Are the tools in drupal so adequate that I would not have a need to use dreamweaver in conjunction?
No. Install Drupal on a local test server and you will see how Drupal works. Content is in the CMS, everything else is code. Dreamweaver can help you modifiy your skin or create templates with code hinting, but it's designed as a professional tool to work with code.
do people seek out drupal developers to create a customized interactive experience based upon their needs?
Yes people do seek outside developers for help depending on the customization and their level of expertise.
Or is the drupal download easy enough to work with so as to pull modules from a community based library and plug into the site?
With Drupal 7 and moving forward, installing community plugins are easy, but depending on your needs you may need a custom developer.
And, if it is typical for companies to hire a developer to get the site up and running, can a company then take the site + host on their own server or is it common practice for the developer to keep control and put on his own design company's server?
Sure, you can host it whereever you like. Just make sure that is what you and the developer agrees. Typically the development should be done somewhere that is not public and then uploaded to your server upon completion assuming you are moving from a static site or another platform. That will minimize the downtime and give you the necessary time to work with your developer.
Looking for general industry advice with regards to Drupal. - I'm getting the impression that is is very much like WordPress, just far more sophisticated?!
Wordpress is a blog. People can try to call it a CMS all they want, but at it's core it's a blog. Drupal is not a blog and it's Blog module is pretty poor in comparison to Wordpress. There are plenty of other options out there as well such as Joomla, Pyrocms, Concrete, Perch, etc. it's just a matter of what you feel comfortable with. Try the solution and see how you like editing it, even if you are not going to develop all its functionality. That is the best test.
Drupal vs Joomla! vs WordPress -- which is right for you?
Info graphic~ http://deviousmedia.com/infographics/devious_cms.png
Drupal is a powerful open source backend platform with a very steep learning curve; NOT for the coding challenged. Drupal developers typically charge more because they need to know more to use it. Tools of the trade: PHP IDE for Drupal, Eclipse PHP Package, CodeLobster, Navicate, and others.
It doesn't matter who hosts the site (client, developer/designer) providing the server supports the chosen platform. You may want to offer hosting along with your maintenance agreement. But that's up to you.
This info and your filling in the gaps for me is SO helpful! It's difficult to find 'down to earth' answers on the net.
This is perfect!
Now, here is my other big question I am wondering about. If I have a regular main website (.asp) hosted and now I want to have this completely separate Drupal-based CMS (which I am imagining is .php; but uncertain about that) to promote one particular product on my site (with unique functionality); can the folders containing the Drupal site get dropped into the same sever / folder that hosts / contains my main website?
I mean, the developer who has provided pricing was thinking to host it on his server and charge me a hefty montly fee. I think I would prefer to bypass that fee and include this new Drupal site within my other site, seeing that I already pay for web hosting. Is that possible? Normal? Or is the industry norm to have a secondary server just for the Drupal site?
Fill me in! Thanks!!
I wouldn't do that. I would stick with the ASP solution you have or go full-steam ahead with Drupal.
You COULD put the files on your IIS server if you install PHP, mySQL, but then you are talking about server resources. Instead of just running ASP and maybe a MS SQL server you are bringing another technology and database into the mix. The technology is not really a big issue but running multiple database servers on the same server could be resource intensive.
What is your ASP site built on? Is there a reason you are not building this product section of your site on that platform? What is your reasoning for examining Drupal in the first place?
So, it would make more sense to contract the developer to build this 'application' in .ASP so that we can incorporate directly into our site, correct? Is that what you are suggesting if I am looking to streamline and consolidate?
- Drupal was what the developer proposed to use which is why this has come about. Perhaps that is the only program he knows for the specific functionality we are looking to build in.
So, it would make more sense to contract the developer to build this 'application' in .ASP so that we can incorporate directly into our site, correct?
See that's what I'm not understanding right now. Do you know what ASP CMS platform you are using right now? They may just be able to add on to that instead of building you an entirely new system. But if your system is that inflexible, you may just be able to move everything to Drupal and leave your old ASP hosting and CMS system and you can always find another host for your needs. Could you post a link to the current site so we could see more of what kind of system has made you even consider Drupal for this application?