Drupal website maintenance costs might be different depending on how you want to approach the project. What has the biggest impact on the costs? What elements of implementation should you pay special attention to? Read on to find out the answers.
Table of Contents
- Drupal Website Cost – Partner Selection
- Drupal Implementation – Choosing the Billing Model
- What Are the Drupal Website Development Costs?
- The Cost of Custom Solutions
- How Does a Graphic Design Affect the Drupal Costs?
- The Cost of Drupal Integrations
- Drupal – Hosting Prices
- A Store on Drupal – The Costs
- How Much Does it Cost to Build a Drupal Website? Summary
Drupal Website Cost – Partner Selection
Drupal pricing is determined by who you want to work with. There are 2 main options to choose from:
- Software house.
Let’s take a closer look at both of them.
An agency/software house is a company that specialises in creating, developing and implementing software, including websites, mobile apps and IT systems. It has a wide range of offers, including analysing the client's needs, designing, programming, testing and post-implementation support.
Agencies usually offer comprehensive services that include marketing for example.
Software houses on the other hand focus more on developing software and custom IT projects.
These two terms are often used interchangeably.
Advantages of working with an agency/software house:
- agencies usually offer a wide range of services, from design to post-implementation support,
- such companies also have access to bigger resources and a wider range of specialists in various fields,
- due to their structure and resources, agencies and software houses can better cope with complex projects.
Disadvantages of working with an agency/software house:
- hiring a large company means increased Drupal development costs,
- due to the different levels of management and formal issues, the software house may not be able to adapt quickly to changes in the project.
Read more here.
Freelancers are independent experts who offer their services. Freelancers usually specialize in selected areas, although they often have extensive knowledge in their niche area.
Advantages of working with a freelancer:
- freelancer costs are usually much cheaper than the agency costs,
- when working with the freelancer, you are constantly in touch with the person directly involved in developing the project,
- freelancers offer a more individual approach to the project than the agencies which usually have to stick to many procedures.
Disadvantages of working with a freelancer:
- the freelancer does not have the resources of an agency and might therefore be unable to deliver certain projects,
- there is only one person to develop the project, so unforeseen circumstances (e.g. illness) can significantly affect the implementation.
Drupal Implementation – Choosing the Billing Model
The billing model highly influences the cost of a Drupal website. The most popular types are:
- Fixed price – you pay for the project in advance, so you know the final price before the work starts. This is a perfect solution if the project is precisely defined and no major changes are anticipated. There is then little room for change and experimentation during implementation.
- Time and materials – you pay for the actual hours worked. This more flexible solution allows you to make changes during the project. On the other hand, it is difficult to predict the final Drupal website design cost.
- Subscription – in exchange for a fixed monthly fee, the agency or freelancer performs a specific scope of work. This model is usually used for technical support or relatively simple services (e.g. ready-made module implementation).
We have discussed the basics of project valuation. Let’s move on to the main factors that influence Drupal website design prices.
What Are the Drupal Website Development Costs?
The hourly rate for a programmer’s work in Poland, both for a freelancer and an agency, ranges from $37-50.
Regarding Western Europe and the USA service providers, you can expect a cost of $57-124.
How to estimate the Drupal website costs in terms of development work? It is best to determine how many hours a given project requires. For example, if it is estimated that the task requires 15 hours of work and the cost is $45 per hour, the task implementation cost will be around $650.
Keep in mind that a lower hourly price does not always mean savings. Let’s assume that one freelancer ($30/h) needs 3 hours to complete a task. However, another specialist ($37/h) will perform it in 1 hour. The latter is therefore a reduced cost for you.
How to find out how much a specific task will cost? If you want to commission a new project on a Drupal website, conduct a pre-implementation analysis together with a selected agency or freelancer. Thanks to this, you will learn the exact project cost and choose the best cooperation model.
The Cost of Custom Solutions
Building your Drupal site also means creating custom modules. Those available on the official Drupal website will not always meet all your requirements.
Preparing a custom module usually takes from 6 to even several dozen hours. The scope of work, and therefore the cost, is influenced by:
- complexity – extensive functions (e.g. integrations with external systems) require more time,
- security – functions handling sensitive data should also be improved in terms of security,
- testing and debugging – if the module is to work with many other elements (e.g. a CRM), it might generate a lot of bugs.
How Does a Graphic Design Affect the Drupal Costs?
Drupal website pricing can increase significantly if you go for an individual graphic design. The costs include:
- design and UX analysis – for a medium-sized website the initial website design and user experience takes approx. 40 hours,
- implementation – after the approval, the implementation process begins. It takes approx. 60 to 120 hours. During this time the programmer transforms the graphic design into a working website by implementing functions according to specifications.
The most important factors contributing to the extension of work are:
- level of project complexity – e.g. interactive elements and animations,
- number of views – unique types of views such as blog, home page, service page, contact form etc. significantly increase the final Drupal website costs.
The Cost of Drupal Integrations
Integrations are connections with key systems that have a significant impact on the website and entire business functioning. Depending on the complexity, they will be more or less expensive:
- simple integrations – e.g. systems supporting external mailing systems or social media. Estimated work time is 10 to 40 hours,
- advanced integrations – the scope of work in the case of systems such as ERP and CRM is much bigger. The operating time can even exceed 100 hours.
Drupal – Hosting Prices
When you are trying to figure out how much a Drupal website costs, you cannot ignore the hosting. Let us list the 3 main types of hosting:
- Shared (from $12 net per year) – the cheapest type of hosting that is ideal for simple websites.
- Dedicated (from $250 net per year) – you get your own server. This is a recommended choice for large sites such as Internet stores.
- VPS (from $62 net per year) – a good, intermediate solution between dedicated and shared hostings.
A Store on Drupal – The Costs
Preparing an online store, regardless of the platform, means a higher cost of almost everything – modules, graphic designs, marketing or hosting. How much can the costs be? Here are some estimates:
- small (approx. $12450 net) – up to 100 products, basic e-commerce functions,
- intermediate (approx. $24800 net) – up to 1000 products, advanced e-commerce functions such as different payment methods or integrations,
- big (over $62000 net) – thousands of products and advanced personalization. Several external integrations and a big traffic.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Drupal Website? Summary
Taking into consideration all discussed examples, we can assume that the maintenance costs for Drupal websites are as follows:
- $7500 net – minimum price of implementing a simple project,
- $19900 net – average cost, it allows for implementing a decent-sized online store,
- several hundred thousand dollars net – large projects such as corporate websites or complex e-commerce platforms.
When estimating the investment in new Drupal websites, there are a few aspects to be taken into account:
- Partner – freelancer vs. agency.
- Billing model.
- Number of personalized modules/functions.
- The graphic design complexity.
- E-commerce functions.