Some basic Drupal 7 modules

Some basic Drupal 7 modules

I have just started working with Drupal 7. It is a great content management system but its modularity (and anarchic module development ) means that you have to browse through the many modules to find the ones suited for constructing your site. Here are a few that probably every site could use. Some of these modules are less than intuitive to install (e. g., CKEditor, Superfish), so read the installation instructions carefully.

One other change that will fix a bizarre spacing problem with the HTML editor: disable the convert line breaks into HTML setting (or move that filter up to first in order) in the HTML text formats. Else it will go crazy after some other processing, such as External Links, and add line breaks in the oddest locations.

Mandatory for a well-behaved site

  • CKEditor: to enable a decent page editor.
  • CKEditor Link: so you can link safely to internal pages, even if you later change the URLs.
  • CKEditor SWF: to improve CKEditor's woeful SWF plugin.
  • Advanced Help: to enable the help pages of some modules.
  • Backup and Migrate: to back up your site.
  • Global Redirect: to improve URL structure and function.
  • Mollom: smart spam filter.
  • Pathauto: to improve URL structure and function. Requires the Token module.
  • Search 404: to provide a useful page not found page.
  • Security Review: to check for site vulnerabilities.
  • Site map: to give users a site map.
  • Redirect: to intelligently guide people to moved pages (and eliminate redirects that are unused).

Very useful, probably needed for most sites

  • Chaos tools: needed for many of the other modules.
  • External Links: allows you to control the behavior of external links (e. g., display an external link symbol, open up new page, display disclaimer, etc.)
  • jQuery Update: to get a more recent version of jQuery than the one provided with Drupal.
  • Panels: flexible content management.
  • Views: flexible content management.

Nice to have for specific tasks

  • Superfish for dropdown menus (Drupal has single-level menus only!). Note that the style should be set to none if you want to use your theme's styling (which you almost always want to do). Requires the Libraries module.
  • Quicktabs for tabs on pages. See Little Book Club for an example of its use.