Drupal is powered by its ever-growing open-source community who work hard to develop thousands of modules that can enhance and extend the functionality of a Drupal website. The flexibility and scalability that Drupal offers is mainly because of the plethora of modules it provides that you can customize for your website.
So you’ve just freshly installed Drupal on your computer and you are really looking forward to getting your website up and running soon with features that can display a Slideshow, Social media Share buttons or even want to personalize your site for your users. What do you do next? Choose from thousands of contributed modules! Yeah, that’s a backbreaker but if you know how to pick the modules to suit your Drupal website, it’s really not that hard.
Things to Remember
Be it personalization modules, social media integration modules, marketing automation modules or any other module, you can always find more than one for each functionality. Here’s what you should keep in mind before making a choice:
Before you download a module, you should know if it is going to be compatible with your version of Drupal. You just cannot install a version 7 module into your Drupal 6 installation. To find out what version of the module has been released in Drupal.org, you can go to the module’s project page and scroll right to the end where you will see the download link and find the release versions specified. If it isn’t specified, go to http://drupal.org/project/Modules/name and filter by Core compatibility.
They’re free but they consume space
You have to keep it in mind that although the contributed Drupal modules are free of cost, they are not feather weight. Unused modules can unnecessarily consume a lot of space and resources which can make your Drupal website heavier and slower. So, before you download a module, analyse if you really need it or if any other core module can perform the same functionality for your website. Also, feel free to abandon those hardly used and inactive modules to make your website feel healthier and light.
Actively Maintained Modules
It is very important to choose modules that are actively maintained, updated and published by the developers. Because, if you run into any security vulnerabilities or any other issues, you know that you can get a quicker response from the developer/contributor. Also, you will be sure that an updated new version is on its way soon.
Using popular modules means you can trust the module to do the job and be secure with less issues. In the module’s project page on drupal.org, you can see the number of downloads and also how many websites are currently using that particular module.
Look out for issues
On the right side of the Drupal module’s project page, you can find the number of issues and bugs (open and closed) associated with that module. On clicking on the link you will be able to see a detailed report of all bugs and issues. Taking a look at this can give you an idea if the module can really help you with your functionality or not. The ‘Last Updated’ date can also give you an idea of how active the developers are in solving issues and how responsive they are.