OpenSense Labs: How can you choose the right Drupal 9 development partner?

Drupal CMS

How can you choose the right Drupal 9 development partner?
Maitreayee Bora
Tue, 02/08/2022 – 14:11

In order to create excellent web experiences, you need a team that is well-focused and specialized in offering good quality digital solutions to your clients and customers. Some organizations are fortunate enough to have an in-house team while others may not. Well, this can be because the skills required for such a team are not really core to their production activities or even the activities involved do not assure a full-time in-house team. This is when the development partner steps in. But it takes a lot of time and research to find a trustworthy partner upon whom you can completely depend for a successful collaboration. So, when it comes to your Drupal 9 development partner, along with their expertise, they should also be honest and maintain full transparency right from the beginning. Apart from trust, honesty, and transparency, there are some additional pointers to look upon in your Drupal 9 development partner which I will be discussing in this article today. 

Firstly, know your purpose

It is very important to be clear about what you want. So, your top most priorities will be to decide whether you want to build a new Drupal 9 site, or would want to upgrade from Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 to Drupal 9. Once you’re sure upon this significant decision, you can then move on with the other aspects of your expectations. Since your prospective Drupal 9 development partners should know your requirements, for instance, what kind of features you are looking for, with what you want to start with and how do you want to measure success. Before hiring a development firm, you need to prepare a strong Request for Proposal (RFP) with your team specifying the specific requirements and project expectations. 

Learn More:

Web development planning and strategies with Drupal 9
Upgrade paths from Drupal 7
Upgrading from Drupal 8 to 9

Does your partner have good work experience and expertise?

It is convenient to quickly research upon the company whom you’re planning to opt for your web development in Drupal. Since a portfolio tells a lot about a company. So, it’s important to check the company’s portfolio, the websites that are being mentioned in the developer’s expertise. You can compare your project requirements and the projects which they have worked upon to get a clarity about their work nature. Feedbacks can be taken from the companies that are mentioned in the portfolio as well. 

It is preferable that the company has extensive experience in working with a large variety of businesses. You can ask the companies for some case studies that will help in addressing the challenges which they came across and how they handle it. So, basically the challenges could be regarding traffic, stakeholders, specific third-party integrations, or may be some other aspects. You need to partner with a company that has undoubtable and proven experience upon Drupal. 

Along with that the company needs to have a strong technical team where developers are well-rounded and have a wide perspective on best practices and development that will enable them in successfully completing your project. Also, a potential development firm gives much emphasis to the user experience (UX) as it is the most fundamental requirement for any website. Therefore, you can go through the user reviews for websites which your Drupal 9 development partner has created, and also have a query on what steps the development firm takes to create the best possible user experience.

According to Dries Buytaert’s annual blog, Who Sponsors Drupal Development? In the 2020-2021 edition, OpenSense Labs succeeded in earning 4th rank in regards to organizational contributions by impact and 10th rank as Top organizational contributors by quantity. 

Also, in the year 2021, OSL achieved the 2nd Rank in Drupal Marketplace Globally and earned the 1st Rank in India and held it for a quarter of the year.

Have they understood your project scope?

It is very essential that your Drupal 9 development partner understands the scope of your project, only then can they implement and deliver your project in the desired way. The most convenient way to know if they have understood your project scope or not is to ask them to prepare a scope of work and observe if it aligns with what you exactly want from your project. For this, you will need to have a detailed discussion with your team and then go for it.

Is your partner offering specialized services?

Some of the web development agencies provide a huge variety of services which includes multi-platform web development, app development, UI/UX design, SEO strategies and many more. A good Drupal web agency needs to have much more expertise and should be able to display their exceptional work. They need to treat the various different elements of the procedure as one interdependent digital ecosystem. And, also provide high-quality Drupal services and cross-team collaboration. 

OSL’s excellent staff augmentation and white-label offering helps deliver the expertise and specialization required to allow them to succeed and retain profitable clients. Our model enables businesses to select candidates that meet their requirements and to cut or extend their team whenever they need to.

Let me here also talk about our Agency ++ Partnership Program that offers our clients services over and above usual staff augmentation engagements. Through this program, we aim on giving ample flexibility to our clients in terms of managing resources while ensuring quality and time bound deliveries. The key features of this partnership program are: 

Involvement of leadership at all the critical junctures of the engagement with on demand consultancy. 
Allocating a Project Manager as a 24/7 POC to ensure timely delivery and proper communication. 
Custom Overlap time and Leave management process.
Resources working under white label with client’s partners. 
Immediate Option to increase resources as per project requirements within a week’s notice. 
Adapting to client’s project management protocols and DevOps processes. 

Are you satisfied with your client’s Proof of Concept (PoC)?

While partnering with any of the development firms, you tend to invest money, time and resources hoping to get the desired business outcome. Since so many things are at stake, you need to be very careful with every step that you take towards choosing the right Drupal 9 development partner. Asking for a Proof of Concept (PoC) can be really helpful in not just recognizing the team’s performance but also you can check if the end result matches with your expectations and requirements. It is advisable to request the team to create a PoC, for example, you can ask them to prepare a vanilla Drupal release with some specific features and functionality which can be completed in 1-2 weeks’ time. Then you can take a look at how well they perform and check if the manner in which they communicate during the PoC reaches your expectations. 

How actively are they contributing to the Drupal community?

If your Drupal 9 development partner tends to be an active community member and contributor, then they will not only focus on skill and expertise, but also will prioritize contributing back to the community. It can be a good way to check on how active they are in the community. Therefore, you can go for quick research on for the company which you have selected for the Drupal development. By doing so, you can get the project details that the company has completed so far and also their contributions towards the community, like the modules that they have worked upon, their profile and developers’ profile as well. It is very imperative that the company which you opt for must be very active in the community. 

OSL ranks among the top contributors of the Drupal community. We have always prioritized making significant contributions which can be beneficial for the entire community at large. OSL has justified the fact that Drupal is important for them with their active participation and involvement in the community. 

 Who sponsors Drupal development 2020-2021 | Source: Dries Buytaert’s blog

Are the developers certified Drupal technocrats?

While partnering you need to check that the developers of the company are acquia certified or not. Acquia’s Drupal development, site building, frontend development and backend development certifications also come under the essentials. 

OSL has a smart development team who is well certified and are Drupal technocrats. By looking at the developers portfolio, you will be well convinced that your project is in safe hands. Our developers have a good knowledge of public oriented programming in PHP that acts as an added advantage since Drupal 9 has shifted to procedural from object oriented programming. We also have an Acquia Certified Drupal 9 developer, Pritish Kumar, who is a Technical Lead and also an excellent performer of OpenSense Labs. 

Are they providing good support and maintenance?

For the best Drupal implementations also, you need support and maintenance. It is very essential to partner with a development firm that delivers quality response, support, either with full-time support or by cooperating with your internal dev/IT team. Support must not be only restricted to security updates and release management; it should also prioritize the roadmap of what consists of Drupal’s current and future releases.

We at OSL provide you with robust Drupal Support and Maintenance models to help you achieve your desired goals through our proactive and reactive approaches that suit your needs.

Are you and your partner on the same page in terms of budgeting?

You will find that it is difficult for a small company to deliver a big project since it lacks procedures and experiences to coordinate a larger team and skillfully track progress for a longer time span. On the contrary, a huge agency will face a tough time fitting its procedure into a smaller budget. Therefore, you will have to make sure that both you and your agency are on the same page in terms of budgeting. So, it isn’t required that you will have to pay a concrete amount (which you might not yet know), but if you have an idea about the overall level of acceptable cost in mind, then it will help you in choosing the right Drupal 9 development partner for your enterprise. Also, a well experienced agency will never waste their and your time as well if there isn’t a proper alignment of expectations regarding the size and budget of the project.

Learn more about Drupal 9 here:

The definitive guide to Drupal 9
Burning questions on Drupal 9
Key modules to start Drupal 9 development
Drupal 9 upgrade tools: Complete list
Configuration management strategies in Drupal 9


It is essentially important to find the perfect Drupal 9 development partner for your company’s desired projects and ambition. And, OSL can help you with its advanced Drupal 9 development skills enabling your business to set up a user-friendly web presence, and accomplish your business goals and objectives. So, if you’re waiting for the right Drupal 9 development partner, let’s connect