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The best Drupal modules for yor website

January 19, 2023 / Published in:  from Ivan Messina
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Do you want to know what Drupal modules are for and get some ideas on the most useful ones for your site? In this article, we’re going to see where to find extensions for your site and how to choose the best ones.

After that we will have a look at a list of the 22 modules to keep an eye on, divided into categories based on their functions.

Let’s start by seeing how many types of modules exist.

Best Drupal Modules

What are Drupal modules?

When we saw what is Drupal, we also mentioned modules, but what exactly are they?

Drupal modules are a set of files that can contain PHP, JavaScript and style sheets (CSS) code. The set of these files allows the module to add completely new functions to our Drupal site or to enrich the functions already available.

We can recognize different types of extensions:

  • the core modules are integrated features that allow us, for example, to manage users (“User” module);
  • modules called “contributed” are third-party extensions that we can download directly from the official directory;
  • finally there are the “custom” modules, i.e., extensions created to measure for a specific site.

In our selection of the most useful Drupal modules, we will focus on third-party extensions.

First of all, however, let’s see where to look for these modules and what criteria to keep in mind for our choice.

Where to find and how to choose modules for Drupal

The easiest way to find a module for Drupal is to look at the list of all modules in the official Drupal.org directory.

Drupal Modules Directory

If you already know the name of the module, you can carry out a targeted search. Otherwise, you can always narrow down by category and filter by to show the most installed Drupal modules first.

Through the directory, it is possible to search according to different criteria such as:

  • category (for example: administration, development, SEO or ecommerce);
  • compatibility with Drupal version.

Here are some practical tips that can guide you in choosing the most suitable Drupal modules for your site.

Ask yourself if you really need the form

In this blog we have dedicated an in-depth look at plugins that slow down WordPress. We had talked about a problem that many users who use CMS have in common and not just those who use WordPress: installing plugins and extensions even when they are completely useless.

For this reason we want to give you a tip: Before installing a Drupal module you should always ask yourself whether you really need it.

Drupal Modules And Performance

In fact, consider that modules add functions but at the same time use resources. The impact they can have on site performance depends not only on the number of modules you are using, but more importantly on how they have been programmed.

For this, first, choose to install modules only if they are really useful for your project.

Also try not to leave inactive modules installed on the site, but check periodically to uninstall any extensions you are no longer using.

To learn more about managing and installing modules, you can refer to our Drupal guide.

Check version compatibility

Before installing a Drupal module you should make sure it is compatible with the version of Drupal you are using.

Drupal Versions Explained
Drupal versions are indicated in this way, the first number indicates the major, the second the minor and then the patch.

You can do two ways directly from the modules directory on Drupal.org.

The first is to filter your search based on version compatibility, like this:

Drupal Modules Filter By Compatibility

The second system consists in checking the compatibility from the Releases section. You can find it on the individual module pages, as I show you here:

Drupal Modules Compatibility Check

Choose modules based on update date and number of installations

You not only have to make sure that the module you want to install is compatible with the version of the CMS, but also that it is kept up to date. You can always check the date of the last update in the Releases section of the directory (refer to the screenshot of the previous paragraph).

After opening the page relating to a Drupal module from the official directory, in the box on the right you can check for problems and bugs and consult the reports.

Drupal Modules Issues And Errors

This way you can make sure that there are no problems that still need to be fixed. Furthermore, through this box you can also control the frequency and timeliness of the replies given by the developers.

From this same page you can also check the number of module installations. Scroll down to the Project information section, here you will find an estimate of the number of sites using the module.

Drupal Modules Project Information

The best modules for Drupal

To create this list, we divided the modules for Drupal into different categories and considered the extensions that met these criteria:

  • compatible with Drupal 9 and later;
  • among the most installed in the extensions directory.

For each module that we are going to see, we have reported compatibility with the latest versions of Drupal and the link to the official directory.

Note: This information was consulted during the writing of this article in November 2022. If you find information that is no longer current, please leave a comment. In this way we will review the article.

Undecided about the choice of theme? Check out our guide to choosing the best Drupal themes!

Drupal site administration and management modules

In this section we are going to see some of the Drupal modules that help us manage the site. The modules allow us to perform various operations such as creating a sitemap or implementing redirects.

In some cases we may want to change the look of the backend and even in this case there are Drupal extensions that allow us to do it, let’s see some of the most interesting ones.

Admin Toolbar

In the Drupal ecosystem, the administration menu that we see when accessing the back-end of our website is called Toolbar.

By installing this module we can transform the Toolbar into a drop-down menu that allows us to access more quickly the different sections of the administrative area. The module also allows us to add a search bar to the Toolbar as you can see here:

Drupal Modules Admin Toolbar

Module name: Admin Toolbar.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8.8.0 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Admin Toolbar.

Pathauto

If you want to simplify link generation to be user-friendly, you can use the Pathauto module.

With this extension we can create aliases so that our URLs look like:

/categoria/titolo-del-nodo

instead of looking less readable, like in this example:

/nodo/1234
Drupal Link Pathauto

Module name: Pathauto.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.3 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Pathauto.

Redirects

To set up redirects manually and ensure that there are no conflicts with rel canonical tags, we can use the “Redirects” module.

Module name: Redirect.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.2 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Redirect.

Meta tags

To add structured data to the pages of our Drupal site, we can use the “Metatag” module. This add-on allows us to manage the metadata of the site and of the individual pages, as well as being able to set the metadata for some types of content or for example for all nodes.

Drupal Module Metatag

Module name: Metatags.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.3 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Metatag.

Simple XML sitemap

The “Simple XML sitemap” module allows us to automatically create the sitemap of our site in XML format. In addition to creating the sitemap, thanks to this extension for Drupal we can automatically send the map to search engines.

Drupal Modules Simple Xml Sitemap

Module name: Simple XML sitemap.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.3 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Simple XML sitemap.

Devel

Devel is a developer module that allows you to create custom modules and that includes several functions to facilitate performance testing and detecting the presence of bugs.

Module name: Devel.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Devel.

Extensions for content creation and management

The modules for Drupal that we have seen before are useful for site management and development.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for add-ons that allow you to add specific elements such as contact forms or embed videos, you can take a look at this list of the best Drupal modules for content creation and more!

Paragraphs

Paragraphs is an interesting Drupal module that allows us to create ready-made templates for our content. The templates, called Paragraph Types, that we can create with this module are reusable and can be formed by blocks of text, images, tables, galleries and so on.

For example, we might want to embed a video in a specific section of text or a block with a quote.

Drupal Modules Paragraphs

Module name: Paragraphs.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.3 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Paragraphs.

Webform

If you’re looking for a form for creating contact forms, Webform is worth a look.

This extension also provides advanced features such as the ability to create multi-step contact forms and can be integrated with various CRM and systems to protect the form from spam.

Drupal Module Webform

Form name: Webform.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.4

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Webform.

Video Embed Field

This module allows us to easily embed videos from YouTube and Vimeo. The extension creates a custom field that allows us to show the videos and to choose the resolution to use.

We just enter the video address to show the preview within our content with a result like this:

Drupal Modules Video Embed Field

Using other sub-modules you can also embed videos from other platforms including Google Drive, Instagram and Facebook.

Module name: Video Embed Field.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8.8 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Video Embed Field.

Search 404

When a user arrives at a page that has been removed or doesn’t exist, they typically encounter a 404 error. Thanks to the “Search 404” module, we can show visitors pages similar to the one they were trying to reach.

The extension searches for the keywords entered in the URL, this way it shows relevant results to the search and helps to keep the user on our site.

Drupal Modules Search 404

For example, if a user tries to reach the page https://yoursite.com/drupal-help/, instead of being faced with a 404 error because the page does not exist, they will see search results for the word “drupal help” all inside your site.

Module name: Search 404.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Search 404.

Drupal modules for spam protection

There are several ways to protect contact forms, comments, and other sections of the site from spam.

Some of the extensions that we will see allow us to integrate a captcha code, while others use less invasive protection systems for users. Let’s see which are the most installed Drupal antispam modules.

Captcha

The captcha module allows us to put a stop to spam by making it mandatory for all users to enter a captcha code. In this way, bots can be distinguished from legitimate visitors who, for example, want to send a request via a contact form.

Form name: CAPTCHA.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8.9 – <11

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: CAPTCHA.

reCAPTCHA

This form for Drupal uses the Google reCAPTCHA service to protect the site from spam.

Currently version 2 of the reCAPTCHA is supported, while in the future the module will also be compatible with the invisible reCAPTCHA. Note that this Drupal extension also requires the CAPTCHA form we just saw.

Module name: reCAPTCHA.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8 – 9 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: reCAPTCHA.

Honeypots

Among the Drupal modules to protect the site from spam there are also those that do not require the use of the captcha. Honeypot is just an example of a form that protects contact forms, registration forms and comments automatically without hindering the navigation of “live” visitors.

Module name: Honeypot.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.2 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Honeypot.

Statistics modules

There are several modules that allow us to keep an eye on site statistics by allowing us to view the number of visits and track user behavior. Let’s see what are the main ones.

Surely the best known system for collecting site statistics is Google Analytics.

The recent Google Analytics and GDPR case, however, has made us reconsider the use of services that involve the transfer of data in countries such as the United States. Precisely for this reason we will also see another Drupal module that allows us to collect site metrics in compliance with the GDPR.

Google Analytics

This module, as it is easy to guess from its name, allows us to integrate Google Analytics into our Drupal site.

Module name: Google Analytics.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.3 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Google Analytics.

Matomo Analytics

Among the alternatives to the Google service, we find Matomo Analytics which can be used in a self-hosted way and therefore avoid all the problems related to data transfer. To use Matomo you can either install it manually or use our out-of-the -box Matomo Analytics service.

Alternatively you can use a plugin or module based on the CMS you are using. And here we come to us: the Drupal module “Matomo Analytics” allows us to keep track of the metrics of our site.

Module name: Matomo Analytics.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8.8 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Matomo Analytics.

Other modules for Drupal

There are many other extensions that we can use to add new features to our Drupal site. Among the indispensable ones we find the modules to manage cookies.

Drupal Modules For Cookies

Furthermore, based on the type of site we want to create, we may need to integrate a live chat system on the site, manage reservations or optimize content from an SEO perspective.

Let’s see some of the Drupal modules that meet these and other needs.

EU Cookie Compliance (GDPR Compliance)

Among the best modules for Drupal we find several that allow us to manage cookies on our site. “EU Cookie Compliance” is one of the most used cookie modules.

With this extension we can customize the cookie banner and show it only to visitors who come from European Union states. Furthermore, the module allows us to categorize cookies so that users can only give consent to certain categories.

Module name: EU Cookie Compliance (GDPR Compliance).

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8.8 – 9

Link to forms directory on Drupal.org: EU Cookie Compliance.

Live Helper Chat

The “Live Helper Chat” module helps us to easily create a live chat system that activates when users visit our Drupal site.

The extension allows us to activate the chat on the whole site or to configure rules that allow us to show the chat only on certain pages or under certain conditions.

Module name: Chat:Live Helper Chat.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Live Helper Chat.

BAT – Booking and Availability Management Tools

“Booking and Availability Management Tools”, known by the abbreviation of BAT, is among the most used Drupal modules to manage online reservations.

The system allows us to set and show available dates based on an interactive calendar. We may also associate price information that varies based on certain conditions.

Module name: Booking and Availability Management Tools.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: BAT.

Backup and migrate

There are modules for Drupal that help us create a backup of our site and database. These modules can help us during the migration or to create a copy of the site.

However keep in mind that when choosing a hosting you should consider the presence of an automatic backup system. If you choose SupportHost, with our Drupal hosting and with all other plans you will always have backups for the last 30 days included in the price.

Module name: Backup and migrate.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 9.3 – 10

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Backup and migrate.

Realtime SEO for Drupal

If you want to improve the SEO of your Drupal site, you might be interested in the “Real-time SEO” module. It is an extension based on YoastSEO, one of the most used WordPress plugins for content optimization, although in this case the module is not affiliated with Yoast but is developed by third parties.

The extension carries out an analysis of the content you are writing and offers you suggestions on how to improve it, for example it shows you the readability indicator score according to the Flesch Reading Ease.

Module name: Real-time SEO for Drupal.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Real-time SEO.

AddToAny Share Buttons

If you want to add social sharing icons like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to your Drupal site, you can do so using the “AddToAny Share Buttons” module.

The extension allows you to create a real menu with social media icons. You can choose to use the default icons or insert your own and you can also customize their style and colors.

Module name: AddToAny Share Buttons.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: AddToAny Share Buttons.

Mailchimp

To integrate your site with Mailchimp you can use this module for Drupal.

With this extension you can take advantage of all the functions of integration with one of the most used email marketing services. For example, you can create forms for leaving email and campaigns directly from the Drupal interface.

Module name: Mailchimp.

Compatibility with Drupal versions: 8.7.7 – 9

Link to modules directory on Drupal.org: Mailchimp.

Conclusion

We’ve covered how to choose modules for your Drupal site and where to find them. In this article, we have introduced you to some of the best modules for Drupal.

There are add-ons that allow us to manage cookies, create contact forms, embed videos, modify the administration panel and much more. Here we have seen some of the most used ones, in fact consider that there are over 49,000 modules in the CMS directory.

Now it’s your turn to tell us which modules you deem indispensable for your Drupal site. Let us know in the comments if you have any other suggestions to add to this list.

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