An Overview of Drupal Modules and Themes
Web developers opting for Drupal, among other things, also choose this content management system (CMS) for the many extra modules and themes. These enable you to extend and improve the core functions and increase the system’s security, customise it to meet specific needs of individual clients, install upgrades, etc. without making any changes to the core’s code. In other words, the many modules and themes enable you to make the CMS even better.
Believe it or not but there are currently more than 32,000 Drupal modules offering a wealth of new functions and functionalities. Some of the most popular ones include Views, Content Construction Kit (CCK), Panels, Medial, Drupal Commerce, Gmap, Google Analytics, Rules, Features, Date, Context, … the list could go on and on. However, you won’t need the vast majority of modules available. What is more, you perhaps won’t even need all the mentioned ones. Each developer has their own favourites but in general, they use two to three dozen of the most commonly downloaded ones plus a few by their own choice.
You can find all Drupal modules at the Drupal.org website. You can browse them by category (e.g. administration, content display, security, e-commerce, etc.), most installed, last release, compatibility with different Drupal versions and some other criteria which make the search a lot easier and faster.
At the Drupal.org website, you can also find 2,200+ themes that can be downloaded for free. Needless to say, the chosen theme will have the key role in how your Drupal site will look. When choosing the best theme, however, you are recommended not to focus on visual components alone. It is important for the theme to look nice but be sure to pay attention to the factors below as well:
Compatibility. Obviously, the theme should be compatible with the Drupal version you are using.
Customisation. Some themes give you incomparably more freedom in configuration than the others.
Installation numbers. In general, themes with a large number of downloads (at least a couple of thousand) are a better choice than those with fewer downloads. The reasoning is very simple. The more people are using the theme, the lower is the risk of problems of any kind including security vulnerabilities.
Responsiveness. Need a theme with a responsive layout? Be sure to pay attention to responsiveness. Ideally, the theme should support all screen-sizes including desktop, mobile and tablet.
Future website development. Do you plan for the website to grow and develop? In this case, it is a good idea to choose a theme that will allow you to do just that without much changes and adjustments.
Just like the modules, themes can be searched by different criteria including compatibility, time of release, most installed, etc.