Launchpoker.com

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09.11.2008
Launchpoker.com
submitted by: Zohar Stolar
launchpoker.com - screenshot
launchpoker.com - High-end CCk theming
launchpoker.com - Nodequeue controls the position of each article and link
While we don't regularly work a lot of customers in the gaming industry, the next site has been an exception. First the specs specifically required Drupal and there where many challenges and issues involved. Secondly we were very eager to give feedapi a solid workout... ##Overview## [www.LaunchPoker.com](http://www.launchpoker.com) has been online since 2004, positioning itself as one of the leading poker portals online. The LaunchPoker.com team consists of editors from around the world, that write content in a wide variety of fields relating to poker. The site is multi-lingual and constantly optimized by professional SEO experts. LaunchPoker website was a PHP based website, with a basic non-friendly, self developed CMS. It's owners were keen on upgrade the website into the 21st century, by upgrading its back-office, with a stable CMS solution. This project made us confront with few challenges: ##Migration of existing content and SEO requirements## The major challenge we were facing was the migration of the old content we had on site, over 10,000 records in 5 different languages. It was defined "_critical_" that the migration had 100% success. By "success" the client meant that **ALL** old URLs must remain the same, as they were constantly building and maintaining their search engine qualities over the years. I must admit - it wasn't obvious. The old system was not properly designed, and many things just didn't make sense, once confronted with Drupal's logic.Looking backwards, although we successfully accomplished the tedious task, we'll definitely check out dedicated Drupal migration services, such as Moshe's [Cyrve](http://cyrve.com)... ##Importing content with FeedAPI## Many of the site's content actually come from external sources (site's affiliates) which is constantly imported using [FeedAPI](http://drupal.org/project/feedapi). Upon retrieval, it is dispatched to various places in the site, and is rendered as tables, news items, and external links. We have made quite a few adaptations, to accommodate the new content. Read more about [our use of FeedAPI](http://www.linnovate.net/en/using-feedapi), in Oren's write-up. ##Other features## Some of the other modules we've used, and features we've applied include: - **Multilingual publishing** - [i18n](http://drupal.org/project/i18n) allows the site operators to have 6 different sites, each in it's own language, with it's own content and menu, which share the same back-office for management and administration. - **Exact control over positioning of content** using [nodequeue](http://drupal.org/project/nodequeue). - **List of most popular search phrases** using [Top Searches](http://drupal.org/project/top_searches) - **Tracking ads and affiliates links** - we started with [ad module](http://drupal.org/project/ad), but found it too heavy and not comfortable for theming, and so eventually we found ourselves using the simple, yet powerful [Go](http://drupal.org/project/gotwo) module, to mark certain links for tracking. This allowed us to track clicks on ads, and theme them freely as we wanted.

Comments

The top_searches module is only available for Drupal 5. Does this mean you created the site in Drupal 5 or did you manually upgrade the module to Drupal 6? If the first case is true, is there a specific reason you didn't make the site in Drupal 6?

The site is built on Drupal 5.
A bit of behind the scene: We started working on it on May, and were done during August 2008. We didn't start developing big sites on Drupal 6 until quite recently (around September) because of the unreadiness of key contributed modules (similar to D.O. behavior).

It took the client a bit of time to do the actual switch between the old and the new systems.

I guess the german translation is being done automatically? I am somewhat between impressed - it takes you a minute to realize this - and amused, because there is no way around this...

Probably the reaction of a person realizing this depends on what he wants to do on the site. You can accept: well, this site is not natively run in my language, but the run an effort for me to be able to use it, then it's O.K.

We were heavily spammed on this page (high SEO rank, manual captcha bypasses), so comments are closed for this node. They were stronger than us this time... For the record: We used [Mollom](http://mollom.com), but it's probably isn't very effective against manual spammers. We added Akismet as a mechanism to not-publish the suspected comments. We ended up flooded with spam alerts. Not fun.