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How Much Does a Drupal Website Cost?

Valeria O, BDM
January 17, 2022

This blog is intended to help the readers get an idea of how much it costs to build, scale, and maintain a Drupal website. We will also discuss the main factors that affect the price of a Drupal website.

With the Drupal CMS, you can create almost any website: from the simplest to the most complex one. We've prepared a few examples to show you what affects the price of Drupal websites, so read this article to find out how much it costs to build a Drupal website and make the right business decision.


What Theme Should You Choose for Your Drupal Website?

When choosing a theme for your Drupal website, keep in mind that it should perfectly fit your business model. After all, you will not be able to customize the theme or add any necessary functionality on your own - you will have to contact a developer.

It might seem that free Drupal themes are a good option for creating a promo website, but in reality, they are not. After all, a promo page has to sell a product, that is why it must have a unique custom design, which means you will need a designer. To apply a design to your website, you will need a developer (frontend and PHP), then a QA engineer who will check everything, and a project manager, who will coordinate the actions of these guys. If you do not have clear terms of reference for creating a website, a business analyst also needs to join the team.

Stages of Developing a Custom Drupal Website 

Customization of any CMS platform is carried out according to a plan agreed between the customer and the contractors. 

1. Analysis and Planning

It all starts with defining the plans and goals of your business. Then a detailed technical task is created, the design concept is approved, the amount of work for the team is determined, and a decision about any additional modules that may be needed for implementing the conceived functionality is made.
Drupal Modules are extensions that allow you to add a variety of functions to your website. 99.9% of Drupal websites have such modules, you can't do anything without them. And although there are quite a few ready-made extensions, most often you have to create them from scratch for a specific project.

2. Design and Development

At the second stage of the project, the UI and UX design is created, and then the developers create the website on a Drupal platform, taking into account that it must be adaptive and load well even with a bad internet connection.

3. Testing and Launching

At the end of the project, the team checks all the functions of the website using a special test server, fixes all the bugs, and only then deploys the Drupal website on the production server. Congratulations, you're done!

The Cost of Developing a Custom Drupal Website

As in the case with other CMS, the price of creating a Drupal website depends on its complexity, size, and terms of performance of the technical task. The cost also depends on the choice of the developer (agency or freelancer) and the region where the developer works.

Types of Complexity of Drupal Websites      

A simple corporate website with a minimal number of sections - "About Us", "Contacts", "Services", "Blog", etc.

The backend for a mobile application can have such functionality as user and content management, an administrator interface, and a REST API.

On Drupal, you can also make a marketplace so that users could buy and sell products, set their own shipping terms, and so on. This includes hosting thousands of individual online stores on one platform. This is, of course, the most expensive option.

The complexity and the size of the website are interrelated concepts. The more sections the website contains, the more complex its functionality will be and, accordingly, the higher the price of this project development will be. In addition to different parts and sections, the complexity of development increases as a result of:

  • Implementation of complex editorial flows of content distribution.
  • Implementation of multilingual content. Note that Drupal is perfect for building such websites. Nevertheless, setting up multilingual functionality increases the cost of the project by 3-4 times.
  • Setting up integration with external services.

Drupal Website Development Timeline

Here, the cost of work is determined by the number of days developers spend on completing the technical task. The more complex the project is, the more time and/or specialists will be needed. For example, you need a Drupal website that takes 60 man-hours to build:

  • If you hire one developer to do everything, it will take them 3 months.
  • If 3 months is too long for you, hire three developers. But even with perfect coordination of their actions, the deadline will not be three times shorter. In reality, it will turn out to be about 1 month + 1 week with an hourly rate of 75 days.
  • If you are in a hurry and can’t wait even one month, you can hire a team of 6 developers. But, again, they will not work 2 times faster. In reality, they will complete the work in 3 weeks with an hourly rate of 90 days. You will also have to pay for the work of the project manager (15 days).

The calculation above is just an example that illustrates the correlation between the number of developers and the speed of work. Real timeframes for each particular project can only be evaluated by a developer who has all the specific technical information on the complexity of the project.

How to Calculate the Approximate Cost of Creating a Drupal Project

Let's consider the average hourly wages of a specialist in different regions of the world.

North America $60-140/h

Western Europe $40-60/h

Eastern Europe $20-40

Asian-Pacific area $10-20/h

The average time for creating a small, simple corporate Drupal website is about 50-70 hours. It will take about 185-250 hours to create a large online trading platform.

When choosing a developer, you need to pay a lot of attention to how you will communicate with the developer, especially to how fluently they can communicate in English and what the difference between your time zones is.

How Not to Make a Mistake When Choosing a Development Company for a Drupal Website?

When you are building your Drupal website, choosing the right developer is an important factor that greatly affects the success of your entire enterprise. Nowadays, there are a lot of IT service providers, so how do you choose the best one? At Alpha Web Group, we have been developing and designing websites on Drupal for many years, so we have identified the important factors for successful cooperation with our clients. Here is a list of signs that tell you that you can choose the company as your developer:

  • You are asked about the future plans and goals of your business.
  • They are not trying to sell you the development of a website specifically using Drupal, but trying to find the right solution to meet your specific needs.
  • Before starting the work, you are asked to approve detailed terms of reference.
  • The developer company considers the future development of your business and chooses scalable solutions.
  • You are provided with technical support after the project’s implementation.

Agency or Freelancer?

To create a complex custom project, you need to involve developers with various specialties. Are you sure that a freelancer will effectively handle the work of a web designer, QA engineer, etc.? The only advantage a freelancer has is that they offer the lowest prices. 

As for the agency, your cooperation with it will be based on a legal document - an agreement that describes the rights and obligations of both parties. To save money and get the expected product quality, the best solution would be to cooperate with an Eastern European agency.

Contact us to find out how we can help you create your project, expand your online business or take your business to the next level.