The Secret Recipe for a Successful Drupal Website

The Secret Recipe for a Successful Drupal Website

Step aside Betty Crocker, the successful website has officially become more important than the perfect dinner. The website is the virtual representation of a physical organization for billions of users who visit daily, and it has to function that way. The success of a website is not determined by resources spent building it or budget compliance, but by whether or not the end user is happy with the website’s functionality and user experience (UX). These goals can only be achieved with a strong Request for Proposal (RFP) and the right development partner.

Poor Website Construction Leads to Boston Resident Frustration

When Ben Simo, former president of the Association for Software Testing, attempted to utilize Healthcare.gov shortly after its launch in 2013 he discovered that part of the website’s code was compromising the site’s ability to accept his login information. Problems like this were experienced by 20 million Americans, and temporarily decimated public opinion about the Affordable Care Act.

Problems with the Healthcare.gov website lasted for months. Very little information was released about what the problems were and how long it would take for them to be fixed. The project’s budget jumped from $93.7 million to $292 million and it was recommended that additional contractors be asked to contribute to or take over the project.

Less than a year later, the Boston Globe reported Massachusetts finally had to scrap their own dysfunctional health insurance website. The website was originally created in 2006, but had to be revamped to meet the demands of the Affordable Care Act. Despite the $15 million paid by the state for the work, the site did not function the way it was supposed to, leaving many Boston residents frustrated and uninsured until the state enacted a different system.

Both of these sites failed to deploy successfully because they did not test for basic requirements of functionality and user experience.

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Boston Launches New Drupal Website With UX in Mind

The City of Boston recently completed deployment of a brand new Boston.gov on Drupal. The process involved far more feedback than any website project effort made before by local government, and is still collecting feedback from residents so that continuous improvements can be made to optimize UX.

From Boston.gov’s homepage, users can search for property information, pay their real estate taxes, apply for a city job, pay a parking ticket, view the schedule for Boston food trucks, get a resident parking permit, learn how to vote by absentee ballot and report non-emergency issues. That’s just on the home page.

A Successful Drupal Website Does More Than Transact

Negative reviews of a website's features have a higher impact on a consumer than positive reviews. Social media engagement and independent review sites have become a way for consumers to control their experience. If a website’s features do not empower the user with a satisfactory level of control, it will often result in a negative review.

Websites are more than digital storefronts. They are places where consumers take classes, schedule appointments, pay bills, file claims and register for services. It’s important for organizations to incorporate the user experience into their end game, by working with a platform and a developer that prioritizes their clients.

Recipe for a Successful Drupal Website


  • RFP: Strong project plan with organizational website requirements, written with the end-user in mind
  • Development Team: Has the skills to tailor the platform to custom specifications with an optimized user experience


  • Choose Drupal 8 for modules, features and potential for integration
  • Choose Drupal Website Development Company for aptitude and capability, in addition to unique characteristics agreed upon by the internal team
  • Preheat the workspace with discussion of priorities, timeline and the goals set forth in the RFP
  • Bake together at a comfortable level of heat, with frequent temperature checks to ensure the website will meet expectations

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