Drupal is one of the most popular and complex content management systems (CMSs) available on the market at the moment.
The ever-changing digital landscape requires highly personalized and interactive web experiences and streamlined connectivity between devices, all of which can be delivered with the help of Drupal.
How do you know Drupal is the right choice for your next web development project?
Every business and web development project has its specific needs and requirements. You just need to decide which software can help you meet that set of demands in order to create the website or application that you have in mind.
To make a wise decision, you first need to explore the capabilities of each solution and see how they match your requirements. Let’s see what are the most important competitive advantages provided by Drupal.
- With Drupal, customization is limitless.
"I love a *lot* of the changes in Drupal 8 compared to 7 or 6, but most of them didn't really change the way I worked. I mean, sure, using slightly different hooks etc. - but that's not really any different from integrating with different modules to my mind at least. What really did change my way of working was the Configuration Management Initiative's work, and by changed I mean massively improved. Yes, some degree of custom integration is possible with Drupal 7, but in Drupal 8, a solid reproducible, testable CI and deployment process is not just possible but easy.” - Nick Wilde, a Full-stack developer (including DevOps) at North Studios.
- Choose Drupal and you’ll choose flexibility.
“Although you could flex Drupal 7 to adapt to this changing environment, the real power and flexibility comes with having a Drupal 8 architecture, where this flexibility is already in the core. That has implications for performance, adaptability, simpler architecture of services around Drupal, etc.” - Alex Moreno, software architect, based in London.
- Drupal improves the user experience with its multilingual architecture.
“Thanks to the Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative, translation is not an afterthought in Core anymore. And thanks to the clean APIs that were designed with this in mind, we are able to improve every day functionalities for our clients in our integration with Drupal 8. While with other CMS we devote time constantly to integrate with contributed modules or alike, we can focus on new functionalities as these APIs make us compatible with most contrib modules out of the box without any extra effort on our side.” - Penyaskito, Drupal contributor and developer at Lingotek.
- Drupal’s API-based architecture delivers streamlined digital experiences.
“You want to enable your developers to easily deliver content to different devices, channels, and platforms. This means that the content needs to be available through APIs. This is aligned with Drupal 8's roadmap, where we are focused on web services capabilities. Through Drupal's web service APIs, developers can build freely in different front-end technologies, such as Angular, React, Ember, and Swift, as well as Java and .NET. For developers, accomplishing this without the maintenance burden of a full Drupal site or the complexity of configuring standard Drupal to be decoupled is key.” - Dries Buytaert, the father of Drupal and CTO of Acquia
- Drupal’s complex modules provide high scalability and build responsive designs.
“When I started my career with Drupal 6 briefly and then moved on to Drupal 7, I really liked the abundance of modules Drupal 7 had. ‘There is a module for that’ was a common statement while building a feature. When I transitioned to Drupal 8 and when it was in its pre-release state, there were no contributed modules. Of course, views and entity reference were in core, but it lacked the huge pool of modules that Drupal 7 had. Instead, Drupal 8 had some great flexible and robust components which mostly worked for me. Even though there was a lot of learning to do, pretty soon I got the hang of it and found out that you don't need a module for that. That's how it changed my working approach with Drupal 8 because I can build a lot of great things without any contributed module.” - Drupal expert, Malabya Tewari.
Why you might need to hire a Drupal developer?
Drupal holds a lot of benefits in store and can completely transform the way you approach your web development projects.
However, the complexity and magnitude of this CMS can be overwhelming and, without the right Drupal expertise, you might not be able to make the most out of its outstanding capabilities.
That's why you may need to outsource your Drupal projects to a development company or developer that knows how to maximize the power of Drupal.
To better understand how a Drupal development team or developer can help you take your Drupal web development to the next level, you need to dig deeper into the role of a web developer.
What Exactly Does a Drupal Developer Do?
In other words, what makes a Drupal developer?
What specific skill set do you recognize him/her by?
We've conducted a research within our own team of experienced Drupal developers and managed to pinpoint the tasks that they usually perform:
- build Drupal websites from scratch, based on our clients' feature needs
- select and configure the right modules to meet specific functionality requirements
- implement various functionality via plugins
- custom develop Drupal modules for more complex, unique functionalities
- put together the interfaces, starting from the web designers' work
- migrate our clients' websites from other platforms to Drupal or from Drupal to newer versions of the CMS
- handle various PHP implementations
- create sub-themes and fully-custom Drupal themes
So: "What does a Drupal developer do?"
He/she builds Drupal websites and applications: custom development on the back-end and the front-end layer. And he also develops new custom modules for project-specific feature needs.
What Roles Can Drupal Developers Fulfill Within Your Team?
For there are distinct roles that Drupal developers can perform. And each role requires a specific skill set and expertise.
Here are the 5 major ones:
He's the "generalist" of your team.
A site builder will install and configure the commonly-used Drupal modules on your website: roles and permissions, views, menus, content types...
He'll create and implement the user interface of your website based on the web designer's work.
A front-end developer with Drupal expertise. He'll design the custom theme for your website
He’s the one in charge with:
- writing the code for any custom functionality and integration on your Drupal website
- tracking down bugs
- handling data import
Technical Lead, Architect
These Drupal developers have started out as back-end developers and gained enough expertise to... level up. As Drupal architects, they'll be responsible for the information architecture on your website.
It's the technical lead who'll set up the entire development strategy for your project, from selecting the right modules to scheduling all the due performance-boosting, integration and configuration work needed.
To sum up, the essential "hierarchy" to keep in mind is the following:
- site builder, who'll configure and assemble the most popular Drupal modules required for your website
- Drupal developer, who'll create custom modules as necessary and set up custom integrations with other systems
- themer: who's an expert in Drupal's theme layer
Why OPTASY? How Do You Identify the Right Drupal Partner?
How do you filter out newbies from experienced Drupal developers? And what makes us the best choice for your Drupal project?
Let's get you some answers:
- we've been doing Drupal development since... 2005
- from Drupal site building and Drupal site redesign to theming, to custom module development and custom integrations... we've been handling all the Drupal development tasks you could think of over this more than a decade now
- we have a "weakness" for Drupal eCommerce projects; developing high-converting online stores, that deliver personalized, rich user experiences, is our specialty
- we back our experience as Drupal developers with front-end development expertise; from Angular to React, to Node.js to Vue... we'll power your website's UI with the JS framework of your choice
- we specialize in enterprise-level Drupal projects
And last but not least, we’re reputedly communicative and transparent. As one of our former clients confessed:
“OPTASY worked to keep us engaged in what was happening and make sure we understood all of the changes being made.”(source: Clutch.co)