Drupal is an awesome, flexible, and extensive framework. One of the great things about Drupal is the mass availability of modules. One of the difficult parts of using Drupal is finding the modules you need to get started. Drupal, out of the box, comes with very few modules. The list below is a starting list of Drupal modules I think all Drupal installations should have. I’ll list the names and details about what the modules do. If you want to download them, just do a Google search for the module name and “Drupal”. Are there additional modules you would suggest? If so, list them in the comments!
Webform Web forms allow you or your users to create a web form. The cool part about web forms is that not only can you have the form emailed to you, Drupal will keep track of each individual form submission in a database-like feature. You can search, sort, and edit the contents of the submissions through an interface. It’s extremely full featured. If you’re using third party form creation tools like Wufoo, this will easily replace that for you and your team.
Views This module is installed by default (most of the time); if not you can download it. However, even though it is installed by default you need to enable the module in the modules area of Drupal. Views are awesome because they are essentially queries. Using a view you can create any type of query you want and display content based from that query. No, this doesn’t require programming – it’s all visual and easy to setup.
Taxonomy Menu This module allows you to create block menus from Taxonomy. Taxonomy is essentially tags and using taxonomy allows you to organize and categorize your content on Drupal. However, Drupal doesn’t come with the ability to create menus using tags. Menus, meaning listing tags as content inside content blogs, or as basic menus.
Tagadelic Want a tag cloud? They aren’t required for sites, but some people like to have those available and sometimes they are cool. That’s all I can really say about Tagadelic.
Panels Panels allows you to create and lay out content on specific Drupal pages. If you have a template and are needing to lay out your content separately and can’t write additional HTML this is a great tool. It allows you to drag and drop to create new page layouts.
Menu Block Content blocks are huge in Drupal. If you have a starter template chances are you have content blocks already enabled and installed. However, let’s say you want to add one of your already created menus to that content block. Content blocks by default allow you to just add content and HTML. However, the menu block option allows you to create a new “menu block” under the blocks section of the site, essentially populating the block with any created menu you’ve selected. It will auto update when the menu is updated as well.
Calendar This. Is. Awesome. You need this module, it’s unbelievable how Drupal handels dates and this module comes with pre-installed date views and calendar views for you. You can switch between month, day, hour, year listing, show just events. Really I can’t describe how awesome it is, but you just need it.
Taxonomy Bread Crumbs Bread crumbs are those little links on the page that say where you were and how you got there. They look like home -> links -> mylink. They don’t come pre-installed so you need to be sure to get bread crumbs for your taxonomy menus, if you choose to use them.
Menu Bread Crumbs This is the same as the listed above but for menus. If you create your menu based on text links or views you’ll need this bread crumb module to ensure your visitors can find where they are on your site.