Drupal support and maintenance - Why hiring a single resource is ineffective

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By Team Srijan Jun 22, 2012

Tendency to hire a developer

A lot of firms tend to hire a developer in-house to maintain their Drupal website(s). This, in our opinion, can lead to problems for them. Here's why.

What does Drupal website maintenance entail?

Drupal website maintenance covers:

  1. Applying security patches; Keeping installed contributed modules up-to-date
  2. Bug resolution, if any
  3. Making functional enhancements; further requires work across CSS (Drupal theming), Site-building, and Development
  4. Performance optimization
  5. Check for compatibility with mobiles and other handheld devices

Roles required in maintaining a Drupal website

Maintaining a mid-sized Drupal website requires the following :

  1. Site configuration expert: The one who configures modules and has enough knowledge about CSS to install new functionalities.
  2. Drupal CSS/theming expert: More complex enhancements such as major feature enhancements require a deeper and thorough knowledge of CSS / CSS3 / HTML5 and Drupal themes to ensure the maintainability of the Drupal theme.
  3. Drupal Developer: One who writes Drupal modules, and preferably has some modules contributions on the drupal.org contributed projects (which ensures that the Drupal developer writes code according to Drupal coding standards).
  4. Quality Assurance: Cross-browser testing across Chrome, IE, Firefox, and their various versions is most crucial for you to maintain a reasonable internet image of your organization; if your website is somewhat large, maintaining a Test Plan or/and automated Test Cases (we work on "Selenium") is immensely important.
  5. Project Manager / Business Analyst: To ensure that the above roles work like a well-oiled machine and deliver what you asked for, normally you need someone who understands the client's requirements well and communicates between the team and the client effectively.

Drupal super-heroes are not available!

Expecting one person to perform myriad roles that are required for professional Drupal maintenance, is often asking for too much. Can you really work with such a guy?

Firstly, it requires years of experience in Drupal coding and site-building to work across all these roles, and maintain high-quality software. And even if you are able to locate one such person near you, there is little reason for this rock star Drupaler to be working with you.

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Are you a software company?

Assuming you feel your Drupal support needs are limited and you could do with a medium-level Drupal person, perhaps you should still ask yourself if you are a software development company?

The above are the problems that a software firm generally faces. They are equipped to deal with these problems and have systems to deal with them. You are not a software development company, and chances are you would find it very frustrating to deal with these retention and morale issues.

So what is the solution?

Hiring a Drupal agency that offers a team and can carve out optimal hours from this entire team's available hours, is the right model. This is a unique offering that Srijan has. Connect with us to know more. 

Shared Success

Building a Drupal-based content collaboration tool
How We Helped a Leading Biopharma Company Streamline their Publishing Cycle with a Drupal CMS
How We Helped 8world Deliver New Digital Experiences Through A Hybrid CMS
How We Helped A Telecom Giant Shorten The Time-To-Market For APIs

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