How Lugano built a digital government
platform with Magnolia

Lugano, home to 63,000 inhabitants, is Switzerland’s ninth-largest city. Situated at the Southern edge of the country, it is known for warm weather, its beautiful lake and a larger-than average amount of celebrity citizens. The city started using Magnolia in 2011, with a massive migration project in 2014 that led to optimized and integrated digital government services.

In 2011, Tinext used Magnolia to re-create a digital government platform for the city of Lugano, including one main site and seven sub-sites. In 2014, with the help of Tinext, Lugano made a massive migration project to Magnolia’s latest release - Magnolia 5.3. This enabled them to create a multilingual integrated digital government platform, giving citizens access to, among other things, relevant documents and the ability to pay bills. 

Industry: Public services
Country: Switzerland
Implemented by: Tinext

Why Lugano chose Magnolia


Easy to create content

The editorial staff find it easy to use, and associations can manage content directly on the public instance.


Fresh website design

Lugano wanted an attractive interface that appealed to citizens.



The city needed a scalable solution for the its digital government strategy.


Great technical support

Magnolia’s technical team is always ready to solve issues, fix bugs and provide great 24/7 resources.


Easy to customize

Lugano was able to carry out numerous extensions and customization projects.


Integration possiblities

Lugano is using Magnolia with its favorite third party tools.

Davide Guzzetti

The migration from 4.5 to 5 proved to be a lot easier, as there are more scripts and resources available.

The challenge

Create a digital government platform ready for the future

In 2011, The City of Lugano realized it had to step up its digital game if it wanted to provide a website that could communicate with citizens and visitors equally. There was no way around it: its website and online services had to be dramatically improved. It needed a scalable solution that would enable the city to achieve its digital strategy in coming years. The CMS it was using was difficult to use, so ease of usability was a big requirement. The new system also needed to integrate with third party tools Lugano was already using. 

The relaunch resulted in an impressive array of digital government services and newly efficient web properties, but the city still wanted to get more out of its CMS. It decided to migrate to Magnolia's latest and greatest version, Magnolia 5.3. This would allow it to carry out further extensions and customizations to enable interaction with citizens and to provide a wide range of digital services. 

Tinext has been a premium Magnolia partner since 2009, with over 150 Magnolia implementations under its belt


Lugano's homepage

The solution

A scalable solution that offers digital government

Not only did Lugano want to make all relevant citizen documents accessible through their website, they also wanted to enable citizen interaction. For example, by triggering processes directly from the website through an integration with SAP and Lotus, citizens can now pay invoices through the citizen portal directly.

Migrating 10,000 pages of content

In Lugano’s case, Tinext chose a 3-step migration: it migrated from version 4.4.4 to 4.4.6 to 4.5 to 5.3. Migrating Magnolia from 4.x to 4.5 requires a fair amount of time and resources, whereas the move to 5 is usually smoother.

In Autumn 2014, Tinext migrated 100,000 pages of content to Magnolia 5.3. By moving to the latest Magnolia version, Lugano could to take advantage of the revolutionary interface, as well as new features, such as personalization and easier integration. Lugano was further motivated to migrate because of its big plans for the relaunch: extensions, customizations and integrations were all in the pipeline. The migration's result was an integrated digital platform that allows for diverse integrations with third-party tools - such as SAP and Lotus - and maximum interaction with citizens.

An opportunity to review the content and architecture

Lugano decided to migrate its existing microsites as is, but they saw the migration as an opportunity to review the content and information architecture of the remainder of the site. They thus rebuilt the main site completely, resulting in less content and revisions of multilingual content. On top of that, all website HTML templates were revised and adapted with a responsive layout.

The result

An integrated digital government platform

The new Lugano website offers citizens digital government services that allow them not only to download documents but also to pay for bills, such as electricity and taxes. New integrations enable the site to offer subscriptions to cultural events, as well as the possiblity to buy travel flexicards directly on the site. A nifty parking availability integration with a custom system shows where parking spots are available. Assocations have the possibility to manage content directly on the public instance.


The flexicard order form

Independent analyst review of Magnolia

Magnolia has earned deservedly high marks for extensibility and integration potential. Few systems can claim to be as open or as amenable to custom app development.

Kas ThomasJ. Boye

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