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Drupal Site Audit – Best Practices, Readiness and Performance

Posted by: Duo on Jul 30, 2013 2:04:00 PM in Development

What is a Drupal Site Audit

A Drupal site audit is a process to establish a clear baseline about how a Drupal website is built and configured and how it functions. The site audit provides the foundation for knowing what is required to get your site to meet its business objectives. Unless a site is exceptionally well-documented, current and accurate, the audit is necessary before additional work is done to the site by a developer other than the one that built it. This avoids creating new problems on top of any that may already exist.

When to Do a Drupal Site Audit

Any of a number of circumstances may precipitate a site audit.  These include:

  1. Need for a reliable Drupal provider of routine site maintenance and support
  2. Web project is incomplete and unable to launch
  3. Site requires migration to next version of Drupal
  4. Site owner seeks to enhance site with features
  5. Apparent performance issues impacting the site
  6. Management team inherits or acquires existing Drupal web property

Confronted with specific business needs, the site owner may be faced with the circumstance that the Drupal team that built the site is unavailable to continue. This may occur due to disfavor, disappearance, limited skills of the developer or simply not knowing who built the site.


Duo Consulting Experience with Drupal Site Audits

Duo Consulting has been creating enterprise-level sites in Drupal since 2007. We’ve worked with hundreds of modules and clearly identified best practices for developing and theming in Drupal.

Over a decade’s worth of experience with other Content Management Systems, including expertise in third-party system integration with multiple source databases, helps us bring both a breadth and depth of experience to our work that few other Drupal shops can match.

The Audit Process

In order to conduct a site audit, Duo Consulting will work with you to obtain a copy of the code, as well as a copy of the production database. If there is documentation available that describes how the site is intended to function, that can often speed the process of the audit. If there are third-party applications or databases that the site uses, we may need to work with you to establish test areas for those as well.

The Audit Product – Deliverables

Because each audit client arrives with a clear end-point in mind, our goal is to find out the state of your site so we all can understand what is required - in time, budget, skill sets and effort - to get you to your end-point. At the completion of the audit you are free to move forward independent of Duo. While we would like to continue a relationship, nothing obligates you to us.

As a first step, Duo Consulting will establish a version of your site in our own development environment so that we can safely test changes in configurations.

  • We do not conduct an audit on a live production site.
  • Nothing interrupts your existing production site’s performance
  • Nothing will be changed in the current configuration of what you presently have

Upon completion of the site audit, Duo Consulting will provide you with documentation including:

  • A list of enabled modules and their status
  •  A list of customized areas, if any

In addition, Duo provides you with a clear roadmap of what you should do next:

  • Recommended additional modules, if any;
  • Recommended changes in configuration, if any;
  • Recommended changes in hosting, if any;
  • Recommended performance changes, if any;
  • Recommended prioritization of all collective suggestions for changes.

How Long Does a Drupal Site Audit Take to Complete?

We will calendar the project with you. But the work is typically completed within two weeks of the time we start.

How Much Does a Drupal Site Audit Cost?

Duo Consulting conducts Drupal site audits for a flat fee of $4,000.  As a rule, the site audit is a necessary means to an end. We are in the client service and support business, not the site audit business. However, our goal is to manage and minimize risk and completing a site audit is the best way to achieve that and move forward toward the long term health and performance of your website.