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great 3rd party Drupal modules you might not have heard about

Posted at 20:27 on Mon, 14th December 2009 in drupal.

There are literally over 4500 3rd party modules for Drupal. So how does one know which modules to use? Whilst the Acquia distribution of Drupal covers all the really common, well maintained and useful 3rd party modules there are still a few other important ones that it misses out that you may not know about.

Below is list these out into categories, as well as talk a bit about why they are indeed so important. Note: these modules are targeted at general purpose/brochure sites.

Administration Modules

  • Menu Settings per Content Type
    When creating a node of any content types, the menu field will always be present. This module lets you enable/disable the menu field, as well as select which menu groups are selectable to a content type.
  • Better Formats
    Greatly improves the 'input filter' features of textareas.
  • TinyMCE Node Picker
    Adds a picker feature to TinyMCE for linking to internal pages.
  • Link Checker
    Periodically checks content links to ensure they still work properly.
  • Vertical Tabs
    Hides a lot of the really unnecessary system fields in node edit forms.

Front-end modules

  • Menu Block
    Allows you to create local menu blocks showing child items of the current page.
  • Site map
    Provides a page view of the pages of the site in a hierarchical list.

SEO modules

  • Global Redirect
    When you have pathalias and pathauto on, the urls of your nodes look all pretty, but can still be accessed on the internal url, such as node/<node id>. If google finds you duplicating content on too many urls, they may water down the importance of the content. So what this module does is ensure the node views are only accessible on the pathalias url.
  • Nodewords
    Whilst meta description and keywords are not so important now days, they still have a small place to play with the results pages for some search engines (like Yahoo). This module essentially allows you to set the meta description and keywords on a per node, per view basis.
  • PageTitle
    Page Title simply allows you to set a custom title tag (used in head block of your markup) on a per node, per per view basis
  • XML Sitemaps
    Automatically creates an xml sitemap to allow search engines to more intelligently index your site.

Other useful links