Here at Duo, we’ve helped build hundreds of websites for our clients using Drupal. Along the way, we’ve seen some common features that just about any type of business website requires.
It’s a good bet that if you have an organizational website, you will have some sort of page that explains the services you offer or your company’s unique perspectives. It is also likely that you will have a personnel page that features bios or other information about your employees.
Photo by Jon Tyson
Most company websites also will feature a news section — whether it’s used for a blog or thought leadership — and perhaps an events area that promotes upcoming activities the business is involved with.
Since so many sites have these common components, we asked ourselves a question. What if we created an installation package in Drupal that came pre-equipped with each of these sections? That way, we wouldn’t have to spend the time building more or less the same thing over and over for every project. At the same time, our clients wouldn’t have to wait as long for their finished product since we’d cut down the overall production time of the site.
With that, Duo’s starter kit was born.
One of the complaints about Drupal that we’ve heard is that it’s a little complex to set up. It can be a bit of a time-consuming process to start adding the respective modules and design elements necessary for each page within a site. The starter kit gives us a foundation to start with when we begin a new project.
This way, instead of taking the time and resources to build, say, a staff directory page, we can use the pre-existing people page already created in the starter kit and then customize it to fit our client’s specific needs.
The key word there is customize.
The starter kit allows us to hone in on what exactly it is a client needs and spend our time creating the best solution for that client. The kit is developed from the latest version of Drupal 8, and it includes a collection of modules and sample pages that have already been built using industry best practices.
The great thing about the starter kit is we can use it for any client. If we have a client that is working with a tight budget and is looking for a basic site, the starter kit gets us 80% of the way done; we then can use the remaining 20% of the project to make the site look and feel like that client’s brand.
We can also use the kit for larger projects. It still gives us a head start and allows us to spend our time on the specific needs of each client, from integrating the website with their human resources system to creating a separate careers section.
Now I recognize that I’m spending a lot of time talking about the benefits for us at Duo, but there are distinct benefits for our clients as well. First, there is the time factor. This kit allows us to bypass steps in the project timeline, which means we’re able to deliver sites more quickly than we were before. Beyond that, we can make websites for a lower cost than if we were starting each project from scratch.
Every website development project is different, but on average, the starting cost to build a Drupal website from scratch is approximately $65,000. Thanks to the starter kit and all of the work that is already done, that price lowers to approximately $30,000. For a smaller organization — perhaps a local non-profit — that cost difference can be the difference between going with a Drupal site or being limited to the capabilities of a WordPress site.
That comment is not meant to disparage WordPress. The platform is great for a number of different types of websites. WordPress, however, does have its limitations, particularly when it comes to scalability. WordPress may be a great option for a business right now, but is it the right answer for that business three years from now?
Drupal, on the other hand, is scalable to the point that Fortune 100 companies use it. Drupal is never going to be a roadblock to what you want to do on your website. Now, thanks to our starter kit, a Drupal-based website can now be a reality for more businesses than ever before.