Contracting Drupal Developers

Currently, the skill sets and time of the College of Fine Arts (COFA) Web team are stressed by supporting too many disparate technologies and systems and we are not able to build new designs and features as quickly as we would like. Two outcomes have manifest concurrently in response to this situation:

  1. The COFA Web team has been charged with streamlining and standardizing our projects.
  2. Some departments and programs have determined to find outside assistance from contractors.

The obvious standardization is that all new websites, that will be maintained by the COFA Web team, must be built in Drupal 7. However, Drupal 7 is not a standardized system. According to wikipedia, “As of February 2014, there are more than 30,000 free community-contributed add ons, known as contributed modules, available to alter and extend Drupal’s core capabilities and add new features or customize Drupal’s behavior and appearance.”

The Web team can only maintain websites that go beyond simply being built in Drupal. The sites must also use a specific set of modules, themes, frameworks, user interfaces and terminology. This will mean contractors will be required to standardize the websites they build to our specifications. This may mean added requirements for contracted projects and likely the need for additional funding.

The standardization requirements are not expected to effect the outward facing design however, it’s prudent to conduct progress reviews with the COFA Web team to make sure there are no red flags. The main goal is to standardize the administration of the site and how it works.

The COFA Web team can provide instructions, templates and guidelines of requirements for contract Drupal developers. The COFA Web team can also provide guidance on department, college and university requirements and policies and requiring that the contractors meet certain quality assurance benchmarks.

The added requirement of standardizing to our templates and fortifying quality assurance may mean the scope of the design and functionality requested needs to be checked in order to remain in budget. If the design or functionality that the department requires for their website falls outside of our maintainable scope then we recommend that funding is set aside for a maintenance agreement.

Please direct all contractors to the following pages prior to negotiating a contract: Instructions, templates and guidelines of requirements for contract Drupal developers. Please contact us at cofawebmaster@austin.utexas.edu if you have any questions.