Mar 6th, 2009

25 most essential Drupal modules

This is a outcome of interesting survey done among Drupal Developers.

One fine day all Drupal Developers were asked to present their list of most favourite Drupal modules that they cannot live without while using Drupal 6. Here is the list of those modules.

  1. CCK: This is the most popular module among all Drupal users. It provides you a way to design their own content types, using this module you can design your own custom fields. Apart from this base module, there are several modules belonging to CCK group that provides specialized field types namely emailimage field,date and many more.

  2. Views: This module coupled with CCK takes away lot of Drupal Developers pain. You design your content types using CCK and use views to generate list for display. This is like a query builder which can be used to build your own queries provided you supply enough parameters. The queries can then render the result using Drupal theme functions.

  3. Image: This module allows you to upload images in Drupal. These images can be linked with other content on the Drupal site. Module comes with couple of additional modules to allow creating image gallery or attach an image with a node. The module also creates thumbnail & preview images for the uploaded image.

  4. Imagecache: An important module that allows you to generate images of multiple dimension dynamically on the fly. It works with image module.

  5. Image field: This module allows you to add an image upload field in your CCK.

  6. Pathauto: This helps automatic path alias generation for all kind of content in your website. An important feature to have in your website if you are concerned for SEO for your website.

  7. Xmlsitemap: Module automatically generates a sitemap for your website. This helps search engine keep the search results up-to-date in their databases. It supports multiple search engines namely ask, google, windows live and Yahoo. Yet not released for production usage but it works. 

  8. Nodewords: Another important module for search engine positioning of your website. It will allow you to define meta data for every content in your website.

  9. Google Analytics: The module helps you integrate Google Analytics Tool in your website for traffic tracking and web statistics on your website.

  10. Global Redirect: Good tool to manage redirect rules in your website especially 301 redirects, helps you manage content duplication in your website and perform several URL validation tasks in your website.

  11. WYSIWYG Api: This is a good enhancement to manage editing capabilities on your website from previous versions of Drupal. Allows you to use JavaScript or Client side content editors on your website for content editing capabilites. It simplifes installation of editor & registering plugins in your site editor and works with input format in your website to pull appropriate editor.

  12. Panels: The module allows you to create multiple content areas in your webpage and give you an ability to assign content feeds in these areas. With few CSS & HTML twicks it allows you to create a different layout for a webpage. Using panels, it is easy to create landing pages for different section or channels in your website and assign them different look say some 2- 3 - 4 column layout while your theme support just two column layout in your website.

  13. Token:This module is a great help, it provides you placeholder variable like %site-name, through an api. These variable can be used at any other place and a value of the variable will be displayed whereever used. Practical example is you want to send email from Drupal site, you can use a variable for username in your email. Token module will replace variable with appropriate username when the mail is send. Many modules use this to expose their variables.

  14. Location:This module will allow you to associate address to a node or user. It provides you with fields to appropriately collect a real geographic location or address. The same can be easily used to show such location on maps.

  15. Logintoboggan:This module works with Drupal Login system and offers several features to modifiy Drupal Login process for better usability. To name a few features: immediate login, redirection on login, allow user login with username or email address, login form on access denied pages and so on.

  16. Poormanscron:This one is required in your website to manage scheduled tasks, thus, it eliminates the requirement of installing CRON application.

  17. Devel:This module is a great help to every module developer and a Drupal themer. It is group of module that provides you valuable information to trace performance and debug your Drupal website. It will also help you generate test data for your website, test data could be content for node, comments, users etc  

  18. Coder:This module is a good help for your Drupal Code review and Drupal version upgrade needs.

  19. Content Profile:It allows you to create user profile as a node content. That way it opens up lot of opportunity and posibilities to handle user profiles. It replaces modules like profile & bio. If you allow your users to create  a user profile on your site, you must consider this module.

  20. Rules:This module replaces workflow and trigger modules. It will allow you to setup and trigger specific actions based on occurance of an event.

  21. Admin Menu:This will provide you with theme independent Administrative menu in top area of your browser. It always good to have quick access to all admin links.

  22. Feedapi:Module that will convert feeds from other sites to content on your website.

  23. Flag:This module will allow users on your website to mark content on your website as inappropriate. Especially of great help in community sites where users have liberty to post any content such features helps in building community policing and hence reduces Administrators task to find & delete inappropriate content from their website.

  24. Organic Groups:If your site is a community site then module wil be of help to create groups among users. This will allow users to post content with visibility restricted to their group, a kind of private group chat or discussion. A group has its own administrator & users can subscribe to a group or be invited to join group. OG module has many ancilliary modules that will allow multiple abilities on your website.

  25. Simplenews:This will allow you to create newsletters and manage mailing lists of subscribers (both registered or non registered users)  on your website