The Guggenheim relaunched its website on WordPress this week. The site, which represents the collection of Guggenheim museums, was in need of an overhaul that would modernize its underlying architecture and design.
Laura Kleger, who oversees the foundation’s online projects, explained why the Guggenheim chose WordPress for its new website. She said that the team began with a CMS analysis phase, which included Drupal and WordPress.
“The ideal process for improving websites is incremental and rapid change, but the old Guggenheim.org had accumulated too much technical and structural debt to produce further results, and a big leap forward was required,” Kleger said.
Prior to embarking on the project, the Guggenheim was running on Joomla, but the team had a difficult time implementing small changes.
“We wanted to use a widely adopted, open-source CMS with enough muscle to meet advanced needs,” Kleger said. They needed a user-friendly way for museum staff to create and update content without requesting the help of of designers and developers for simple updates.
“We chose WordPress for a few reasons – among them, the broad pool of developer resources, the excellence of the content administration interface, the rapid update release cycle, the ease of extending functionality, and the CMS’s deep taxonomy,” Kleger said.
The Guggenheim partnered with New York-based development agency Alley Interactive for the website’s overhaul, who recommended implementing a headless version of WordPress with content served via the WP REST API. This allowed the team to build out the frontend of the site using AngularJS.
“As noted by others, this approach is superior to the standard WordPress templating approach for achieving some of the more exciting possibilities in user experience today,” Kleger said.
The new website is a beautiful example of the WP REST API in the wild. For a deeper look at the design and development process, check out Kleger’s post announcing the new Guggenheim.org.