Miramar Ship Index

New Drupal 8 Site Provides Ship Information to a Global Client Base

The challenge

In early 2017, Signify was asked to build a like-for-like website for the Miramar Ship Index that involved both updating the site’s overall design and feel, and modernizing the code base.

The Miramar Ship Index is the most comprehensive index of ships and their histories, covering iron and steel sailing ships, powered merchant ships and warships from the early 19th century through present day. The database has been painstakingly compiled and attentively updated over many years by former NZ Army major and dedicated nautical documentarian Rodger Barrington Haworth, who currently lives in Miramar, Wellington.

The challenge for Signify was to achieve a seamless migration of site members from over 50 countries to a similar-functioning site built upon an entirely different modern content management framework.

What we did

Having built the original Miramar Ship Index using the Ruby on Rails web-application framework back in 2006, Signify decided to use the new Drupal 8 open-source content management framework to update the Index site’s programming language and support.

Drupal 8 proved a huge leap from Drupal 7. Working with the nascent framework was an exciting challenge, but we persevered and successfully built the functionality and features required to support the Index site, including log-in and online purchasing facilities.

Site membership spans 50 countries from North America through Europe and Asia, with clients ranging from museums, libraries, newspapers and photographers to investigators looking to trace a ship’s history. The database covers 90% of all significantly-sized ships to ever take to the ocean with just a few gaps in the early 19th century, constituting a valuable historical resource and saving multiple clients from hours of tricky research.

We find this kind of project very rewarding. It not only stems from a decade-long relationship, but also helps keep valued clients and their valuable intellectual property current and relevant.

“Signify is so easy to get on with. I would never think of going anywhere else,” Roger Barrington Haworth, owner and author of the Miramar Ship Index.

The Drupal 8 Miramar Ship Index website also works great on mobile. Take a look.


Technology used

One of our earliest successes with the newest Drupal 8 open-source content management framework.


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