Drupal is a content management system that has been around for more than 10 years. The first version of the CMS was released in 2003, and since then it has grown to become one of the most popular open-source applications on the web today.
Drupal is used by many different types of businesses, including small business owners who want to create their own website or blog, as well as large corporations looking to build a robust online presence.
Our development team at Optasy has helped hundreds of clients with their Drupal projects over the past few years. In this article, we will go through each stage of our Drupal development process and provide you with some insight into what makes each phase unique.
What makes Drupal a popular choice?
Drupal provides plenty of user and business benefits that can transform any web development project into a successful one. Some of those benefits are:
- Flexibility. Drupal is flexible enough to be used by small businesses or large corporations alike. It’s also easy to customize the CMS to fit your needs.
- Scalability. The platform supports thousands of users, making it perfect for eCommerce sites with lots of traffic.
- High customization. You can easily scale Drupal websites to match specific needs and traffic fluctuations.
- Security. Drupal offers multiple security features that make it an ideal solution for government agencies and other organizations that need to protect sensitive information.
- Large community. There are over 1 million active members in the Drupal community, which means you have access to tons of support when you run into problems.
How do you know if your Drupal development project is successful?
With the right insights or a team of Drupal experts by your side, your future website will:
- be feature-rich, which means it’s more likely to be used by your target audience.
- have an intuitive user and digital experience that allows visitors to easily find what they need without having to go through multiple pages.
- be mobile responsive, which will make your site look and function properly on any device.
- include rich media. This means that you can add video, audio, and other multimedia elements to your site with ease.
- be optimized for enterprise-level security.
- ship with a granular user management system tailored to your organization's specific needs when it comes to custom workflows.
- be "loaded" with custom Drupal modules to fit unique functionality needs.
- leverage an enhanced content management system; where content gets found, filtered — and, therefore, perfectly structured — with utmost ease.
- be conveniently modular and extensible.
7 Key Stages of Successful Drupal Development Projects
Drupal development projects are complex, but with the right insights or a team of experts to guide you through each stage of the project, you can be successful.
Let's have a look at seven essential steps that Optasy includes in every Drupal project created.
1. Identify the needs of your business.
The first step is to identify what you want your website to achieve. You need to know why you’re building it in the first place so you can create a strong digital strategy. Our Drupal experts will ask questions like: What do you hope to get out of it? Who will use it? What problems does it solve for them? How much time will they spend on it? These questions help the development team understand how your site fits into your overall marketing strategy.
2. Create a vision for your website.
Once we know who your audience is and what you want to accomplish, it’s time to create a clear picture of what that looks like. A good way to start is by creating a graphic design and representation of your brand identity and deciding which way to go with the infrastructure management. This helps us define the colors, fonts, and other elements that make up your brand. It also gives an opportunity to think about how your site might fit into your overall marketing strategy and messaging.
3. Design an architecture that works.
Your website has many moving parts—from the navigation menu to the contact form. Each part must work together to provide users with a seamless experience. That means choosing which features to include and which ones to leave behind. For example, if you don’t want to offer live chat support, then don’t add it to your site. If you decide to include social media sharing buttons, then make sure those buttons are easy to find so visitors can share your content easily.
4. Deploy the development process.
If your site is designed properly, there shouldn’t be any surprises when it goes live. But even the best-designed sites sometimes encounter unexpected challenges during deployment. To avoid these issues, we are using a staging environment before launching your site.
5. Migrate your content carefully.
Migrating your content from one platform to another may come with some unexpected issues. In fact, migrating your data isn’t always straightforward. There are several different ways to move content between platforms. Some methods require manual intervention, while others automate the process. Regardless of which method it is chosen, we highly rely on testing the migration process thoroughly.
6. Optimize for search engines.
Search engine optimization is an important aspect of any web presence. Without a proper SEO strategy, your site won’t rank high enough in search results. And without traffic, you won’t see any return on investment. So, we put a lot of emphasis on optimizing your website to have a high ranking on SERPs.
7. Test and plan your QA strategy.
As your website is being built, testing it is imperative. Tools such as Google Analytics can monitor visitor activity and track conversion rates. Once you’ve reached your goals, it’s important to continue monitoring your analytics to ensure that everything continues working smoothly.
Regarding the QA strategy, the following are important:
- Having a dedicated QA team member responsible for testing your site.
- Setting up automated tests to check functionality and usability.
- Creating a list of bugs and prioritizing them based on severity.
That's it! We've walked you through Optasy's Drupal development stages so you can gain a clearer picture of how our team of Drupal experts can support your web development journey.
Contact us now and let's start building your website.
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