Founded in 2013, in less than a decade Crelan has emerged as one of the largest banks in Belgium. As a cooperative, the bank-insurer counts more than 250,000 customers as shareholders.

Their previous website, built on a headless Drupal with a Laravel front-end became increasingly difficult to maintain and fell quite short in a number of areas. No problems on the front end, it was the engine behind it that we needed to replace.

Back-end replaced without scratching the front-end

No comma was allowed to change on the front end of the website. What does this mean specifically? We summarize it in a few points:

  • Bringing Drupal completely up to date, especially with security in mind. We are adding additional security and monitoring tools.
  • We are working as closely as possible to a vendor-independent solution.
  • We offer support in hosting this application and modern methods regarding deployment.
  • We start a separate process of changes, parallel to the main process of the rebuild.
crelan home

We joined forces and initiated a comprehensive conversion, with multiple parallel tracks in development, front-end, project management and hosting.

First, we took the website and brought it completely up to date, following Drupal standards and our own best practices. We replaced the Laravel front-end with a Drupal theme. This makes future maintenance easier and also integrates better with Drupal working methods. We reduced custom code to the bare minimum. In a complex and financial environment, you want to maximize quick resolution times and the highest possible fault tolerance. A strong focus on proven contrib solutions was therefore important.

The requirements of a financial institution

We also called on Scalecity, our hosting partner, for application support. After all, as a bank, Crelan has a strict security policy and the requirements are much more extensive than for most other websites. For example:

  •  Encrypted database,
  •  Shielded environments and connections within that environment,
  •  Increased access control,
  •  24/7 comprehensive monitoring of the application(s) and server,
  •  Antivirus monitoring and security checks,
  •  Periodic reporting.

    In February 2022, the new version went live, although you probably won't have noticed ... and that was the intention!

What else did we do for Crelan?

  • Manuals were provided in video and text format. When employees leave and new ones start, Crelan does not have to keep organizing new training courses (although of course it is always possible). Instead, it can always refer back to the source material.
  • Preparing the import of Wordpress data, into the Crelan ecosystem.
  • Integrating Angular apps, with separately linked web services in Drupal.
  • Converting custom Google Maps functionality to a contrib version of Drupal, to improve maintenance.
  • Integrating a redirect system so that old URLs remain reachable at all times.
  • Audits of code and recommendations.
  • Last but not least, Crelan entered into a 24/7 SLA with the Calibrate support team. Besides dedicated technical support in case of incidents, we have a very involved and close collaboration in terms of technical extensions, content management and SEO.

Crelan is a great illustration of how a project is not simply delivered and issued, but is constantly evolving and being thought about and expanded upon. This website is alive, and we love to see that!

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