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How to Create a Scalable and Flexible Drupal Architecture


Drupal is a content management system (CMS) that has been used in some of the biggest websites on the Internet, such as CNN and eBay. In fact, Drupal is currently powering over 1 million sites worldwide. However, many people believe that Drupal is only useful for large-scale projects. This is not true! In fact, Drupal can be used by small businesses or even individuals to create a scalable and flexible architecture that will make their website stand out from others. The following five steps will help you create an effective Drupal architecture:

Step 1: Identify your Drupal architecture priorities

When you’re creating a Drupal architecture, it’s important to identify your priorities. These priorities should align with your business goals and be measurable and achievable. For example, if one of your main concerns is improving customer experience across all channels–including mobile devices–then you’ll want to focus on responsive design rather than scaling up the number of servers in order to reduce load times for each page request.

The following two points are key priorities in the Drupal architecture:


How quickly do pages load? How fast can data be retrieved from the database? Is there enough memory available for caching?


Are there any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers (SQL injections, cross-site scripting attacks)? Is user authentication sufficient so that only authorized users have access to sensitive information or functions within the site’s backend interface (e.g., administrative menus)? Does Drupal provide built-in protection against brute force login attempts through CAPTCHA codes or throttling mechanisms such as IP blocking at intervals set by site administrators (i.e., every five minutes).

Step 2: Define your modules

The next step is to define the modules you’ll need. Modules help you customize Drupal, and they’re the building blocks of any CMS. They can be used to extend functionality or add new features, or change how Drupal works from within your site.

You’ll want to choose between two types of modules: contributed and custom-built (or “custom”). Contributed modules are available for free on drupal.org, while custom-built ones are created by third parties who have specific needs that aren’t met by existing solutions or may have licensing restrictions preventing them from being posted publicly online (for example, if your client requires a module that integrates with another piece of software).

Step 3: Understand the different kinds of modules

There are several kinds of Drupal modules. Each has its own purpose and can be used in different ways.

Modal modules

Are not enabled by default, but you can enable them when you’re ready to use them. For example, if you want to add a new theme for your site, then install the “Theme” module on top of Drupal 8 core and activate it. This will give you access to several pre-built themes in an easy-to-use interface so that you can quickly pick one that fits the design needs of your project or business (or both).

Disabled modules

Don’t show up as options when installing new features or making configuration changes because they’re not compatible with other parts of the system–like trying to mix milk and orange juice together! These are usually set up this way as part of an upgrade process so that users don’t accidentally break something important while trying out new features (and sometimes they just aren’t ready yet). You’ll need technical expertise before enabling these types of modules yourself since there could be unexpected consequences from doing so; otherwise just wait until someone else does it first!

Enabled by default

Means exactly what it sounds like: any time someone installs Drupal 8 core without specifying anything else beforehand then all these things will automatically show up inside their account under various categories like Views (/admin/configuration/views), Blocks (/admin/structure/block) etc…

Step 4: Find the right place for each module

Now that you’ve decided where each module should go, it’s time to find the right place for them. This step is important because it will determine how scalable and flexible your Drupal architecture will be.

Each module should have only one role in your Drupal architecture: serving up content, managing users and permissions, or anything else related directly to its purpose (for example, a WYSIWYG editor). If a module has multiple roles–for example, if it serves up some content but also manages users–you should consider splitting this module into two separate modules with distinct namespaces that can live in different places in your codebase.

Choose the right place based on its role in your Drupal architecture* Each module should be in the right place with dependencies on other modules as close as possible.* Modules should also be close to front end code.* The database connection can be anywhere within reason

Step 5: Organize your modules into a Drupal architecture plan

The next step to creating a scalable Drupal architecture is to organize your modules into a Drupal architecture plan. This can be done by either manually grouping modules into folders and sub-folders, or through the use of Drush commands such as drush dl and drush rsync. If you are unfamiliar with Drush commands, we recommend reading our guide on how to use Drush.

Example of Drupal Architecture Plans:

  • A basic example would be having a folder structure similar to this: `/sites/all/modules`, `/sites/all/themes` (if using theming), `/sites/all` (if not using theming). Within each folder there will be sub-folder(s) for each type of module that has been installed there – e.g., “contrib”, “custom”, etc..


Businesses of all sizes can create a scalable and flexible Drupal architecture. Simply follow the five steps outlined in this blog to make your website stand out. Identify your priorities, define the necessary modules, understand the different types of modules, find the right place for each module, and organize them into a cohesive Drupal architecture plan. This will enable you to meet your business goals and deliver an exceptional user experience. Drupal’s flexibility and scalability provide endless possibilities for creating a powerful and dynamic website. Partner with us at Monsoon Drupal to achieve greatness in your digital journey.

At Monsoon Drupal, we are passionate about driving digital transformation and guiding businesses towards success using our expertise in Drupal digital platforms. With a strong commitment to collaboration and deep involvement in the digital community, we position ourselves as trusted partners on your journey. Let our professional team assist you in unlocking the full potential of your Drupal website.

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