Bible on Hiring a Drupal Developer

Drupal bridges the governments of United States, London, France, and more with their citizens. Media czars like BBC, NBC, and MTV UK leverage it to entertain the world and leading universities like Amnesty International and the University of Oxford rely on it to keep their students and faculties informed.

These great websites testify the grandeur of Drupal. Whether it’s about getting started with a brand new Drupal website or re-engineering an existing one or migrating to Drupal from a different one, Drupal developers have a pivotal role to play.  Hence, it’s imperative to hire the right Drupal web developers or Drupal web development firm.

However, to hire the right talent or technology partner, first, you must know the ins and outs of Drupal web development. Continue reading “Bible for Hiring a Drupal Developer”, to make the most of your time and money.

Who is a Drupal Developer

Akin to a real estate architect, a Drupal developer is a Web-based digital experience architect.  So what are the different tasks of a Drupal architect? Actually, a Drupal architect owns a 3-in-one profile as discussed below:

Site Building:  Creating functionality related to content management, backup, security, publishing, etc.
Site Development: Writing custom modules to make new ones.
Site Theming: Creating sub-themes with resources derived from the parent theme to give a vivid look to the website.

How do the tasks impact the user experience and the business bottom line? Here, we must count the experience of every user, those who manage the website and those who engage with and access information and services from it.  Let’s find answers to it.

Client or Business-Facing Architecture

Before we delve into a pro-business Drupal architecture, let’s pen down the key needs and aspirations of a business. 

  • Ease content management
  • Seamless integration of the content with social media
  • Seamless interaction of the website with third-party apps
  • Unmatched performance
  • Robust security

It would be interesting to see how a Drupal developer responds to their expectations.

Ease Content Management

Based on the platform or content types, viz., article, basic page, images, files, etc., he or she creates configuration entity types coupled with administration management pages to allow users submit content as per the permission they enjoy.

The expertise of a Drupal developer lies in picking the right modules based on the needs of end users and providing a unified interface for the content management team encompassing authors, editors and publishers to collaborate in line with the business objectives.

Related Story:
Getting Started with Drupal 8 Content Management System

Next job of a developer is to make sure all elements of a content management work in harmony. This is ascertained by assigning role-based permissions to users. Generally, there are 3 types of users to a Drupal website:  Master Administrator (user ID “1”), Logged In user (User ID assigned at the time of registration), and Anonymous (User ID “0”). 

So his or her job is pretty much similar to that of a game referee, ensuring users access the resources of Drupal and the website and pursue their goals without any conflict. For instance, in an online publishing company, the content creation, review and publishing are assigned to different teams. And, while working in different silos, they have to collaborate with each other but without any conflict to meet deadlines. The Master Administrator can be an editor-in-chief or business head responsible for managing users working at different levels. Drupal trails every action of every user, thereby, enabling the company to maintain accountability in the content management system.

Social Integration

Check social APIs offered with Drupal:

  • Social Auth: Enforces methods that allow users to get logged in to your website.
  • Social Post: Provides flexibility to users to share content on their social accounts
  • Social Widgets: allows sub-modules to add functionality to add widgets (like buttons, embedded content) to node, blocks, etc.

Hence, social API integration is also a key skill that a Drupal developer must command.

Interacting with 3rd Party Apps

Content syndication is an important method to keep your website abuzz with fresh content. Drupal facilitates a bunch of flexibilities like sharing a user base, sharing authentication, synchronizing a dual user base, external authentication, theme engine integration and import scripts to make your website interact easily with 3rd party apps.


Harnessing the caching tool, a Drupal developer can cut short computational levels involved in accessing information and speed up the performance of the website considerably and the user experience considerably. Four key caching options available with Drupal include:

  • Opcode Caching
  • Reverse Proxy Cache
  • Squid Caching
  • Varnish Cache

Increasing PHP memory limit, tuning server and optimizing mySQL are other important methods to optimize the performance of a website.

Audience-Facing Architecture

Similar to above, before we get into a pro-user Drupal architecture, let’s note down the key needs and aspirations of the audience you target at.

  • Great visual experience
  • Quick to browse and access
  • Easy navigational structure
  • Uncompromised security

Apart from applying his or her Drupal web development expertise and skills, a developer needs to keep a tab on Drupal Web Development: Do’s & Don’t’s to fully capitalize on this open source resource. He or she must stay informed about the major Drupal updates or upgrades, including security releases to core and contributed modules made available by the community.  But the step should be a calculated one to avert any unpleasant situation. Create a secondary copy of the website before experimenting anything.

Hope you found the information useful. However, the world of Drupal has no horizon. So it’s impossible to cover them all at one go. I will be back soon with more Drupal insights to let you make the right decision.