Switchback Travel & The Master Switch

Custom Drupal Website

After years of traveling the globe, David Wilkinson launched Switchback Travel as a travel guide for outdoor travelers. With the aim of avoiding the narrow, beaten path of existing travel information, Switchback Travel offers essays, photographs, maps, user input, and other helpful tools. After the success of Switchback Travel David and his team then launched a secondary business, The Master Switch. The Master Switch offers resources for researching tech devices, providing guides on different features to consider before making your purchase.

Migrating to Drupal 8.0

In 2018, we migrated both The Master Switch and Switchback Travel websites to fresh installations of Drupal’s latest version 8.0. Drupal 8.0 CMS platform offered an improved admin panel, new admin features, stable modules, and security and speed - efficiencies that The Master Switch/Switchback Travel team wanted to utilize.

A Platform Upgrade

Because we had built Switchback Travel on Drupal years prior, implementing designs created by Design Hovie Studios, we were able to carry out a direct, programmatic migration of all content. While most content had to be reviewed and adapted to fit the new capabilities, the site designs, layouts, and media were all successfully migrated over to the new website. If necessary, additional changes were made to the design in order to accommodate the more modern platform.

We conducted QA with the Switchback team. To ensure that their content team would feel comfortable with the new administrative suite, our Technical Project Managers lead content training sessions.

Play video

Leveraging a Web Design

Once completed, we switched attention to The Master Switch where we once again leveraged the investment made in front-end development on Switchback (theme structure, layout and styles) for The Master Switch. While the content on the two websites is completely different, we were able to reuse much of the Drupal structure and theme, simply changing the styles to reflect The Master Switch brand. While not exactly a two-for-one, it was certainly a great way to leverage a completely custom theme into a second website.


  • Entirely new custom website built on Drupal, providing enterprise-level content management tools.

  • Mobile responsive designs implemented on both The Master Switch and Switchback Travel.

Responsive Development

For both websites, building a fully mobile responsive user experience became a priority. We developed Switchback first, with a new design from Hovie that included desktop improvements to make it responsive (reacting to changing screen widths) and better display Switchback’s photography, as well as “stacking” for the mobile experience. With years of Drupal publishing experience, the Switchback team had a very clear vision for how they’d like to structure content and simplify the content management process. The new structure required a significant change in the content types, fields, and data structure.