What is Drupal Development?
In today’s digital age, having a well-developed website is crucial for your business. In this article, we’ll discuss what Drupal development is, along with its features, costs, and benefits.
Many of the websites you visit and rely on daily are built using a content management system (or CMS). And among the top options for a CMS, and indeed for full-site development, is Drupal. Let’s jump in to understand more about what Drupal is, what it does, and how your business or organization can benefit from outsourcing to an experienced Drupal website developer or development organization.
First, the Basics: What is Drupal?
Drupal is open-source software; a web content management platform that is community-supported, reliable, secure, and highly customizable. Which makes it perhaps the number one choice for countless organizations, in fields ranging from higher education to eCommerce, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and more.
In truth, Drupal is more than a standard CMS (such as WordPress). Drupal, like many other popular web applications, is written in PHP, making it quick for experienced web developers to learn. Drupal is also a foundation and framework for web development and one that allows for an incredibly wide range of options. With Drupal, the basic framework and hundreds of modules work together seamlessly. Drupal modules are basically plug-and-play functionalities for your website that are flexible and easy to add. Everything from eCommerce modules to payment processing, security, and much more is ready to be incorporated into your business’ site. Many of the best and most popular functions are developed by the Drupal community, and module development is one of the key areas for Drupal experts.
So, what is Drupal development, and what use does it serve for businesses? Put simply, Drupal development is the construction, customization, expansion, and maintenance of websites and digital apps using the Drupal framework. For businesses, Drupal represents a tremendous opportunity and improvement to your web presence, brand familiarity, and eCommerce capabilities.
What are the Key Features of Drupal?
Expanding on that, the key features of Drupal 7, Drupal 8, Drupal 9, and subsequent versions that can (and do) benefit businesses the most include:
Mobile-first, responsive design built-in
Drupal is designed and built to provide you and your customers with a responsive mobile web experience, including support for mobile apps. This means that, from the back-end to the front-end and beyond, your website will be rich and fully featured for users whether they find your business through desktop, tablet, or mobile devices.
Custom user experiences
Drupal allows a great deal of customization in your site and app design, including allowing you to tailor the site experience based on where users are, what device they are browsing on, their interests, and other content types. As the need for personalization in the CRM and purchase funnels grows, Drupal is built to allow for more user-specific customization, a more enjoyable digital experience, and increased conversions.
Drupal is also fully scalable, meaning that your site’s capabilities can grow along with your needs and your business. Adding and implementing functions via modules is very straightforward, and making those Drupal modules unique for your business’ needs is also a fairly simple Drupal development process. There are Drupal modules developed for everything from SEO to payment processing, security, and much more.
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How Much Should Drupal Web Development Cost?
While Drupal itself is a free, open-source web development platform, the skill and knowledge required to create and update a site with Drupal are significant. And for any business that wants to hit the ground running with a robust, user-friendly eCommerce site, an experienced Drupal developer is definitely the way to go.
As with any outsourcing question, the amount for your specific project can vary dramatically from other, even similar projects. The cost of the Drupal project will be dependent on how large your site needs to be, how much content you have already developed, whether you want to use templates to get started, how many modules or functions need to be integrated, and so on.
To give you a price range, you can expect a high-quality Drupal eCommerce development project to cost between $15,000 and $50,000, with a number of variables affecting the price. For example, how much custom development will your site need? Are you looking for an out-of-the-box solution, or is it important to launch with a truly custom user experience and user interface?
A fairly standard Drupal development project may fall in the neighborhood of $25,000 to $35,000 depending on your business’s specific needs. Additionally, if you choose a freelance Drupal developer who bills hourly, you can expect the hourly rate to range between $60 and $90 per hour; here the bigger variable to consider is how much time your project will take, which your developer should be able to estimate for you upfront.
What are the Advantages of Outsourcing Drupal Development?
Whether you are starting out with a fairly simple, customer-facing site, or you need a full-featured eCommerce platform ready to go, you should not be put off by the prices mentioned above. Outsourcing your Drupal site and/or app development to an experienced web development agency or firm comes with countless benefits for your business. Those can include:
DIY is great if you have the time to really learn Drupal on your own, but if your goal is to drive business as soon as possible, there is no substitute for a group of Drupal development experts.
From design and development to customization, testing, CRM, and much more, outsourcing your project to Drupal developers ensures that you bring a ton of skill to your site launch, and the results are efficiency, security, and functionality right out of the gate.
Many firms don’t just specialize in Drupal; they may have designers, CRM professionals, database experts, UX and UI designers, and many other personnel available to make your site powerful, scalable, and ready to perform.
The Best Time to Get Started with Drupal Development
You may think the answer to the question, “When is the best time to begin outsourcing my Drupal development project?” is different for any business. But in truth, there’s really not a bad time to begin searching for and working with an established team offering Drupal development services. Whether you’re just starting up or your business is ready for a major upgrade to your eCommerce presence, you can take a few steps to get going right now.
First, get your team together and make a true assessment of your needs, your goals, your current site, and capabilities—basically all of the information you can think of in regards to the present state of your site and where you want to go.
Then you can move on to investigating and interviewing Drupal development firms. This is your chance to ask them about previous clients, experience in your industry, other areas of expertise (if needed), and related questions that may have come up when you developed your plan.
So when can you get started? Right now, of course. Drupal development is an incredibly valuable option for your business, and the benefits of hiring a Drupal agency are extensive.