SiteGround has been sponsoring and attending lots of community events over the last few years. However, it was more likely to meet us at a WordCamp or a JoomlaDay, than at a Drupal event. So it may have come as a surprise to some people to see us at DrupalCon LA but there was a good reason for us to be there – the growing number of Drupal users we have.
Why did we visit a DrupalCon?
As many of you know, SiteGround has been actively involved with various open source communities. Lately, the majority of our efforts were concentrated on Joomla and WordPress. This has come as a natural reaction to the growing number of clients using these projects on our platform. To respond to the needs of a wider range of users from these communities, including more advanced developers as well, we have added features like staging, GIT integration, command line interfaces, caching, CDN and more to our hosting offer. As an expected result we have seen a great adoption of our hosting services among Joomla and WordPress developers.
However, we have also detected a more unexpected outcome – a steadily growing number of Drupal users. Many of them were also enjoying our more geeky features like the GIT integration and Drush. The recently added Drupal caching solution has also been accepted quite well. We realized that our efforts to make our product more appealing to the members of WordPress and Joomla communities has also made it more appealing to other communities, like Drupal.
And again, it’s a circle - with the growing number of Drupal users, we inevitably need to keep our platform optimized for their needs too. To do this effectively, we need to keep a close track of the Drupal development, hence we need to be more involved with the community and find out what’s happening there from the source. Where better to do that than at DrupalCon LA, which attracts thousands of hard-core Drupal lovers!
What did we do at DrupalCon LA?
DrupalCon LA was a 5-day event so we had the time to do quite a lot. We had a booth and we sponsored one of the coffee breaks and one of the lunch breaks. That gave us the opportunity to meet and greet quite a significant number of Drupal users and to hear their stories and hosting needs. We would like to thank all who stopped by our booth and took time to chat with us. Chatting with you live helps shape the future of our product development.
We also learned a lot about the project, the community, the key people behind Drupal throughout the years and their contributions, and the exciting new features that are now part of Drupal 8.
Last but not least, we saw how we can be helpful to the development of the Drupal Project. If you know us, you are probably aware that we don’t like spending money without knowing exactly what kind of results we're gonna get. That is why I would like to highlight the Drupal 8 Accelerate Program and the amazing results it has already achieved in helping decrease the critical vulnerabilities in Drupal 8. The results looked so promising, that SiteGround made its contribution as well (we donated $5000 to the program), trusting it will make the Drupal 8 release a done deal in September. We urge you all to contribute as well and be part of that process.
Special Acknowledgements to the Drupal Association
One thing that really impressed me was how well the event was organized and how involved attendees were. Much to our amazement, 400 people joined the developers sprints on Friday, working hard on the project the full day!
It seems that the Drupal Association should be given credit for all that. They are doing a great job energizing the community and keeping the spark by coming up with great (and funny) ideas like that: “Snow Beauty and the 101 Mermaids of Notre DOM - a musical Drupalventure”, credits to Jeffrey A. McGuire for the video.
What’s next for SiteGround + Drupal?
As stated above, we plan to cater the needs of the Drupal users who have already chosen our hosting and to develop our Drupal service even further. Thanks to your trust we are motivated to take a more active role in the Drupal ecosystem. So get ready to hear a lot more about SiteGround in the context of Drupal and to also see us at the next DrupalCon (Barcelona) in September.