A new technological basis for corporate websites with TYPO3
SPIEGEL Gruppe is one of the most respected media companies in Germany. In 2020, the publishing group underwent the biggest structural change in the company’s history: The two major editoral teams, online and print, were merged into one editoral team that is responsible both for the print product and the website, which is now called DER SPIEGEL.
In close collaboration with the client sitegeist implemented the new design system of DER SPIEGEL in TYPO3 using Fluid Components and Fluid Styleguide. This led to a highly reusable website platform based on TYPO3 which today already powers several satellite websites of DER SPIEGEL as well as several corporate websites. The goal is to launch every new web project on this new platform, so that all projects can profit from technical advancements in the future.
sitegeist also contributed directly to the major relaunch of DER SPIEGEL in 2020 with a TYPO3-based web application.
SPIEGEL Gruppe approached sitegeist in 2018 with an unusual request: Several SPIEGEL IT employees should be empowered to create corporate websites based on TYPO3. sitegeist developed a coaching schedule which started with a general overview of TYPO3 and the basic development philosophies and skills.
Soon after that we envisioned a flexible expandable platform which could serve SPIEGEL Gruppe as a boilerplate for new websites as well as relaunches of existing ones. A close collaboration between sitegeist and the client began which continues until today. In regular coaching sessions we discuss ongoing problems and find solutions together. We distribute the tasks between SPIEGEL IT employees and sitegeist, review code and improve our TYPO3 platform. We try to find pragmatic solutions instead of sophisticated theoretical constructs. We stick to best practices from the TYPO3 community as well as from sitegeist’s other client projects.
We see ourselves as partners rather than the agency and client and discuss arising difficulties openly. In that spirit we aspire to share our knowledge both ways: SPIEGEL Gruppe was very generous in sharing their knowledge of cloud infrastructure with us and in every coaching session the coaches also learn something new.
An elementary part in the implementation of SPIEGEL’s design system was a component-driven development process. sitegeist shared their previous experiences with Fluid Components, but it became clear very early on that we would also need something to make that work visible to all stakeholders. This is when SPIEGEL Gruppe offered to sponsor a prototype of a living styleguide. They were also very open to the idea to contribute this tool to the TYPO3 community at large.
And that’s what we did: Fluid Styleguide has been available in the TYPO3 extension repository since then and has been improved and refined continuously. Both sitegeist itself and SPIEGEL Gruppe have provided new features and bug fixes, and there have even been some contributions from the TYPO3 community. Together we wrote a small Open Source success story that fostered our dedication to the TYPO3 ecosystem.