argentina, Universidad de San Andrés. A Pantheon partner since 2016, Easytech Green relaunched the university’s flagship website delivering an accessible, mobile-first user experience using our new Front-End Sites product.

Easytech Green was one of the first agencies to enroll in the Early Access program for Pantheon’s new decoupled solution, and we are excited to share this exclusive first look at his experience and results.

Screenshot of Universidad San Andre's Website

 

Pantheon: Why did Easytech Green choose to build a decoupled practice?

Mingarro: Using Drupal with a modern front-end framework, you get the best of both worlds. The functionality is more flexible, the user experience is much better. We really like Next.js: it's fast and simplifies development, plus finding JavaScript developers is easier. It’s an ideal combination.

Pantheon: Why did you choose a decoupled approach for the Universidad de San Andrés?

Mingarro: Universidad de San Andrés had their main institutional website, including careers, departments, professors, donations, institution information and authorities on legacy infrastructure in Drupal 7. We started to support it a few years ago and immediately migrated from AWS to Pantheon.

We ran a series of user experience research interviews, focus groups, surveys and data analysis of their Drupal 7 site prior to the redesign. It was clear they needed a change. The client wanted versatility when generating content. They wanted to be able to create pages in a simple and dynamic way. The mobile experience was important. From loading times to small visual details to make the user feel comfortable while browsing the site, the entire experience needed to be pleasant. We implemented several integrations, some from Drupal and others from Next.js. The flexibility of integrations is another advantage of decoupling.

A modern accessible website with a fantastic user experience across every device was the goal.

We suggested they continue using Drupal for the backend with a decoupled approach for the front end. We had experience delivering this solution to other clients and were confident it would be a success. The University provided the design and we began developing a decoupled website using Drupal 9 in the backend and Next.js in the front end.

Pantheon: Why did you choose Pantheon Front-End Sites for the Universidad de San Andrés project?

Lucas Mingarro: Over the last two years, Easytech Green has been working on decoupled websites using Drupal and Next.js. Now, as part of the Front-End Sites Early Access program, we can bring decoupled sites live on Pantheon. We are very happy to be part of this innovation.

Working with Pantheon makes the most sense. It’s much easier for Easytech Green to deliver on the goals of the website when all of the WebOps live in one place with one provider with all of their essential tools like Terminus, Upstreams and Multidev. On Vercel, the deployments are fast and convenient, but efficiency sometimes suffers. It’s better if everything is integrated into Pantheon. 

Pantheon: Do you have any advice for agencies considering building a decoupled practice? 

Lucas Mingarro: Your first decoupled project might be a little bit more complicated to get started, and it might take a little bit longer. Don’t get discouraged. We keep track of our work for hours, and now that Easytech Green’s decoupled practice is mature, front-end development takes less time. Once you get used to it, front-end development is faster because you don't have to worry about Drupal’s templating system. There are also a lot of things that you can't use with Drupal out of the box. Drupal can be very restrictive, so we prefer to use it for the back-end functionality. 

Getting the right resources to do the project ahead of time makes a huge difference. It's a lot easier to get JavaScript resources. Front-end developers don't need to have any Drupal experience, they just need to be able to call APIs. You can just give them a team. It's a lot faster than having to get their new PHP Developer systems. A lot of people also know React. There's a lot of material on the web. So it's very easy for developers to work.

Pantheon: Why did Easytech Green choose to build a decoupled practice?

Mingarro: Using Drupal with a modern front-end framework, you get the best of both worlds. The functionality is more flexible, the user experience is much better. We really like Next.js: it's fast and simplifies development, plus finding JavaScript developers is easier. It’s an ideal combination.

Pantheon: Why did you choose a decoupled approach for the Universidad de San Andrés?

Mingarro: Universidad de San Andrés had their main institutional website, including careers, departments, professors, donations, institution information and authorities on legacy infrastructure in Drupal 7. We started to support it a few years ago and immediately migrated from AWS to Pantheon.

We ran a series of user experience research interviews, focus groups, surveys and data analysis of their Drupal 7 site prior to the redesign. It was clear they needed a change. The client wanted versatility when generating content. They wanted to be able to create pages in a simple and dynamic way. The mobile experience was important. From loading times to small visual details to make the user feel comfortable while browsing the site, the entire experience needed to be pleasant. We implemented several integrations, some from Drupal and others from Next.js. The flexibility of integrations is another advantage of decoupling.

A modern accessible website with a fantastic user experience across every device was the goal.

We suggested they continue using Drupal for the backend with a decoupled approach for the front end. We had experience delivering this solution to other clients and were confident it would be a success. The University provided the design and we began developing a decoupled website using Drupal 9 in the backend and Next.js in the front end.

Pantheon: Why did you choose Pantheon Front-End Sites for the Universidad de San Andrés project?

Lucas Mingarro: Over the last two years, Easytech Green has been working on decoupled websites using Drupal and Next.js. Now, as part of the Front-End Sites Early Access program, we can bring decoupled sites live on Pantheon. We are very happy to be part of this innovation.

Working with Pantheon makes the most sense. It’s much easier for Easytech Green to deliver on the goals of the website when all of the WebOps live in one place with one provider with all of their essential tools like Terminus, Upstreams and Multidev. On Vercel, the deployments are fast and convenient, but efficiency sometimes suffers. It’s better if everything is integrated into Pantheon. 

Pantheon: Do you have any advice for agencies considering building a decoupled practice? 

Lucas Mingarro: Your first decoupled project might be a little bit more complicated to get started, and it might take a little bit longer. Don’t get discouraged. We keep track of our work for hours, and now that Easytech Green’s decoupled practice is mature, front-end development takes less time. Once you get used to it, front-end development is faster because you don't have to worry about Drupal’s templating system. There are also a lot of things that you can't use with Drupal out of the box. Drupal can be very restrictive, so we prefer to use it for the back-end functionality. 

Getting the right resources to do the project ahead of time makes a huge difference. It's a lot easier to get JavaScript resources. Front-end developers don't need to have any Drupal experience, they just need to be able to call APIs. You can just give them a team. It's a lot faster than having to get their new PHP Developer systems. A lot of people also know React. There's a lot of material on the web. So it's very easy for developers to work.



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Topics Decoupled CMS, Website Technology