The logo of Cal State Bakersfield Extended Education

Upgrading to Drupal 10…and Decoupled

Surging demand and a need to carefully manage their resources led the Cal State Bakersfield Extended Education team to contact us for help. To address the long-term health of their website and potential future changes, they needed to upgrade to Drupal 10, and wanted to save money on hosting.

In discussing the Drupal 10 upgrade and hosting issues, we presented an opportunity to create a more robust, secure and fast site as part of this upgrade: moving to decoupling their site using Next-Drupal, the Next.js implementation built by Chapter Three.

Laptop device with homepage showing and tablet with program listing showing.

What We Did

CSUB was determined to be an innovator in higher education, and their timing was perfect, as we had just developed the right tool to help them achieve this: Next-Drupal. Our Next.js for Drupal installation that can launch seamlessly on all the major hosting providers’ platforms and scale for enterprise clients. We changed and improved the hosting arrangement, with hosting for the new back end provided by and the Next.js front end hosted by Vercel. This gave them:

  • A fully featured content editor experience with automatic preview allows editors to see real-time previews and publications without rebuilding the entire site every time a small editorial change happens – a common pain point in headless projects.
  • A seamless integration between the front end and the Drupal CMS and an improved coding experience that allows developers to use their preferred modern stack.
  • The electrifying speed is coupled with the failsafe security that separates code from the interface.
Desktop designs of course and summer programs.


We changed and improved the hosting arrangement, with hosting for the new back end provided by and the Next.js front end hosted by Vercel.

Tablet and mobile devices of the new design.

Design Enhancements

At the same time, we also recognized opportunities to modernize the look and feel of the CSUB Extended Education site with some fresh designs.

New design features included:

  • Full-width, browser edge-to-browser-edge components
  • An “explore our programs” search module with a button that takes users to a course listing page, replacing the previous design with all the courses listed on the homepage
  • A “numbers that matter” infographic on the homepage featuring key facts and figures about the department
  • Student testimonials on the homepage
  • A new news blog highlighted on the homepage featuring student stories and other department news
  • A more visually appealing and user-friendly drop-down menu with a hamburger mega-menu
  • Simplified content
  • Expanded faculty profiles
Five mobile comps displayed in a row.

The Result

This undertaking resulted in a stunningly fast website with engaging content and effective design that will serve as an excellent student recruitment and retention tool for Cal State Bakersfield for years to come.


Aerial photo of Cal State Bakersfield

Want to Talk About Next-Drupal?

Get in touch with John to set up a demo, understand the benefits and explore options. We’d love to hear from you!

The Next.js platform... has been very smooth for us. As has been the case with Drupal historically, we could customize our back-end experience to our liking for our content editors with virtually no restrictions, but we can deliver a far superior front-end experience through the headless/Next.js architecture for our prospective students (our users/customers). Users have noticed speed improvements and content editors are pleased with the content editing experience and the speed at which they can make and test changes.

Stacey Childress
Director of Marketing and Systems | California State University Bakersfield