Best Drupal Modules for Everything You Can Think Of

Modules! Drupal has so many modules! Whether you’re setting up a new site or trying to protect an old one, let’s go shopping. (Oh, right, they’re all free.)

Modules for Setting Up a New Site

Drupal core is nice and all, but I don’t really consider it quite usable out-of-the-box. When I set up a new Drupal site, no matter what it’s going to do, I endow it with these favorite modules.

Learn more about must-have Drupal modules for a new site.

Modules for Site Building

Although I love modules as much as anyone, I also love to minimize how many modules I use. If I can leverage a powerful module I’m already using, rather than taking a chance on some new, separate module, that makes me very happy.

That’s why some of my favorite modules are a few powerhouses that enable me to build sites of astounding complexity and flexibility, all without a line of code. Check them out.

Learn more about must-have Drupal modules for site building.

Modules for Spam Protection

Spam. Gotta hate it. Like any CMS that accepts user input (for instance, comments), Drupal can quickly fall prey to the assaults of the spammers. Luckily, you’re not in this fight alone. The Drupal community offers several excellent modules to keep the spammers at bay.

Learn more about must-have Drupal modules for fighting spam.

Modules for Social Media

You’re on Facebook, right? And Twitter? And Pinterest? And Instagram? And Google+? And that new site that just come out last week, the one with the icon you don’t actually understand, but now you’re seeing it all over the place?

 

Relax. However much or little you choose to tango with social media, Drupal’s got you covered…or does it?

Learn more about Drupal modules for social media.

Modules for Third-Party Services

Social media sites are “third-party services”, where your Drupal site is interacting with other sites elsewhere. But you’re probably interacting with other sites too. For instance, you may use Google Analytics (or the more privacy-conscious Piwik) for tracking site visits.

Although you don’t always need a module to interact with these services, using a good module can be a much cleaner, more customizable, and more maintainable experience.

Learn more about Drupal modules for third-party services.

Modules for Ecommerce on Drupal

Ever thought of selling stuff on your Drupal site? Whether you want to sell PDFs or parrots, consider running that shopping cart right from within Drupal. You don’t need to use a third-party shopping cart solution when you can install an excellent suite of ecommerce Drupal modules.

Drupal modules aren’t always a better solution than a third-party cart like an Amazon store or PayPal buttons. But if you want even the slightest bit of customization, and especially if you’ll be shipping the items yourself, you really should consider expanding your Drupal site to handle ecommerce.

Learn more about ecommerce on a Drupal site using modules.

If you’re already convinced to go the Drupal ecommerce route, you’re ready to consider the two main players in this space: Ubercart and Drupal Commerce. They have significant differences, both in their core functions and in the selection of modules available to extend their features. Take time to understand both before you make a final decision.

Learn more about Ubercart vs. Drupal Commerce

Advanced Drupal Tasks With Modules

Many modules offer specific, advanced features to extend your Drupal site. As with any module, you shouldn’t install any of these unless you really need them. For some, you might want to uninstall them once you’ve used them. For others, you’ll find yourself using them again and again.

Search and Replace: Have you ever needed to do a “search and replace” across many nodes of content? Maybe your company changed its name, or you had to make some equally far-reaching change. For more then ten nodes or so, rereading each node separately would be agony.

Instead, you can use Search and Replace Scanner module. I found this module particularly helpful when I needed to fix a large group of file paths.

Enforce a Password Policy: Are you tired of users using the same, short, easily crackable passwords year after year? You can enforce regular changes, require certain levels of complexity, and more, with the highly granular Password Policy module.

Be Your Own Bit.ly: Short URLs can be great shortcuts to your deep content, but why should you have to use Bit.ly or another third-party shortening service? With the ShURLy module, you can quickly generate unique, 3-character URLs to your content (and elsewhere) at your own domain.

Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface for modules that offer advanced Drupal operations. Other favorites include Features, Views Bulk Operations,Devel, and far more than I could list here.

Choose Modules Wisely!

Sometimes, there may seem to be way too many modules for your planned task. Which one should you use? With some careful thought, you can often winnow the options to a clear winner.

For instance, a client once asked me to display PDFs on a Drupal site. At first, I had a list of possibilities, but in the end … well, see for yourself.

Learn more about how to choose a PDF viewer module for Drupal.

Modules are awesome. But remember, it just takes one bad module to completely fry your site. It always, always pays to choose modules wisely.

 
 
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