Drupal Contributed Modules: Basics

posted by Ishmael Sanchez on Apr 14, 2009

Having built several Drupal sites, the following contributed modules should be installed on most, if not all Drupal websites. I know there are many great modules out there, but the modules listed below will help you get started and are great for adding lots of functionality to your Drupal site quickly. Also, these modules are pretty much standard throughout the Drupal community and I don't really see any Drupal sites that wouldn't use them.

Content Construction Kit (CCK)

If you want to do anything with Drupal beyond posting Page and Story content types you will need to install this module. You can use it to create custom nodes (and fields) that allow you to attach more information to a node besides the title and the body. This module is so useful it will be included in Drupal 7 as part of the core installation. This module should be used with Views.

Project Page

Views

A visual query builder, used to display basic chucks of content: lists, tables, grids, unformatted content. Views is great for pulling content out of your database and presenting the information to users in a pleasing fashion. Views has more options and functionality out of the box than just using PHP in a block (sorting, filtering, conditionals, arguments).

Project Page

Devel

This module helps show you where content is generated within Drupal and what template(s) to create to customize output. Devel also provides other tools for developing Drupal sites: like listing database queries, generating content, performance logging, and candidate function names.

Project Page

Admin Menu

Unless you know all the Drupal administrative paths (for example: /admin/build/block, /admin/reports/updates/settings, /node/add/, etc.) you should use this module. Besides being a time saver for site administrators and developers, it also works with the devel module.

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Ishmael Sanchez