As a long-time web architect / programmer, I have only recently moved heavily into open-source applications such as Drupal - in the past all my work had been custom. Since mid-2008, my company has developed several Drupal sites for clients (we have also worked with Silverstripe and Wordpress). While Drupal can
be a fantastic platform, I believe its important to consider several key pieces when planning deployment:
- If you are non-technical, engage a firm that has a solid Drupal track record.
- Premium templates are almost always worth the money.
- Get educated - even if you are contracting for services, at the least read David Mercer`s Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6.
- Make sure you are using Drupal modules (such as Views, Panels, Content Templates, etc) rather than custom programming.
- Be prepared to adjust or modify your requirements - especially when considering funky, page-specific programming - to account for Drupal`s theory of architecture and design constraints.
- Drupal and its modules require regular upgrades - on a complex site I would plan on weekly downtime of 1-2 hours for upgrades.
- Maintain a development and a live version of your site. Absolutely. Positively. Not just a backup - but a running version. Test ALL new block releases before placing on your live site.
- Take core Drupal security releases seriously. Very seriously.
- Select a hosting company that not only supports Drupal, but brags about supporting it. Don`t try to save $5 - $10 month with a cut-rate host.
See more at http://drupal.org/node/51169
Oh, in case any true believers think I am picking on Drupal - only Wordpress is easier to maintain. And custom code from scratch - mine included - is 10x more expensive than adapting a mature open-source platform like Drupal. Drupal, Silverstripe, and Wordpress have become my company`s benchmark solutions.
siteriver5/31/2009 7:13 PM
Web Architect / Managing Partner
SiteRiver: Web Applications Intelligence