Every Drupal website (except maybe for the simplest business card websites) has some modules inside. Modules can add literally any features you might want in your project. Keep reading to learn how much does it cost to develop a Drupal extension, when you should choose an existing solution, and how to tell a good Drupal module developer from a bad one.
Before considering a Drupal extension development, find out what your Drupal version is. Now there are two versions that are most used: 7.x and 8.x.
The 7.x Drupal version is widely spread. It cannot boast the abundance of in-built features. However, there are quite a few modules created for Drupal 7.x. At the day this post was written there were 11 595 of them.
The Drupal 8.x version is targeted on bigger businesses, we would even name it an enterprise solution. It has more features in its core distribution than 7.x does. There are only 1327 modules so far. You should know that Drupal 8 requires much more server resources, a VPS and developer’s experience in OOP and advanced PHP skills.
In some rare occasions, it is cheaper to upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. But in most cases you will have to stick to your current version and write a module for the new feature you want.
You want to have a free Drupal module installed to your website
As we have mentioned above, there are a lot of ready-to-use extensions for Drupal. Further still, all of them are free. Yes, Drupal community is open and friendly, so you can choose a free plug-in you like and have it applied to your project.
If the module you want is present on the market, the total cost of its implementation will comprise the following:
- Analyzing your Drupal website and your needs
- Integrating the module to your Drupal project
- Implementation to the production version of the website
Isn’t it a perfect solution? We’re afraid, it isn’t. The problem is that all that modules, which were created by other people, may not suit your website best. They are not perfect in terms of design and UI/UX, there could be some troubles with adjusting them to your code and there are many more ‘cons’. That is why the overwhelming majority of product owners choose to have a custom Drupal module to be developed for them.
You want to have a custom Drupal module to be created for you
This is the right decision. It is impossible to have a nice Drupal website without a tailor-made module. Very often, such module is the core function of the whole web service!
The cost of building a Drupal extension consists of the following:
- Analysing your current Drupal website
- Writing and approving a project scope
- Building the module
- Testing it
- Implementation to the project itself
Custom Drupal plug-in price estimate depends on the time that your developers will spend. Beware, if they don’t include analysis and project scope into the price breakdown, they will definitely add this time to the development phase, so you won’t save money here.
To be more specific, let’s look through some examples of Drupal module development.
One of the recent projects we’ve been involved into, the Parachute, was an insurance website that can calculate the cost of the certificate basing on the lifestyle of a person. To have this estimation, a user should fill in a questionnaire with a smart logical algorithm. The next question of the form depends on the answer to the previous one. The cost to develop such custom Drupal module is not high. Our estimation — around 16 hours of programming, which makes $576.
Let’s look at a situation when the custom Drupal modules make the core feature of the whole project. Imagine a service that connects drivers and shipping companies. There are a web interface and a mobile app. Drivers use the app to mark the delivery done, take a picture for proof and send it as a report.
On the backend side, there is an admin panel. It is divided into 5 similar modules with the different level of access for each admin role. Admins can create new shipping points, add cities and much more.
The web service has a REST API to ensure interaction between the mobile app and the server. It is responsible for giving the data to the mobile app. The REST API itself is also a custom module. There are some ready-to-use solutions, but here a custom one is needed it to have some particular functions. Another Drupal module was built to store the mobile data on the server.
The time estimate for these set of Drupal modules is 960 hours — $34 560.
How to tell a nice Drupal developer from a poor one
If there are no engineers in your team who can create a custom extension, try outsourcing your Drupal module development. Here are some characteristics of a good supplier:
- He wants to look at your project first and asks you about your business goals.
- He charges you for the time he spends on the analysis as it requires some time.
- He is trying not to sell you his services, but to find a solution to your problem.
- He makes a detailed project scope and gives it to you to approve.
- He tests both frontend and backend before and after implementing on the work copy.
Those are our rules at Kultprosvet. We’ve been developing Drupal extensions for many years, and we know everything about it. We want to find the right way to satisfy your needs and achieve your business goals.