CiviCRM and Drupal Diary – Week 2


This is our multi-article series on integrating CiviCRM and Drupal. Make sure you’ve read the prologue, introducing the topics to be covered.

Now that we had decided to utilize Drupal & CiviCRM for our project, our next steps were as follows:

  • Determine a schedule
  • Install a Drupal and CiviCRM development environment
  • Begin comping our theme

Some of these processes went much easier than others and it was surprising how things turned out.

Determining a schedule

Creating a timeline for this project was a substantial challenge for our team. We had developed many membership websites in the past and at the time had already several years of Drupal experience. However CiviCRM integration with Drupal was new not to mention working with a new client that we had limited history with.
Our original estimation was for a 12 week turn around. Meaning we would sign the contract and launch the application in 3 months.

Items in our schedule included:

  • Site Architecture
  • Graphic Design
  • Drupal & CiviCRM Installation
  • Theme Website
  • Create CiviCRM Profiles
  • Membership Roles
  • Sync Members between Drupal and CiviCRM
  • Create Special Content Types
  • Payment Processing
  • Calendar Configuration
  • Online Event Creation
  • Configure Email Systems
  • Existing Member Import

CiviCRM & Drupal Installation

Our site architecture had been almost fully completed prior to our signed agreement. While it was not official, it was just a matter of creating the formal documentation. In week #2 we were ready to begin our installation.

Following the standard installation instructions for Drupal and CiviCRM we moved forward without too many problems. We did have one small hiccup along the way. Since this was a test environment to start we wanted to load the CiviCRM test data. This proved to be an issue for us at the time and rather than troubleshoot through, we decided to do a clean install without the data and our problems were solved. This was probably the best approach for us anyway, since the test data was much more than we actually needed.

Designing a theme for Drupal & CiviCRM

Our design process started with a sitemap from our information architecture process and a website wireframe of our homepage. Another agency had recently re-branded the organization and working within their guidelines our team quickly created the first comp of the homepage.
Three subtle variations of this first draft were presented and the client quickly choose one. A few additional rounds of revisions and we were holding an approved comp in our hands. This portion of our process went much better than we had planned for and all parties were very pleased moving into our next week.

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Published On: May 4, 2010