Things to Follow for Developing an Effective website Using Drupal
Developing a simple website in Drupal may be easy, but one needs to follow a few things to become successful in developing complex websites in Drupal (Big feature and content wise) so that site performance is good and is easy to maintain. Let me highlight some key points to explain this further.
Requirement Understanding: Before developing a website, it is better to read the specifications in detail. Also get all the clarifications from your manager or client. There should not be any room for assumptions in regard to the functionality. Besides, it is necessary to understand what content type are you creating, how many views need to be there, the layout of the website, how many fields need to be created and whether the site in question should be responsive or not.
Use Version Control: It is a very good practice to work using version control. It allows multiple people to work on the functionality as changes are done in organized manner. It is convenient to roll back to old version if something is not working as anticipated.
Use same development environment: Everyone has their preferences when it’s a matter of selecting an operating system and also the tools that they use. So it is always a pain to resolve problems that are platform specific and it is not a sensible choice to impose same platform. Hence, it is a good idea to use Vagrant which is a tool for managing Virtual machines. This encourages developers to work on their preferred machine at the same time using the same environment for development, like everyone else in the group.
Use separate database server: There are high chances that a big Drupal site can consume lot of resources on the server. Since Drupal store all the configurations along with the content in the database, so running MySQL server on the same machine could be an overload. Hence it is recommended to use a separate server for database.
File Management: It’s a good practice to keep the images and files in different folders under files folder. This assists to manage the images on the website. If one is using Image Style then Drupal will create lot of sub directories for storing images of different styles.
Re-use existing modules: A good Drupal developer will always try to reuse and configure existing contributed modules.
Staging Environment: It’s better to have a staging server, which is similar to your production and always a good practice to test the site completely on staging. This will guarantee that any platform specific concerns are fixed and you will not get shocks when you launch the website.
Use Issue Tracker Tool: For big projects multiple people will be working together with each having their own tasks. In such a scenario it is important to ensure that everyone is doing the tasks assigned to them. For project manager it is more essential to keep track of the advancement. So usage of issue tracking tool like JIRA for managing work project is necessary. It will assist everyone to have clarity of the situation and present status of the project.