Top 10 Must have functionalities in Drupal 7 Websites (New or Migrated)

If you are new to drupal and have created basic website. You will need following modules to make the website functional in all areas. This article will also be useful for those who have migrated the websites from other CMS to Drupal. 

1.       Image Support – Drupal 7 has much improved image support through Media module. You can also install ImageCache Module for Scaling, cropping images.  Media Module comes with lot of add on modules , in case you need Bulk Upload, or want to embed Videos in your website.

If you use Media Module with WYSIWYG Editor, you will get a Media Browser button which you can use instead of IMCE module of Drupal 6 for easy upload of images.

Lightbox2 module will provide the lightbox functionality in case you need.

2.SEO Modules  - XMLSiteMap and GlobalRedirect are must install modules. I have sometimes got an error working with XML Sitemap module, so make sure you install that towards the end.  After that you must install the MetaTag module, which will provide good meta data for search engine robots. For more advanced SEO modules, install SEO Checklist module and see the list of modules that needs to be installed for SEO

3.Social Media – Connecting your site with Social Media is very important to get Visibility and Traffic. I generally use “Google plus button” module at the minimum to let people share using Google Plus. For more services you can use “Share This” or “Service Links” Module. Sometimes I like using independent modules for Twitter and LinkedIn instead of using an integrated module like Share This.  If you use twitter extensively then you must check out twitter module for advanced bi-directional integration with Twitter. 

4.WYSIWYG Editor -  Install this module and use CE Editor which is more advanced than FCK Editor.  Enable This editor only for Full HTML Input format that way you still have flexibility of turning it off for other formats.

5.Views – This is a must have module. If you are aware of MVC architecture, the Views module provides a flexible way to View your data the way you want. Either its tables, Grids, HTML List, Teasers . Views Slideshow module will help you create the frontpage slideshow which is almost a best practice in today’s times . Views will be part of Drupal Core in Drupal 8. Views Bulk Operations (VBO) is another popular module to checkout.

6.Helper Modules –  These modules provide functionality which are used by others and hence required to install. For me the main Helper modules I always install are

  • i.CTools
  • ii.Token
  • iii.Libraries API
  • iv.Entities API
  • v.Jquery Update
  • vi.Rules
  • vii.Jquery UI

If you make multiple drupal sites, you can keep this list handy as it will be required for many modules.

7.Third Party Services -  Basic Third party services you will need to install is Google Analytics Module and if you use Adsense, Google Adsense module.  DISQUS is another service you can easily install in your Drupal 7 Website. Comment spam is a big headache and even with lot of efforts for large websites its difficult to control comment spam. DISQUS is a great alternatie to Drupal comments and in some way better than Drupal comments.  Another module I generally use is Google Fonts. You can quickly enhance your website look with some great looking fonts. 

8.Administration – For site administration you will need some modules like “Administration Menu” to quickly access Admin pages via drop down menu,  “Backup and Migrate” to backup your database,

9.Dropdown Menus -  Drupal 7 out of box does not provide any drop down menu functionality. So you will need to install SuperFish module to make your Menus Drop Down. Superfish if used properly can come close to Mega Menus. Another module which is popular and light weight is Nice Menus, which provides a block of Primary / Secondary menus.  To place Taxonomies in Menu, you can install Taxonomy Menu module.

10.Spam Protection – Basic Spam protection is needed by any website, Atleast make sure you install CAPTCHA module and use image captcha . HoneyPot is another module which is must install to prevent spam. \

If YOU WANT THE LIST MODULE WISE, See the list below.

  1. Content Construction Kit (CCK) Creating new content/node types: Adding your own fields

  2. Views Querying on various parameters (fields, arguments/conditions, relationship, sort criteria, filters etc) and presenting them

  3. Rules Triggering different Conditions+Reactions on various Events

Groups, Forums, Projects

  1. Organic Groups
  2. Advanced Forum
  3. Case Tracker

Notifications, Subscriptions, Newsletters

  1. Messaging and Notifications
  2. Simple News

E-commerce / Shopping Cart

  1. Ubercart

Adding various fields types into your node/content types

  1. Location + GMap
  2. Media
  3. Voting API + Fivestar
  4. Filefield (D6) / Filedepot (D6)
  5. Imagecache + Image Field (D6) OR Image (D6) + Image Assist
  6. Insert (to upload images as fields and insert as inline images into wysiwyg editor) +FileField Sources (to provide browse server for photos option to filefield/imagefield/insert) + IMCE(to use image browser with FileField Sources)
  7. Embedded Media Field

Adding bits of text via placeholders generating automatic/dynamic texts in various Forms, Email, etc

  1. Date module and Date API module
  2. Calender
  3. Hierarchical Select
  4. Token

Rich text user experience

  1. Wysiwyg API + CKEditor
  2. Better Formats
  3. MIME Mail

Building dynamic layouts/web pages of various pieces of content

  1. Panels / Context layouts
  2. Composite Layouts / Display Suite
  3. Spaces
  4. Activity / Heartbeat

Dashboard, Activity Feeds, Aggregate RSS/Atom feeds

  1. Homebox
  2. Administration Dashboard/Menu
  3. Author Pane
  4. Feeds

Analytics, SEO, Sharing, Bookmarking, Monetizing

  1. Google Analytics / Clicky
  2. Adsense
  3. XML Sitemap
  4. Meta Tags (D7) / Nodewords (D6)
  5. Pathauto (automatically generates URL/path aliases)
  6. Global Redirect
  7. Add This button / Share This

Importing Contacts and Senging Invitation through Email / Social Channels

  1. Facebook Connect / Drupal for Facebook
  2. Ping.fm
  3. Contact Importer + Invite

Galleries and Modal Windows

  1. Views Slideshow
  2. Flex Slider
  3. EasyAccordion for Views (Horizontal Accordion) / Views Accordion (Vertical Accordion)
  4. Lightbox2

Content Ordering/ Arbitrary List of Articles

  1. Nodequeue / DraggableViews / Flag (Flag Weights submodule)
  2. Quick Tabs

Anti-Spam 

  1. Mollom (free+paid options)
  2. CAPTCHA + reCAPTCHA + Hidden CAPTCHA / Spamicide + BOTCHA (free)
  3. Spam
  4. Wordfilter
  5. Webform (Creating various forms like Contact us, etc)

Other Utility Tools

  1. Back-up and Migrate
  2. Printer, Email and PDF Versions
  3. Front Page
  4. Drupal Chat
  5. Chaos tool suite (ctools)
  6. Modal forms (with ctools) Opening multiple Forms in Model window (Requires coding)
  7. Features Copying various functionalities of one site to another