How to Choose the Right Drupal Development Agency for Your Website?
When it comes to your website, it is the face of your business. It’s how you interact with clients and audiences while promoting your products or services.
And if your website’s content management system is already on Drupal, then you already understand the complexities and flexibility of Drupal.
One should not decide to partner with a web development agency for website services lightly, or it can lead to security failure. The two most critical signs are falling behind on security updates and a growing backlog of bugs. Both lead to a fragile system. It’s understandable to focus on new features and improvements, but eventually, you will be building those new features on a house of cards.
A support and maintenance partner can take that burden from you. They can keep your foundation healthy while your team focuses on building new stuff on top of it.
If you lack institutional knowledge of the Drupal ecosystem, a support partner can provide much-needed mentorship for your development team. Experienced developers and managers can leave for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the entire team who built your Drupal site rolls off to move on to something else.
As you begin looking for a potential Drupal agency partner, there are a few factors to consider to find your match.
1. A Proven Portfolio
The first thing you will want to look at is a potential partner’s client base and history of Drupal implementations. Some agencies are skilled in one industry, while others focus on multiple drives.
Pose questions about projects that you are curious about. Ask if any tasks are similar to yours. The agency should speak in detail about each, answer all your questions, and discuss the challenges they faced and their solutions. They should explain how these challenges and solutions might apply to your project. If there is an aspect or feature about a website you love, ask how they did it. Experts can break down solutions and explain how they were done in a well-communicated manner, even if they didn’t build it.
An agency should be comfortable answering any questions about projects in their portfolio and knowledgeable enough to analyze solutions on websites they didn’t design. It ensures that they will have meaningful conversations with you when discussing your following Drupal build needs.
2. Object-oriented PHP developers.
There has been a significant shift in the development world toward object-oriented programming, and it’s not a skill set every developer has. When interviewing developers or agencies, be sure to ask about PHP experience, particularly object-oriented PHP experience. It is essential to build on Drupal 9 or 10, which has embraced object orientation.
3. Sophisticated content strategy expertise.
Content strategy is vital to all healthcare websites, regardless of their choice of CMS. You need to partner with an agency that will help you organize your site content in a way that reflects your site visitor’s objectives and build out the information architecture in Drupal. In our experience, Drupal’s content model can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the platform. Working with an experienced strategist who can help you see the long-term vision before you start adding content into Drupal will help in the long run.
4. Structured content experience
One of Drupal’s greatest assets is the way it manages structured content, the concept of organizing and treating digital content like modular data. Structured content becomes especially important for websites that optimize the user experience through personalization. But structured content gets complicated quickly. Be sure to ask potential partners about their experience with metadata, taxonomy, dynamic content, microdata, and Schema.org.
5. Long-term partnership.
Drupal sites can be pretty impressive, but they are also big and complex. We often hear from marketers who inherited a Drupal site and can’t maintain it – even with a Drupal developer on staff. There are Drupal implementers, and there are Drupal partners. Make sure you pick an agency that will be there to support you after go-live, especially if you’ve had custom modules built that will require updates and security patches.
All in all, training is critical for the success of your team and organization. The benefits of training, however, go beyond learning a new skill. Employee retention also increases as a result of investing in training. With that said, being diligent in researching to find the right training partner can make all the difference for the success of your team and organization.