Drupal is an open source software that is developed and maintained by more than 100,000 individual contributors. This software is a great choice for building a wide variety of websites, including company sites, community portal sites, campaign sites, news publishing, aficionado sites, intranet/corporate websites, resource directories, international sites, educational sites, and personal sites.
The benefits of using Drupal to build the website for your business are extensive. Not only is it open source, it uses standards-compliant methods to improve search engine ranking. Drupal is stable, supported, and here to stay. Key features of the software include:
Organize & Find: Drupal comes with a variety of tools that help you organize, structure, find, and reuse your content.
Creative Content: Manage content with an easy-to-use web interface.
Administer: Drupal comes with great options for new user accounts and user permissions.
Collaborate: Drupal’s focus on social publishing can help you create sites and applications to help users engage with one-another.
Build: Build internal- and external-facing websites with no custom programming.
Design & Display: Drupal’s presentation layer allows designers to create highly useable, interactive experiences that engage users and increase traffic.
Extend: With more than 19,000 available modules, the majority of your website’s requirements can be addressed with Drupal core and available add-on modules.
Connect: Drupal makes it easy to connect your website to other sites and services across the web using aggregation, feeds, and it uses REST API; a web service that makes external applications interact with Drupal (such as creating, reading, updating, or deleting resources) .
Choosing a Drupal developer is not an easy process. Many factors should be considered when selecting the best company and services. Do not choose a development company solely based on their reputation; consider how well the company fits your business and website needs. You should also choose a company based on how quickly they respond to you.
First, understand what internal resources you have. Whether you already have some Drupal developers on board or are starting from scratch, choose a company that provides ongoing support. This relationship will benefit you in the future as updates, enhancements, and maintenance come into play. Remember, the development process isn’t finished when the website is launched. Choose a Drupal shop that is well versed in the software so they are able to provide you with the tools you need pre- and post-launch.
Second, research the company’s expertise. Drupal experts specialize in different areas; some developers have a wide range of specializations while others have a smaller pool to choose from. Specializations include design, development, and consulting. Always keep in mind the development work you require and evaluate whether or not the Drupal expert can provide what you need.
Ask yourself these questions when choosing a company:
- How much experience does the team have using the Drupal software?
- How hard is it to get in touch with the lead developer?
- What other Drupal websites have they developed?
Once you have answers to the above questions, you can start comparing options. Evaluate the different approaches each company takes in their estimating process and which approach would be the best fit for you. Take into consideration the services offered and how those services will provide value. Are you getting the most out of your investment?
Website hosting is another important factor. When the website is developed, you will need to publish it with a web hosting company. Many websites have hosting already and your development company will likely offer more suggestions to suit you and your needs. Website hosting packages determine site performance. Make sure the hosting packages offered by the company optimize performance if you choose to go with their recommendation.
If you have additional questions—or would just like to speak with the company—give them a call. Ask to speak with the lead developer and chat with him or her for a few minutes. Ask them about their approach, hosting packages, and the best practices they follow. This allows you to gauge their responsiveness and determine whether or not they truly understand the software. If the conversation goes well, you might even come out of it understanding what that particular firm can provide for you.
Drupal is an excellent choice because of its elasticity, extensibility, and strong support from developers. Certain Drupal shops will fit your needs better than others; consider the above questions when selecting a Drupal firm to represent your company. Choosing the best-fit developer will ensure your development is done on time and on budget. You’ll learn that as the development process evolves, the relationship with the selected firm develops as well.