Request for Proposal “Drupal 8 Migration” | Freedom House

Request for Proposal “Drupal 8 Migration”

Published: June 27, 2018
Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 17, 2018

Robert Ruby, Director of Communications
[email protected]

About Us

Freedom House (FH) is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world.

Freedom House speaks out against the main threats to democracy and empowers citizens to exercise their fundamental rights.  We analyze the challenges to freedom; advocate for greater political rights and civil liberties; and support frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change.  Founded in 1941, Freedom House was the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally.

Freedom House acts as a catalyst for freedom through a combination of analysis, advocacy, and action.  Our research and analysis frames the policy debate in the United States and abroad on the progress and decline of democracy. 

Freedom House is headquartered in Washington, DC, with a publications department in New York.  We also have several other field teams spread across Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. 

Product Overview: Migration of our site to Drupal 8

Freedom House’s website,, is currently on Drupal 7. Freedom House would like the help of a web development firm to migrate the site to Drupal 8.

The original website developer vendor is no longer supporting the site. That firm may choose to participate in this solicitation; however, all solicitations will be evaluated fairly and equally, with no preference for the past vendor.

Project Description:

Freedom House is seeking a website design and development firm to scope, design, and build a Drupal 8 site, which would be a website migration from our Drupal 7 site.

We do not anticipate changing the theme of our site. Freedom House’s website does not have overly-complicated features, and is mostly used to host articles, blog posts, and reports.

Project Requirements

Drupal 8 Website – Desired Core Features & Functionalities

  • Easily-supportable and easily-managed website, compatible on most major browser versions, listed below:
    • Fully functional for the 3 newest versions of Chrome/Chromium (Desktop and Mobile)
    • Fully functional for the 3 newest versions of Firefox (Desktop and Mobile)
    • Fully functional for the 3 newest versions of Edge (Desktop and Mobile)
    • Fully functional for the 2 newest versions of Safari (Desktop and Mobile)
    • The newest version of Opera
    • IE11+ (IE10 is only 0.66% of the market)
  • The current website has 22 content types. Approximately 7 of them may be removed for Drupal 8 as a part of a slight clean-up process.
  • Freedom House website users are only administrators and content editors. We do not have and do not allow comments. Our only form where anonymous users can enter content is our website search.
  • Two-Factor Authentication must be enabled for all website administrators and editors
  • Implementation of Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for metrics purposes
  • Website should be in PHP 7 (minimum)
  • Website must be mobile responsive
  • A low-maintenance hosting solution for the website (ideally either Platform.Sh or Pantheon)
  • Website should work with CloudFlare
  • Website is using SSL and must continue to do so
  • Website should be security-oriented (The website must be HTTPS, utilize two-factor authentication for the development site and production site, and have key Drupal security modules installed, etc.)
  • The current website has the following functionalities that will need to be replicated in Drupal 8:
    • Website search currently supported by ElasticSearch and a custom module.
    • Related Content – The Freedom House blogs have a content block for Related Content at the bottom of blog posts, which pulls similar blog posts to feature based on similar titles, as well as Issues, Regions and Countries (which are selected tags). This functionality is enabled via an integration search platform app Solr (this functionality can work with either ElasticSearch or Solr in Drupal 8). Example:
    • Regions Pages and Countries Pages also display Recent and Related Content (articles, blogs, reports) and Freedom Ratings (ratings of Free, Not Free and Partly Free based on research from our annual Freedom reports.)
    • Ability for website content editors and administrators to publish and edit content and files
    • Display of Drupal Views for numerous pages and page types
    • Migrate interactive d3.js maps (currently working with a custom module) that appear on our main reports (Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, Freedom on the Net, and Nations in Transit). The current displays pull data from Excel files to populate the map visualization and info.
    • Internet Freedom Election Monitor Page functionality – For this functionality, the maps (which are written in D3.js code) pull data from a Google Drive excel document. For the country names and descriptions, the information are their own Content Types with their own distinct styles, and they show up based on the regions to which they belong. This works with a custom module.
    • Our main Annual Reports (Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, Freedom on the Net, Nations in Transit) have different visual styles depending on the years. In Drupal 8, we would like them to be streamlined and all follow the most recent display and styling.
    • Main reports page have a sticky navigation on the right side. See example of:
    • Event, Donations and Sign-ups: Although the website has Event listings that contain event information, the website does not directly manage sign-ups and registration forms for events. We currently use a third-party tool called Salsa Labs to handle event registration, newsletter sign-ups, and donations, and will very likely continue to link to third-party tools in the future. We will need to make sure we have smooth integration with the third-party platform and have styles apply across the board, so users have a smooth transition from the Freedom House site to any outside forms or landing pages.

Website Styles and Visual Theming:

The Freedom House website utilizes the following general style groups:

  • Overall Website Styles:  applied to most sections of the website, including the Home Page, Our Work, Press Releases, Articles, Initiatives, Blogs, Regions, Programs, Countries, and Basic Pages. We would like all key branding, fonts and styles to be preserved.
  • Annual Reports: Freedom House site has a display and style applied for its main reports, such as Freedom in the World 2018 ( )
  • Special Reports: Special reports typically follow the current style of the 2018 edition of Freedom in the World, with some variation for reports like The Politburo’s Predicament ( )
  • Report Briefs: We also use a separate style for our Nations in Transit report Briefs (, which differs from the display and style of the website as a whole.
  • China Media Bulletin: The China Media Bulletin is the web product of a grant-funded FH project. This section of the website has specific pages (under the News section) in English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. These pages also have their own distinct theming and layouts, but mostly follow the general FH website themes.
  • Internet Freedom Election Monitor: The Internet Freedom Election Monitor section also bears slightly different styling from the main FH website styles.

Optional Features

  • Multilingual functionality that would easily allow for Spanish, Ukrainian, French, Chinese and Russian language content (or a feature that more easily allows users to translate the entire website into their native language)


Freedom House would like the website migration to be completed between November 15  - December 1, 2018.

Seeking a Website Design & Development Firm

Minimum Requirements for Respondents

  • Proven knowledge of and ability to design, code, test, and implement websites, including all aspects of project management, from scoping to handoff/closeout and maintenance training.
  • Expert knowledge of Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.
  • Experience in migrating Drupal 7 websites to Drupal 8.
  • Proven knowledge of basic data visualization forms, methods and best practices, and design or coding tools/libraries, which may include Adobe Creative Suite, Chart.js, Tableau, D3.js, HighCharts, or others.
  • Proven ability to construct user-friendly website user interfaces (UI/UX)
  • Proven ability to provide web hosting recommendations and execute set-up and deployment of websites, as well as clear documentation for long-term maintenance and support by Freedom House  
  • Proven ability to build websites that demonstrate proper website security best practices and SSL compliance

Desired Requirements for Respondents

  • Experience working with nonprofit organizations and/or NGOs

The Solicitation Process

  • Participation is open to all qualified firms. This request for information is the first step in a process that will result in Freedom House's vendor selection. One or more respondents to this RFP may be asked to scope and prepare a more detailed proposal.
  • Questions and answers: Participants are encouraged to submit written questions about this solicitation to [email protected]. No questions will be answered after July 11, 2018.
  • In order to assure a fair process for all participants, no telephone or face-to-face interactions will be accepted during this initial proposal stage. All communication is to be by email only.
  • Proposals are due by 11:59pm, July 17, 2018.
  • Proposals must be submitted electronically as a PDF and should be less than 25MB. No paper materials will be accepted.

Proposals should include:

  • Firm name
  • Full contact information for no more than two points of contact
  • Narrative describing the history (including year founded) of the firm and its relevant expertise
  • Discussion of how the firm would engage with Freedom House, including proposed timeline, scope, and budget
  • Examples of similar work. This should include both screenshots (or other image or PDF file examples) and URLs.
  • Pricing: Hourly rates for each category of firm staff/consultants who would engage in such a project and estimated number of each needed for the project.
  • Indication of whether all those who engage in the project would be firm staff or third-party consultants
  • Timing: How quickly could an engagement begin following selection?
  • References: At least three current or very recent clients for whom the firm has done similar work. Provide full contact information for one point of contact, along with descriptions of project, illustrations, and appropriate URLs.

Selection Criteria

Freedom House will make a best-value selection. Factors will include (but may not be limited to):

  • Experience and competence
  • Vision
  • Cost
  • Timeline of project