5 Ways a Drupal Dev Shop Can Help Your Agency
(And 3 Reasons Drupal May Not Be Right For You)
Your agency labored to find the right pitch, the perfect branding message, to win a great web design contract. Now, as you set up the initial schedules and start to document the project plan, you have to make hard choices about what technologies to recommend. In the world of web development, these choices aren’t easy, since the technology landscape changes quickly.
Perhaps you’ve heard a little bit about Drupal and are already impressed with some of its capabilities. You know you need to find a dev shop to do the build, but you’re not even sure you know what questions to ask to get the best value for your client. As a full-service software and web development company, we’re here to give you expert insights to help you make the best decisions for your clients.
What is Drupal
Drupal, an open-source content management system, is more than just a CMS. It provides a powerful programming environment to build robust websites. It’s written in PHP, and it has a large and passionate community of users constantly adding valuable modules and themes, expanding its functionality. Because it offers a wide range of functionality and supports so many content types, it has become a major player in the crowded CMS marketplace.
And like any popular technology, Drupal provides many benefits. In fact, many web development shops specialize in just Drupal development. It’s also true, however, that no technology is perfect for every situation. Here are some things you should consider before starting a Drupal project.
Reasons Your Agency Should Consider Hiring a Drupal Dev Shop
Drupal comes loaded with features that could benefit your clients. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it should give you a fair idea of why Drupal has become a leading CMS.
Not only is Drupal open-source, it’s an open framework, too. It lets developers dig into the core of the code more than other content management systems. This access means that in the hands of an expert developer, there’s little this framework can’t do. If your project requires developing a new, complex feature, then Drupal may be a good choice.
Many of the things that make Drupal so customizable also make it flexible. An experienced Drupal developer can use it to create any type of website you need. Additionally, Drupal embraces REST architecture, easily the most common web architecture available. Because Drupal allows developers to go deep into its framework and because it enthusiastically supports REST, you can extend it to make a full REST API without a lot of extra development. That means it’s possible to port the API created in Drupal to any other platform and keep your frontend work separate from your Drupal development.
Drupal’s tough security makes it an excellent choice for any project involving sensitive information. Not only does the basic installation come with a host of built-in security features, but it also provides a robust user permissions system allowing your client to control who has access to certain material.
Drupal, one of the leading CMS platforms in the world, has a long history of stability. Often people falsely believe that open-source software is buggy. However, because Drupal has such an active community supporting it, issues get fixed quickly before becoming a massive headache.
Drupal is scalable it two important ways: it can support the addition of new content types not included in the initial build, and it can link together a website with a large database or page count without breaking down. If you expect your client’s site will need to grow and change in the future, Drupal has you covered.
Reasons Drupal May Not Be Right for Your Agency
No technology is perfect. Keep these things in mind if you’re considering building your web project in Drupal.
- Difficult Installation
Such glowing benefits belie the fact that Drupal is a developer’s platform. Unlike other CMS solutions on the market – like WordPress, for example – you can’t just get a web hosting service, launch Drupal, and have a website set up and ready to go. Drupal’s installation process requires an experienced Drupal developer to install and modify.
- Complex Development
Similarly, building a website in Drupal takes more know-how than just cutting and pasting some text and uploading a few images into a pre-made theme. While the CMS is intuitive to use, building the site requires specialized knowledge to configure. Because of this, you need to make sure the dev shop you partner with is an expert with this technology.
- Version Support
New versions of Drupal aren’t released every day. But when there is a new release, it can significantly change the platform. Sometimes that means an older site either won’t work, or won’t look right. Before upgrading your Drupal site, make sure your development team understands the changes in the new version and updates your site accordingly. Also, partnering with a skilled Drupal dev shop will make updates go smoothly.
StudioLabs: More than a Drupal Dev Shop
Discovering some of the benefits and limitations of developing in Drupal may have sparked more questions in your mind, and we’re here to help. The developers at StudioLabs will look at your project and will help you determine the best technology fit.
If WordPress best fits the build, we’ll recommend using it. If your build needs a more custom approach and Drupal makes sense, like the sites we built for Studio Museum Harlem and Swarovski Waterschool, we will explain why we think it’s the best choice. Sometimes to be done right, however, certain projects require creating a custom CMS. For some clients, like Box’d Eats and Prazor, we’ve used React-Admin to build a custom CMS from scratch. Follow this link to see more of our software and web development work.
Because we’re technology agnostic, we will always find the best technology to fit the project and we won’t shoe-horn your project to fit the tools. And in the 16 plus years we’ve been in business, we’ve built thousands of websites, SaaS and eCommerce platforms, and custom software and mobile apps, as well. No matter what kind of digital project you have, we have the skills and expertise to deliver high-quality products. If you have a project and need a dev shop to build it, we should talk!