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Sep. 13, 2013

Top Drupal Extensions to Increase a Website's Functionality

As an open source content management system, Drupal is a platform that many people utilize to effectively design a website in a reliable manner. Because Drupal is an open development model, people can work on and change it constantly. As each version of Drupal becomes increasingly more advanced, extensions have been created in order to make a website more flexible and increase its functionality. For reference, here is a comprehensive list of the top ten Drupal extensions that are easy to use and will enhance the interactive nature of your site.

Admin Menu

Having an extension that adheres solely to administrative items not only helps a webmaster build, maintain, and grow a website, but can be placed in a clean and attractive CSS menu in the top position on the site. Most webmasters consider this extension a complete lifesaver, making it much easier to alter a website.

Views

Considered as an outcome to a custom query, webmasters can present views in a number of ways. (Calendar of views is a common choice, for example). Views is also recognized as a query builder, executing them at run time and presenting data whenever needed.

Content Construction Kit

Using a Content Construction Kit, a webmaster can define new content that functions well without any coding. If one is looking to make CCK even stronger, introducing a Multigroup can help create composite fields with different bases, all arranged to the webmaster's preference.

Organic Groups

Just like it sounds, adding the organic groups’ extension for Drupal allows users to create and manage their on-site groups similarly to a forum. Ran by one person (or a small bunch), organic groups add a social, interactive aspect to a website—something that can help in turning a one-time visitor into a loyal and consistent viewer.

Sheetnode

For those looking to add an Excel-like spreadsheet to a website, the Sheetnode extension is an ideal choice. In addition to being embedded with a node as a tab and YUI integration, Sheetnode is also designed to work alongside Java to upload Excel spreadsheets directly to the website. (Sheetnode is also compatible with Google spreadsheets as well!)

Dynamic Display Block

Designed to showcase the featured content of a website on its front page, the Dynamic Display Block extension can contain news, portfolios, products, videos, etc. Aside from adding additional attractive and eye-catching features to a site, this extension also helps a webmaster push more content while ensuring it will be seen.

Pathauto

The Pathauto extension allows users to create path aliases for varying content such as nodes, categories, users, and so on. These paths are dependent on the pattern system used, something controlled by a website administrator. While this extension also provides for user and community interaction, it's also beneficial because a webmaster can delete default or ugly paths.

Devel

As an extension that helps show the theme information to a website, Devel is most commonly used by Drupal developers and themers in creating SQL summaries and developing data for a test site.

LoginToboggan

If looking to offer access to your website through an email-based registration and login, this extension makes it look easy. In addition to combining the login and registration pages, LoginToboggan allows users to log-on and browse the city quickly, holding their attention longer.

Simplenews

With the assistance of Simplenews, one can effectively manage email newsletters, easily creating, sending, and publishing them to subscribers. This extension also allows a webmaster to send newsletters to authenticated users as well as unauthenticated ones, making your content much more readily available. And by using Mime Mail, one can also utilize this extension to send mail in HTML format.

With the assistance of these powerful and fully-featured extensions, Drupal has become a significant powerhouse, providing user-friendly content management systems. Using these extensions, one can enhance their website's usability and functionality—this will not only increase the overall appearance of your site, but also the experience a visitor has while browsing it!

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