Introduction to Drupal modules

Drupal provides a wide range of modules that enable you to extend and customize its functionality. A basic Drupal installation contains a light-weight core set of modules. By installing additional modules from the vibrant community of Drupal developers, you can add all kinds of functionality to your site: comments, authentication, site analytics, and much more.

Drupal has two types of modules: core modules and contributed (also known as "contrib") modules.

Core modules

Core modules, as their name implies, form the core of Drupal functionality. Most major features are built as a separate core module, so you can enable or disable them as needed. By starting with a minimal set of features, this helps enhance Drupal's stability, performance, and security.

Not all of the core modules are enabled by default. For example, you must enable the contact module if you want site visitors to be able to send e-mails to other authenticated users.

Core modules are stored in the core/modules directory where you installed Drupal. To view a list of the Drupal core modules, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Drupal as the administrator.
  2. On the top menu bar, click Manage.
  3. On the menu bar that appears beneath, click Extend.
  4. On the List tab, Drupal displays a list of the core modules.
    To view the documentation for all of the core modules and themes, please visit https://www.drupal.org/docs/core-modules-and-themes.

Contributed modules

The Drupal user community creates and maintains contributed (also known as “contrib”) modules. There is a large number of contributed modules available, and you should choose carefully which ones you need. Here are four important points to consider when evaluating contributed modules for possible use in your site:

  • Compatibility: Make sure the module is compatible with your installed Drupal version.
  • Project activity: Is the module actively maintained, or has it remained unchanged for a long period of time? An actively maintained module often means that bugs and security issues get fixed faster.
  • Documentation: A module with complete, comprehensible documentation makes your job as a Drupal administrator much easier.
  • Popularity: Generally speaking, there is often safety in numbers. A module with a large user base helps ensure there is sufficient “critical mass” to keep the project going.

Contributed modules are stored in the modules directory where you installed Drupal.

To view a list of contributed modules for Drupal 8, please visit https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/modules.

To view a list of contributed modules for Drupal 7, please visit https://www.drupal.org/docs/7/modules.

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