Drupal 6 site owners are facing a difficult question: What to do with a web technology that is no longer going to be supported? As an organization that specializes in Drupal support and migrations, we have been talking with diverse organizations about their options, their budgets and, frankly, how their websites fits into their operations. We lay out technical alternatives, business case studies and the decision factors for Drupal 6 site owners.
It takes a radically different organization to perform operational support and upgrades for a Drupal site compared to an enterprise development shop.
At Monarch, we have always jumped when the phone rang or when we get an email. We are completely organized for support work. We have the technical background to jump into unfamiliar code and make it sing.
Scenario. A business, governmental organization or non-profit turns to us to make some overdue updates to their Drupal website. Over time, they call upon us to further enhance it. They ask about how the website could support more strategic initiatives for the organization. As if a light bulb goes off, all of a sudden, they are frantically asking about backups. And, wait! If we had to restore from a backup, do we know if that will work?
We share how an organization actually evaluated various Drupal developers to support and enhance a set of Drupal websites.
Our customers like to be as self-sufficient as possible, and we encourage taking real ownership of your website. However, clients who ask us to teach them how to upgrade their Drupal site often exhibit skills ranging from content manager to developer.
When we inherit Drupal sites for maintenance, I suggest implementing release control and creating a staging (test) site. Even if not for developing new features, a test website for Drupal support is a good idea. When new customers hear this, they naturally ask why they need this. Frankly, they've never heard of any of this technical gobbledygook.
I've written this email so many times, I thought I would just publish it here and I can send folks this url.