Top Drupal Development companies in 2024

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Last updated: February 2024

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Released in 2003, Drupal is a renowned content management system trusted by small and large business owners who want to improve their online presence. Drupal.com estimates that this open-source application powers more than one million sites and applications worldwide. 

Drupal is an SEO-friendly CMS that can help boost the website rank and drive relevant traffic. This is good news considering that Statista shows that 30% of web traffic worldwide is generated via online searches.

Because of the popularity of Drupal, the market is packed with Drupal development companies that build websites for clients with this CMS. However, finding the best Drupal developer to deliver an effective website to meet the client’s goals can be daunting. This article looks at the Drupal development process and tips for choosing the best Drupal development company.

The main advantages of Drupal web development:

  • Open source code and structure, providing maximum system flexibility in customization.
  • Convenient installation in one click from your personal account on the hosting.
  • Large selection of themes and add-ons to expand functionality.
  • A simple control panel is open for customization.
  • Built-in caching system to speed up page loading.
  • A developed user community where developers share their experiences.
  • Multilingual.

The system also has disadvantages. Some of these can be critical when choosing a website-building tool. One of the main complaints about the engine is working with modules. To implement a feature, you usually have to install two or three add-ons. This is because Drupal modules do not duplicate but use each other's capabilities. There is another difficulty associated with extensions - unstable work after engine updates. Not all modules receive updates immediately, so you often have to wait for a little before updating the CMS.

Drupal is also extremely resource-intensive. To ensure high performance, you need powerful hosting. Otherwise, no page caching will save you from the slow loading of content.

What Programming Language is Used in Drupal?

Drupal software is written in PHP language or Hypertext Preprocessor. This is an open-source scripting language commonly used in web development because it is flexible and pretty easy to learn. It is also general purpose and syncs well with all databases.

Drupal Development Process

Several processes are involved when it comes to building a Drupal website. Here is a guide on the Drupal development process.

1. Planning 

The Drupal developer usually starts by gathering useful information and understanding the client’s needs, which helps with planning. In this stage, the website developer comes up with crucial steps, or what is known as the sitemap, for building a successful Drupal website. They will use the representation of the business identity to define useful elements and develop infrastructure management.

2. Design

After planning, the design team takes over. This stage is crucial for building a successful Drupal website. It involves choosing features that enhance the user experience as the customers interact with the website. During this phase, the website owner must decide which features are important to include and which not to add to the site.

The Drupal development service providers use unique Drupal themes to create a highly functional website. They also develop wireframe road maps that serve as the site’s foundation. It is worth noting that communication is key in this stage to ensure that the design team understands the client’s expectations.

3. Development

After the design stage, the next stage is the development or implementation process. The best Drupal development company will have a team of development experts tasked with optimizing the website to ensure that it meets the client’s needs and offers a customized solution. Also involved in this process are database creation and programming. 

4. Testing

After the website has been developed, what follows is the testing phase. The right Drupal development company should have a dedicated QA team to conduct different testing to evaluate the website's content, design, and functionality. Moreover, it is paramount to set automated tests to establish the site’s usability and functionality.

5. Launch

If the website is running properly and all the bugs have been fixed, what follows is the launching stage. The site is launched and made public, allowing potential customers to interact with it.

6. Maintenance

The best Drupal development companies in the market usually offer active maintenance services after the site has been built and launched. This may include but is not limited to services such as security updates, updates of future releases, and much more. 

Keeping the site updated with the latest releases prevents bugs and helps the site upgrade easily in the future. The Drupal agency should also offer maintenance services to ensure user-friendliness and keep the site secure and running smoothly.

How to Choose the Right Drupal Development Process

The market is flooded with Drupal agencies promising to offer the best Drupal development services. However, it is essential to keep certain factors in mind to choose the right Drupal development company. Here is a guide that can help you make your decision.

1. Identify Specific Needs and Requirements

Before hunting for the best Drupal development companies, it helps website owners first understand their specific needs and requirements. Several factors should be considered, including the scope of the project, the timeline, the set budget, and the need for support and maintenance. With Drupal’s needs in mind, it will be easy to find the right Drupal development companies capable of completing the project.

2. Compare Potential Drupal Development Companies

Business owners can use their list of Drupal needs to further narrow down their list of potential Drupal developers. The business needs to discuss the project scope with several Drupal partners to see whether they understand the requirements. 

Also, a strong determining factor when comparing Drupal development services is the industry experience. Businesses must determine how long the vendor has been in the industry and whether they can offer solutions to meet their needs. The team should also have the necessary experience and certifications and be responsive to changing business needs.

3. Check the Portfolio

A reputable Drupal partner should be willing to provide a portfolio of their completed projects. With this, business owners can determine whether the company fits their project. Furthermore, checking the portfolios gives insight into whether the vendor has offered solutions for similar projects and the challenges that they encountered while tackling them.

4. Check Specialization

Specialization typically varies from one company to another. Some Drupal development agencies may do well in meeting specific project requests or deadline-driven projects, while others may do well when it comes to supporting. Still, others may have a reputation for performance optimization. Therefore, the best Drupal development company should be able to meet the specific expertise requirements of project owners.

5. Evaluate Company’s Project Management Methodologies

The developer must choose the best project management method to create a good Drupal website. They should be well-versed in different methodologies to deliver projects effectively. 

The most common project management methods include Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, and Kanban, and each has its pros and cons. Ideally, there is no right method, and the best one will depend on the client’s needs, type of working environment, nature of the project, and more.

6. Plan a Budget

Generally, a Drupal development project may require significant investment. For this reason, business owners must carefully set a budget for the project beforehand. After planning out a budget, the business owner should inquire about quotes from different companies and compare their pricing. This way, it will be easy to find the best Drupal development company that uses the budget efficiently to meet the set business goals. 

7. Support and Maintenance Services

Communication between the website owner and the Drupal developers is vital to building a successful Drupal website. The best Drupal development companies will maintain clear and honest communication throughout the project's life. They should also be responsive to questions or concerns and offer active support and maintenance to keep the site running.

How Much Do Drupal Development Companies Charge for Their Services?

The pricing for Drupal development services can vary from one agency to another, and this may depend on several factors. For instance, hiring an in-house Drupal developer may charge more hourly rates than a freelancer developer. 

Typically, the former may charge $105,999 annually, while the latter may charge between $50 and $75 per hour. The other factor to keep in mind is the developer's technical expertise and experience level. The location can also be a determining factor when it comes to Drupal development services pricing. Nevertheless, the best Drupal development companies will be honest about their charges without any hidden costs. 

Conclusion

Drupal is quickly gaining popularity as more website owners look for effective ways to reach their audience and improve their sales. Businesses considering building a Drupal development website should partner with the right Drupal development companies with the right industry experience and a talent network.