Drupal Optional Modules Overview - dummies

Drupal Optional Modules Overview

By Lynn Beighley, Seamus Bellamy

A number of optional modules are installed with Drupal. Some of these are enabled by default; most are not. Here’s a quick look at most of them:

  • Aggregator: This module allows you to grab content from other sites and publish it on yours. You can add, edit, and delete RSS, Atom, and RDF feeds from other sites.

  • Blog: A module that allows you to create blog entries.

  • Book: An organized set of web pages. They can be organized like a book’s table of contents — especially useful if you want to publish anything structured, such as a manual or user guide.

  • Color: Some themes have settings that allow users to choose their own colors. This module has to be enabled for such settings to work.

  • Contact: Rather than publishing a page with an e-mail address for your visitors to contact you, this module lets you create a contact form. Visitors can fill out and submit the form.

  • Content Translation: This module helps you translate your published content into different languages.

  • Database Logging: This handy module keeps track of system events — such as user postings or people trying to browse to a nonexistent page on your site — and keeps a record of when anything changes.

  • Forum: Like a bulletin board, a forum allows registered users to post content and other users to respond.

  • Help: This module controls online help documentation.

  • Menu: With this enabled, administrators can add links to and edit all of the menus on the site.

  • Image: Provides a few basic tools for manipulating images on the site.

  • OpenID: You can allow users to log in to your site with accounts from other service providers. They don’t have to create new accounts on your site. For more information, visit Openid.

  • Path: The Path module lets you create simpler and shorter URLs for pages on your site.

  • PHP Filter: This allows PHP code to be included in content created for your site.

    This module can cause security risks unless used by an expert.

  • Poll: Creates a question and a set of responses for your users to choose.

  • Search: This module allows visitors to search through content posted on your site.

  • Statistics: If you want to know more information about visitors to your site, this module can provide it. You can find out where your visitors are coming from and which pages they visit the most.

  • Tracker: This creates a block displaying the newest content.

  • Update Manager: It’s always a good idea to keep your Drupal software, modules, and themes up to date. This module checks for available updates and lets you install them via Drupal’s web interface.