We’re starting some exciting new Drupal projects for customers over the next few weeks, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share with everybody what contributed modules we’re downloading for all our new sites, and why. The Will Hall Online Drupal starter kit, if you like.

Without further ado, then:

Dependencies and Basic Functionality

  • Ctools – can’t get much done without ctools
  • Devel – a key project for any Drupal developer
  • Entity API – same reasons as Ctools
  • jQuery Update – updates Drupal’s default jQuery version, which is frequently useful
  • Libraries – we try not to add libraries where not necessary for performance reasons, but one or two we just can’t do without
  • Token – quite a few other modules depend on Token


  • NavBar - We’re big fans of the responsive NavBar project which has been backported from Drupal 8. There’s a patch for it which enables the dropdowns to behave like the old Admin Menu too, see https://www.drupal.org/node/2481207
  • Module Filter – vastly improves the modules UI

Site Building

  • Views – the question is, what don’t you need views for?
  • Flexnav – integrates the lightweight and flexible responsive menu library, flexnav, into Drupal. Our preferred responsive menu solution at the moment.
  • Webform – we haven’t made a site without a contact us page for a while. It’s just good manners.
  • Fences – helps to tackle Drupal 7’s endemic divitis a bit. Drupal 8 should clear this up once and for all with any luck.
  • Paragraphs – a great way of giving the client’s content editors control over the layout and appearance of their content, without the dangerous step of providing them an empty WYSIWYG field with all of the bells and whistles attached.


  • CKEditor – clients like them, and we make sure we only provide the bare minimum of text editing options.
  • Linkit – a helpful interface for creating links to other content


  • Google Analytics – almost all of our clients are using Google Analytics to track their website performance to some extent. Don’t turn it on in the Dev environment though!
  • XML Sitemap – Google will be upset with you if you don’t have one.
  • Metatag – enables metadata customization, which we sometimes help our clients out with.


  • Pathauto – automatically geenrate clean URLs for your content
  • Redirect – always turn this on for production sites so that when content is updated the URL changes to match

With these twenty contributed modules, a theme and the power of Drupal Core, you could actually put together a pretty advanced site with a great backend and strong SEO. If you think there’s any we’ve missed, or better options available, please leave a comment! We’re all ears…