Interview about the experience of implementing Drupal to the Site www.lacurevillas.com
1. What kind of site was needed by the organization (blog | e-commerce | news | social network | other)?
We needed to redesign our site, which is basically a large database of property rental listings with some advanced search features.
2. What was the LacureVillas situation before implementing Drupal?
We had a custom built php site, whose limitations included an outdated graphical user interface as well as some structural problems (coding) that prevented us from effectively optimizing it for search engine placement.
3. Whay did you decide to use Drupal?
We wanted a system that was open source and modular, that would allow us to add functionality over time and which would be easy to use from a content management perspective. We also needed a platform that we could adapt to our needs and requirements in terms of information architecture, user experience and dynamic on-page search engine optimization. Lastly, we wanted to use a CMS that had the backing of a large community of developers and which would allow us to freely switch service providers at will, rather than being bound to one specific company or group of developers.
4. What kinds of platforms were taken into account?
We took a look at some of the other major CMS systems (i.e. Wordpress and Joomla) and quickly decided that for us it came down to a choice between using Drupal and building another custom site from scratch.
5. What was the most difficult at the beginning by using Drupal?
With regards to the initial development, it was difficult for us to obtain the level of customization we needed in order to adapt the system to our needs. The data migration was also challenging. Once we launched the site the hardest part was adapting to such a complicated user interface and complex CMS system.
6. What do you most like after learning how to use Drupal?
The modularity of the system. In other words, the fact that it allows us to easily add functionality.
7. Did you have the infrastructure/ technology to implement Drupal?
8. Did Drupal satisfy your needs? Can it meet the standards that you expected?
9. What things changed after implementing Drupal in LacureVillas?
- We managed to increase the number of visitors to the site and satisfy the desires of many internal and external site users.
- We were able to optimize the site and achieve excellent search engine rankings
- We switched service providers (developers)
- We were able to do some updates and make changes internally, without relying on developers.
- We made many improvements and added features.
10. What are the plans for LacureVillas in the future?
- Implement at least one new content type with restricted access for authenticated users
- Implement new lead capture forms in order to build our mailing list
- Give certain providers the ability to update information with certain restrictions.
- Continue to add various types of content.
11. What would you recommend to other company to ensure the success of their business website before using Drupal?
- Properly assess your needs and analyze your business logic
- Make a concrete plan and make sure you have the infrastructure and human resources to carry it out.
- Be aware of the system's limitations and requirements (particularly in terms of server environment, hosting etc.)
- Carefully consider security concerns and data integrity (backups).
- If you decide on Drupal, work with a team of developers that knows the system well (just knowing php, html, css etc. is not good enough) and with strong ties to the Drupal community.
12. Did you compare between Drupal implementation costs and other develpment platforms/ content management?
To be honest, we really only compared the cost of implementing Drupal to that of implementing a custom built system as we never considered other platforms, such as Wordpress, suitable for our needs.
Interviewed person: Leif Holtzman <leif.holtzman at lacure.com>