As a Victoria, British Columbia based Drupal 9 web development agency, we have to admit we’re biased. Drupal is one of our favorite platforms for building beautiful, reliable, and easy to use websites. We think it is especially suitable for government agencies, non-profits, and health-based organizations.
Engaging with your citizens, clients, and donors in today’s digital world is a way to not only serve them, but to build trust. Drupal’s unparalleled flexibility, scalability, and security, ensures you build that trust by delivering a great user experience. It does this while lowering your total cost of ownership and leverages the power of open source.
Drupal websites are built with accessibility in mind. On top of that, Drupal 9 is available in a 100 languages, with English being the default. This allows you to serve people of nearly all nationalities and backgrounds.
One of the best things about Drupal that makes it so great for large government agencies, nonprofits, and health organizations is its scalability. By this we mean that your website can handle hundreds of site users at a time, or scale up to allow for millions of users simultaneously. Drupal is probably the most scalable content management system (CMS) around today.
We do this with a number of tools, including:
- A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Server Scaling
- Site Monitoring Tools
- Custom Modules
The goal with Drupal 9 web development is to build you a robust site that can handle a sudden influx of site visitors with grace and beauty, as well as functionality, rather than crashing. And since Drupal is so highly scalable, we can prepare your website for any eventuality.
You want to avoid the healthcare.gov fiasco the United States government had when people tried to sign up for the new health insurance plans. Likewise, you don’t want to experience something like the Canadian immigration website crash. (And no, Trump wasn’t to blame — an impending deadline was.)
And, don’t get us started on how many state unemployment websites in the United States crashed after Congress passed a COVID-19 stimulus package. Websites crash because they are not prepared for large numbers of visitors at one time. With Drupal scalability, we can build your website to be prepared for the future.
Drupal 9 provides you with global threat protection. In fact, Drupal is arguably the most secure open-source platform on the planet with regular security releases. Security is critical in the government realm and nonprofit sector where users submit private information.
Hackers may target your website because of who your organization is. They may seek to obtain personal information on your website users. Or, they may just get to your site at random, hoping to exploit a security flaw. Drupal 9 and our team of Drupal experts help protect your website from intruders.
There are several steps we take to protect your website from the beginning and in an ongoing relationship. They include:
1.Use Drupal Security Modules
When we mentioned that Drupal is the most secure content management system available, a big part of that is because of the robust security modules available. They will lock down your website and protect you from brute force attacks, block malicious networks, scan for vulnerabilities, and much more.
2. Use Secure Encryption
It goes without saying (we hope!) that you should personally always use a secure internet connection. But more importantly, you need secure web hosting. Your web host should be running the most up to date and supported versions of PHP, MySQL, account isolation, web application firewalls, etc. We like managed Drupal host Pantheon for this reason.
3. Harden the Drupal Database Security
We recommend changing your database prefix to make it hard to guess. This can help prevent SQL injections. We also recommend that if we name your database, it is also something hard to guess.
4. Use an SSL Certificate
This is an industry standard now, but if you have an older website, you may not have implemented this yet. You need an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate to show your site is safe for users. Not only does an SSL certificate protect their sensitive data, but it also protects your username and passwords.
That little padlock you see in the address bar on the top of this page? That’s a sign we have an SSL certificate. And if you were to copy and paste your full website address, there would be an https:/ at the beginning.
5. Use Smart Usernames and Passwords
Password generators are your friend, in your private life and more importantly when it comes to your government agency or nonprofit website. We will generate you a secure username and password to access your admin privileges.
Approximately 76% of attacks on corporate networks involve weak passwords.
6. Block Access to Important Files
We will restrict access to important files such as authorize.php and upgrade.php, for example. Only someone with admin access will be able to open the core files on your website.
7. Harden HTTP Security Headers
HTTP security headers add another layer of security to your Drupal 9 website. They tell a browser how to respond when handling your site’s content. Also known as response headers, we will implement:
- Content Security Policy
- Strict Transport Security
8. Perform Regular Backups
If you choose us to be your Drupal 9 web development agency, we will offer continued service for your website. An important service from a security standpoint is to backup your website regularly. This allows us to easily rollback if your website is attacked. This is similar, but on a larger scale, to restoring your computer to a previous restore point.
9. Keep Drupal Modules Up to Date
As with anything, you have to keep things up to date, or you risk exposing your organization to security flaws. Hackers generally target older versions of content management systems and other web platforms.
Again, if you choose to work with North Studio, we will take care of this for you.
Keep in mind it costs 7x more to retrieve or fix a hacked site than it does to lock it down with the best in Drupal security from the beginning. Factor in brute force attacks and ransomware, and the costs for a poorly secured website can skyrocket.
Government, Nonprofit, & Healthcare Sites Using Drupal
You might be surprised at the vast number of government agencies and nonprofit organizations who have websites powered by Drupal. We’ll name a few here, focusing on Canada and the United States. See here for the full list of government agencies worldwide.
Government Drupal Websites
- Canada.ca (Open Canada)
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Natural Resources Canada
- Canadian Security Intelligence Service
- Province of Ontario
- Department of Environment, Territory of Nunavut
- Nova Scotia tourism
- Province of Quebec Tableau de Bord des Projets de L’Administration Publique
- Province of British Columbia Office of the Auditor General
- U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- More state government agencies than we can mention
Big Name Nonprofit Drupal Websites
- Rotary International
- Doctors Without Borders
- Habitat for Humanity International
- World Vision International
- Human Rights Watch
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- International Committee of the Red Cross
Big Name Healthcare Drupal Websites
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Duke University Health System
- Georgetown University medical Center
- Kingston Health Sciences Centre (Canada)
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- Mount Sinai Hospital
- Melanoma Research Foundation
If these big names trust and invest in Drupal, that should give you some idea of why a Drupal 9 website is well-suited for your government agency,health center, or nonprofit organization.
Drupal Migration and Maintenance
If you have an existing website built on another platform, say WordPress, it is possible with Drupal migration to migrate content from your WP website to a new, more secure and scalable Drupal 9 website. We can also upgrade your existing Drupal website from an earlier version to Drupal 9.
But at North Studio, it doesn’t stop with Drupal 9 web development. We will maintain your site, ensuring you get all updates implemented as quickly as possible, to ensure continued security and a great user experience.
Our team has the expertise to do all things Drupal, with a quick response time, including:
- Full Support
- Monitoring Tools
- Version Updates
- Security Audit
- Speed Optimization
- Image Optimization
- 404 Error Management
- User Training
- And more
We offer robust Government Drupal maintenance for Federal, Provincial, State, and local government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations. North Studio can build out a custom maintenance and support plan that squares with your budget and keeps in mind your vendors and resources. Our skilled Drupal 9 development team will work with you to ensure your IT budget is spent on scalable and secure Drupal solutions!
Work with a Trusted Drupal 9 Development Agency
When scalability and security are on the line, don’t trust your Drupal website to just anyone. By working with a trusted Drupal 9 development agency like North Studio, you are working with one of the oldest Drupal specialty shops in the world. We continue to be proud contributors to the Drupal community.
We understand you have a number of Drupal development companies to choose from. We’re honored that you are considering North Studio, and would like to let you know that the vast majority of our clients stay with us for years, if not decades. We work with clients mainly in Canada and the United States, but can serve clients anywhere in the world.
Interested in learning more? Book a Drupal consultation today!