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Drupal for the long haul: Maintaining and enhancing a large Drupal site for years

As a freelancer or agency, for some projects, we are hired to take it from design to launch and then the money runs out and we're "done". Maintenance is not in the project plan, so you move on to the next project.

Sometimes, though, you have a project that has the budget to sustain long-term maintenance and even healthy growth and evolution.

In this session, we'll talk about a very large project our company has worked on since 2012. We redesigned the site and migrated it from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7. It took a year to create the D7 site. We have maintained and greatly enhanced the site for nearly 5 (!) years. Recently, we have even evaluated moving all or some of the site to Drupal 8.

When you have a Drupal site to maintain and grow over many years, you have different challenges than the ones faced when building a site from scratch. Some of things we will cover include:

  • How to handle team members coming and going on the project?
  • How to monitor performance when the site gets bigger and bigger?
  • When should code be refactored or maybe completely rewritten?
  • How to document features and test procedures so you can find them?
  • How to monitor and manage ongoing errors and warnings?
  • How can maintenance happen when there are many feature requests?
  • How to identify, document, and tackle technical debt?
  • When to consider moving beyond Drupal for some features?

Intended Audience

This session is best suited for project managers, architects, technical leads, and developers who "do it all", but anyone interested in long-term Drupal projects will benefit from this session.

Skill Levels

This session is suitable intermediate Drupalers and anyone interested in learning more about long-term Drupal projects.

About the Speakers

Kristen has been working with Drupal since 2004 as a developer and architect, specializing in multilingual, migrations, architecture, and SEO. She has presented at many DrupalCons, BADCamps, Stanford camps, and other Drupal camps and user group meetings. Check out Kristen's page and her Hook 42 team page for more info.

Idil started with Drupal 4 in 2004 and has worked with a wide range of technologies in consulting, information technology, and higher education. She's worn many hats including software engineer, systems architect, and technical project manager. Check out her Hook 42 profile for more info.

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