How to Make the Most of the Drupal Community

By Kenna Poulos

When development teams are tasked with choosing a web hosting platform, the first thing they are likely to consider is which technology will meet their needs. One platform, for example, might have an interface that loads faster or is easier to engage with than its competitors. While these considerations are important, there’s another element that often goes overlooked: customer support.

A robust support offering helps teams use a product more effectively and solve any challenges they encounter with the platform. With Drupal, which is an open-source platform, customer assistance is handled by the actual community of users. For many teams, this approach to support may seem frustrating; they want to know they can rely on a dedicated service rep to solve any problem they encounter. However, the Drupal community can be a wealth of knowledge—as long as you know how to use it. With the proper resources and expertise of a managed services partner, you’ll be well-equipped to succeed with Drupal.

Finding Your Place In The Drupal Community

At first glance, the Drupal community portal can be overwhelming—there are any number of groups to join, posts to read, and pages to peruse. So let’s start at the beginning.

Before you start interacting with other users on Drupal, you should familiarize yourself with the community’s core values. These guiding principles serve as a code of conduct for members of the platform.

  1. Prioritize impact
  2. Better together
  3. Strive for excellence
  4. Treat each other with dignity and respect
  5. Enjoy what you do

After reviewing these guidelines, you can get to know the Drupal community and everything it has to offer. One of the main benefits is its groups. These range from location-specific, where you can connect with other users in your city or country, to groups specific to users’ organization or work, such as marketing or public sector. If you don’t find a group specific to what you’re looking for, you have the option to create your own.

Many Drupal groups, especially those that are location-specific, also host meetups, which you can find through the groups portal. Last year alone, Drupal community members hosted 695 events worldwide.

Getting the Support You Need to Help Your Site Run

When Drupal users encounter a problem, they can rest easy knowing that one of the 1.39 million members of the community can help them. Head to the forum tab, where you will discover an avenue to connect with your peers and ask questions about using the platform. Before you post a question, search the support forum. It’s highly possible that the challenge you are facing is a common one, and another user may have already posted about it. Review the existing discussions and see if you can find an answer. If you can’t, go ahead and post a new forum topic—someone in the community will surely have a solution for you.

Drupal also provides users with documentation and guides written and updated by members of the Drupal community. Guides run the gamut in subject matter, ranging from managing site performance and scalability to understanding Drupal version numbers.

Drupal community members are also lurking on other platforms, including Slack. You can connect with other users on Slack groups, such as #support to get quick answers or #womenindrupal to connect with other women using the platform, join the Drupal workspace via this link. Here you will be asked to enter your email address, and receive a custom invitation. Meanwhile, you can also connect with members via internet relay chat (IRC). According to the Drupal community, some essential channels to join are #drupal for general Drupal discussions, #drupal-support for complex support questions, and #drupal-contribute for those interested in getting more involved with coding work, promotion, advocacy, infrastructure, and general Drupal community tasks.

Working With a Hosting Partner for Additional Drupal Support

If all of this sounds pretty complicated, that’s because it is. Drupal has the answers you need to maintain a well-performing site, but finding them can be difficult. Thankfully, you don’t need to do it alone. A hosting partner can help you navigate all things Drupal and get the answers you need in the most effective way.

Want to learn more about how you can make the most of the Drupal Community? Here’s how Contegix can help.