Where do you start in building a Drupal website?

So you want to build a website? But where do you start?

We've found that it helps the site owner end up with a significantly better product to first take a step back and conduct a business assessment before doing any website requirements analysis.

Included below are a sample Business Assessment and a Website Design Documentation Questionnaire. Most likely these documents will take you several hours each to fill out. Several Hours. Each.

This is one of those tasks where spending your time upfront will significantly reduce the amount of money you spend in the future. Significantly.

Do you have to be Stephen King to write this? No. But, even if you have to hire a transcription, you should complete these to the best of your abilities.

Then email them to me, and I'll create the website of your dreams!

Best Regards,


Business Assessment

Reading, and answering as able, these questions prior to our first meeting will help achieve your goals, reduce your costs, and deliver a product that better matches what you want.

Owner Goals

What are your dreams, life goals, aspirations?

How will this project/website fulfill that?

If they don't, why are you pursuing this project?

Business Goals

What is this project trying to achieve?

Who do you want to sell what to?

What is your definition of success?

In an ideal world, wave a magic wand, what would you want to see from this project?

What are all the different ways this project can help you make money?

Brainstorming questions

What are some other sites you like?

What features do they have?

What do you not like?

What message do you want to convey through design about your site?

What are some examples of this that you've seen on the Web?

Who / What / When

Who will be working on it?

Who's responsible for which parts?

What's the project cost?

When will it be finished?

Client Commitment to a Professional Relationship

A professional relationship is one in which all parties promptly meet deadlines, promptly review and reply to communications, and provide required materials within stated deadlines.

As the client are you willing to commit to a professional relationship?

Website Design Documentation Questionnaire

These are the somewhat standard list of questions usually answered by Design Documentation. As most people are replacing an existing site with a Drupal site, the questions are geared towards that.

Please list the URL(s) of the site(s) to be built and/or replaced.

Example: {website URL}

Please list the URLs for the non-static page functionality to be moved into Drupal.

Unless the section has significant functionality beyond just being there, you can skip any static page content like About and Contact Us or Blog and Article type sections.

Please provide access methods for functionality that is non-public accessible.

Example: {website URL}
Username: ABC
Password: XYZ

Please list the URLs for functionality that will NOT be moved into Drupal.

Example: {website URL}

Is there any additional functionality to be built that does not currently exist on this site?

If so, please give a brief explanation of each with a URL example if available.

What theme has been selected?

Finding a new theme is usually a huge developer time sink, so we generally ask the client to find three to five themes they like first.

Here's a demo of CorporateClean (free theme) we've installed, and updated: http://w6413528.srv03-inet-design.com/

Their other (non-free) themes: morethanthemes.com/?q=themes

Or just look through all the free responsive (mobile) themes on Drupal.org (~160ish):

Drupal Mobile Themes

Many have demos. (And expect to spend several hours/days if you're going to look at all of them.)

Please list anything else that will be needed or required.

Specifically include anything that is not part of the Drupal code base.

Please list anything else that you would like to have, but is not necessary.

Be expansive, Drupal has thousands of pre-built modules that might match a 'nice to have' desire.