Usually, a Drupal site can have three types of modules: Core modules, Contributed modules, and Custom modules. Core modules refer to those offered within a Drupal package and approved by the core developers and the community; contributed modules, on the other hand, are developed by the Drupal community and shared under the same GNU Public License as Drupal; while custom modules are written by some developers like you.
Just the same as plugins in other content management systems like Joomla or WordPress, modules can provide Drupal extra functionality. The Top 10 Drupal Modules below are widely used by Drupal site webmasters and are belonging to either core modules or contributed modules.
Core Modules That Ship with Drupal
No 1. Contact
One thing that makes Drupal different from other content management systems is that Drupal offers a great way of managing contact forms out of the box. The Contact module, coming with personal contact forms and site-wide contact forms, allows Drupal site visitors to send emails to the site administrator as well as to other authenticated users.
No 2. Menu
Manus often stand for a great amount of links that are used for navigating a web site. The Menu module comes in an interface allowing you to control and customize Drupal’s powerful menu system.It makes use of Drupal’s highly flexible, blocks feature to have a list of menus displayed in hierarchic structure. By default, new menu items are stored within a built-in menu named Navigation, but administrators can also choose to create custom menus.
No 3. Statistics
The Statistics module is designed for giving you a picture of how frequently a give page is visited, who viewed it, which page the user has been visited previously and when. These statistics are especially useful when you are determining the way of letting users visit as well as navigate your Drupal site.
No 4. Update Manager
The Update manager module is used for checking new versions of your Drupal site’s software periodically, including both contributed themes and modules. If there is a new update available, it will alert you. And the log of available updates will indicate once new releases are ready for download. If you have administration permissions, you can log into the respective module settings page, and configure the Update manager module with various options, such as notification options and frequency of update checking.
How to Enable Core Modules
To enable Drupal core modules, you need firstly navigate to the administration page of Modules.
- In Drupal 6: http://yourname.com/admin/build/modules or Administrator > Site building > Modules
- In Drupal 7: http://yourname.com/admin/modules or Administration > Modules
- In Drupal 8: http://yourname.com/admin/modules or Menu > Extend
In the Modules administration page, you can find the core module section, from which you can choose enable any core module on demand. After that, you just need to click save configuration.
Contributed Modules from the Drupal Community
No 5. Pathauto
The Pathauto module is designed to automatically generate URL/path aliases for a wide variety kinds of content, like taxonomy, terms, or nodes. The module doesn’t require you to specify the path alias manually. Based upon a pattern system, the aliases developed by the Pathauto module can be changed by you as long as you have administration permission.
No 6. Views
The Views module is one of the most important modules for Drupal. It can be used for modifying the default front page view as well as the default taxonomy/term view, plus providing unread forum posts, displaying articles the way you like, restricting tracker to certain posts, and do many other things. However, if your website was built with Drupal 7, you should ensure that you already have Chaos Tool Suite module installed before installing the Views module.
No 7. Chaos Tool Suite (CTools)
CTools is primary composed of a set of API and tools for improving Drupal developer experience. Besides that, it also comes with a module called the Page Manager which is used to manage pages, particularly the panel pages. For the moment, the following tools now are included in CTools: AJAX responder, Plugins, Object caching, Form tools, Exportables, Dependent, Modal dialog, Form wizard, Contexts, CSS tools, Form wizard.
No 8. Entity API
The Entity API module is designed for providing a unified way to handle entities and their properties. In addition, the module includes an entity CRUD controller that can be greatly helpful for simplifying creation of new entity types.
For site-builders, the Entity API module gives them some entity generic functionality to other modules including a CTools content plugin, a Views display plugin and field and etc. to render to any entity. While for developers, Entity API module comes with API functions making it possible for modules to create, save, delete, view or to determine access for any entity and introduces a unique place for metadata about entity relationships and entity properties, etc.
No 9. Link
The Link module comes in a standard custom content field for links. You can use the module to easily add links to any content types and profiles. Additional link text title, title attributes, CSS class attribution, site wide tokens for titles, target attributes, input conversion, static repeating values and more are also supported by the Link module.
No 10. Date
The Date module is a quite handy tool for adding time picker as well as date picker to the input field. Other more, the module gives you a Date API that can be used by other modules. If you want to use the module, you’d better enable the CCK module first when using Drupal 5 and Drupal 6. As for Drupal 7, the module works with the core Field functionality. However, if you’re using Drupal 8, you don’t need any other requirements because the Date module has been in core.
How to Install Contributed Modules
The installation of Drupal contributed modules is relatively easy and can be done via the Drupal dashboard. Here we take Drupal 7 as an example, telling you how to install Drupal contributed modules.
Step1. Download the module to your local computer when you have found it.
Step2. Log into the dashboard of Drupal 7.
Step3. Navigate to Modules.
Step4. Click Install New Module.
Step5. Upload the module you downloaded by clicking Choose File.
Step6. Click Install.
Step7. Click on the link Enable newly added modules when you want enable it.
Step8. When enable it, click Save configuration as usual.
As you could see from the above descriptions, Drupal modules are capably of offering various additional features to extent Drupal functionality. Similar to Joomla or WordPress plugins, Drupal modules can be installed quickly and easily through the Drupal dashboard. We know that it’s impossible for you to have all the powerful Drupal modules installed on your Drupal site considering the limited space. But we firmly think the top 10 Drupal modules mentioned above could be greatly useful and helpful if you are looking to build a powerful Drupal site.