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Major upgrade for

Salsa Digital was commissioned to bring across onto the govCMS platform, delivering a more stable and user-friendly website.

The players

The Department of Communications and the Arts was formed when the two areas came together as part of a Machinery of Government (MOG) change. The Department maintained its two websites — and The Arts area of the Department promotes arts and culture in Australia, including the performing arts, literature, visual arts and indigenous arts and language.

The problem

The Comms website moved to govCMS (a project Salsa Digital was involved in during the later stages) and Arts also wanted to come across. The old Arts website was running on Drupal 6, a content management system (CMS) that was at ‘end-of-life’ (no longer supported). In addition, the website’s dated user interface was in need of modernisation.

Arts wanted a new website on govCMS, a new site based heavily on the updated Department of Communications website.

The solution

Salsa Digital won the tender to build the new Arts website on govCMS.


Our discovery phase consisted of intensive workshops at the Department’s Canberra office. This gave us a clear understanding of the requirements, and highlighted just how much of the Comms functionality Arts wanted to use. The Department was already working with Systemik on web content and Information Architecture (IA), and we brought in Folk to conduct user testing.


The visual designs for the new Arts website were handled by the Department’s in-house designers. No design fun for Salsa Digital on this one! However, we did work with Folk and the Department to validate a few design templates via user research to choose the final look and feel.


Arts wanted to bring their site onto the govCMS Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, a CMS Salsa Digital has loads of experience with and loves working on. The build included exporting and adapting a great deal of the Comms govCMS functionality and modules, as well as creating new functionality and features. Some of the new features include:

  • A new consultation content type for the Arts funding and support programs
  • An adapted ‘Have your say’ feature
  • The ability to add attributions/captions to photos and images
  • A new Q&A functionality, that can be inserted into any (every) content page.

The build also included frontend theming, taking the designs from the Arts team and applying the theming to make the site look beautiful.


Arts now experiences all the benefits of govCMS, such as:

  • A stable and reliable CMS
  • An enterprise-grade CMS vetted and approved by the Department of Finance
  • 24x7 enterprise support and proactive monitoring
  • Security compliance at the highest level
  • An easy-to-use CMS (with features like re-sizing images automatically, which content managers use frequently)

In addition, the new site provides Arts and content users lots of flexibility to ‘build’ pages with a variety of templates and components to tailor each page to their needs.

The new site is responsive, meaning it can be viewed from mobiles and tablets as well as desktop computers, and because it’s aligned with the Department of Comms site, both sites can share developments and new functionality going forward.

Why Salsa Digital?

Salsa Digital is an Acquia partner with a proven track record working with both Acquia and govCMS. Our developers have experience and accreditation in Drupal/govCMS and in March 2016 we were named Acquia’s Partner of the Year Asia Pacific and Japan (2016). We’re trusted in the marketplace and we know the product extremely well.

Most importantly, Salsa Digital worked with the Department of Communications and Arts on the final stages of the Comms website. During this project, Salsa Digital had demonstrated our professionalism, engineering pedigree and govCMS expertise.

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