Drupal is without a doubt one of the best Content Management Systems on the planet, and one of our personal favorites here at AXZM. Clients, partners and window shoppers alike often ask “What are the best Drupal 7 Modules?” – “Which ones should I use?” and my personal favorite – “Will you install them for me for free?”
I decided I would put together a list of the most essential Drupal 7 modules for all of those people. With that said, here is a crash course on some of the most used and most useful Drupal 7 modules currently available:
Drupal’s Token provides various modules with a management system for their placeholder tokens. Instead of burying complicated pieces of PHP or developing unfriendly UIs, users can now add simple text bites to large documents. Users will see no visible effects from this module as most of Token’s functions are integrated with Drupal 7 but the missing portions, such as the UI, make downloading worthwhile.
With search engine visibility on the forefront of everyone’s mind, the automated creation of SEO-enhancing URLs makes Drupal’s Pathuato an invaluable resource. These automated aliases can be applied to many types of content such as users, taxonomy labels, and nodes, while keeping users free from manually assigning them.
Serving as content moderator, Mollum uses intuitive pattern recognition and content monitoring of its networked sites to eliminate the worry of spam postings by anonymous users. Performing the functions that a real moderator would, this module will keep the integrity of your site intact.
One of the most essential Drupal 7 modules – Google Analytics provides users with a variety of reports including domain and link tracking, download trends, message tracking, custom variables and much more.
If you want to add site content with ease, WYSIWYG is a must-have resource. No matter what client-side editor is installed, WYSIWYG is capable of supporting it.
Views (requires Ctools)
Granting developers the ability to present content to site visitors in targeted, impactful ways has made Views the top-ranking add-on for Drupal. With its new UI, Views also provides easy construction of SQL queries. If alternatives are needed for front page view sorting, article displaying, or default post types, then Views will be a true benefit to development efforts.
If you want to enhance the SEO of your site, XMLsitemap is a truly valuable tool. Increase the crawling efficiency of search engines and help keep your site’s results current with the sitemap.org specification conforming maps generated by this module.
Backup and Migrate
This may very well save your life one day. With Backup and Migrate, saving, restoring or copying databases from site to site has become a simple and intuitive process. Complete with an automatic scheduling feature, you can leave the worry of losing your data behind for good.
Redirect node/1 accessible pathways to SEO friendly URLs with the Global Redirect. This member of the Drupal 7 modules checks existing pathways for aliases, detects and removes trailing slashes, makes sure the Clean URLs attribute is enabled and much more.
Another one of the more essential Drupal 7 modules – Page Title provides users with amazing control over the HTML head within a page’s tag. Impose pattern rules on title structure and separate page and content titles for SEO enhancement.
Managing content not contained within the Drupal framework just got easier. With Workbench, content-centric users are provided a straightforward interface, eliminating the steep, technical learning curve of backend operations. Access controls defined by organizational, not site, structure along with an integrated workflow option make Workbench a welcome addition to any arsenal of Drupal 7 modules.
Drupal’s notorious difficulty with file management prompted the creation of Media. With its broad framework, document and multimedia files can be managed easily, no matter where they reside. As a Drupal core replacement, administrators can drag and drop, govern and reutilize needed file assets. By enabling field attachments, remote linking and support for WYSIWYGmodule, Drupal’s media-handling problems have received a much needed cure.
Just as the name implies, this module allows for the grouping of individual fields. As a bonus, Field Group comes pre-packaged with HTML wrappers for vertical and horizontal tab creation as well as div wraps and custom field sets.
Custom Contextual Links
While contextual links are highly regarded for their usefulness, adding any besides the pre-installed Drupal links has been somewhat of a challenge. To address the coding involved to modify them, Custom Contextual Links was developed with a friendly UI to manage new links and display them in contextual widgets.
Using a new drag-and-drop interface, total control over how content is displayed can be achieved with Display Suite. Eliminating template modifications from workflows, the module allows users to arrange nodes, data, views and a number of other elements quickly and easily.
With a focus on customization versus out-of-the-box application, Drupal Commerce is one of the best e-commerce Drupal 7 modules available. The initial code was developed with strict standards but intentional flexibility, encouraging developers to explore innovative solutions and integrate major Drupal 7 modules.
RESTful Web Services
With a goal of total compliance with REST standards, RESTful Web Services utilizes Entity API and entity properties to supply every type (including comments, nodes, and users) with proper resource representation.
SOAP Server is a prototype which creates a WSDL, using Services 3 to determine the categories of request parameters. In short, this interface helps SOAP clients connect with the Services module.
Webform creates Drupal surveys, including contacts forms, petitions, and challenges. With options for sending receipts and notifications to admins as well as exportable Excel spreadsheet results, Webform is a truly versatile member of the Drupal 7 modules.
Backed by a jQuery framework, this module produces slideshows for any form of electronic media that Views can display. The ability to select individualized Views settings makes Views Slideshow a profoundly customizable member of the Drupal 7 modules.
Every Views date field can now be seen within a daily, monthly or yearly calendar view. Previously, duplication of the default calendar view was the preferred method for creation. With the latest version, however, the inclusion of templates has vastly simplified the process.
Menu Block is a great addition to the Drupal 7 modules. It delivers configurable menu tree blocks beginning with any and all menus and levels.
Web Service Client (WSClient)
WSClient’s UI lets site admins develop SOAP and REST service descriptions. These descriptions can be manipulated, cloned, imported or exported for site sharing purposes. Along with integrating operations as Rules activities, WSClient can also function as a data supplier for various Drupal 7 modules.
By improving upon the challenge-response testing of the CAPTCHA system, which is often found inside web forms for anti-bot verification, reCapthca vastly improves the security of email addresses submitted to websites.
Individual development teams often require their own workspaces. Open Atrium tackles this challenge by delivering prebuilt intranet environments. Complete with an internal wiki, blog, calendar, shoutbox, task list and dashboard management, working issues as a team becomes painless and efficient with this useful addition to the Drupal 7 modules.
It is important to note that Drupal has a steep learning curve depending on your level of understanding of Content Management Systems and web development. Hopefully the resources provided above give you a head start in the process of learning Drupal. Was this article useful? Leave a comment below!