Drupal is an excellent CMS that is well suited for a small business as it is Free Software. Plus Drupal has a flexible and robust modular architecture that resides in an excellent ecosystem of modules and themes and is serviced by a community spread throughout the globe. Here are 10 essential modules selected from this ecosystem for building a small business website with Drupal. Also check out our list of Top Drupal Performance mistakes. If you are looking for the fastest and most economical way to build your Drupal website, get in touch with us. We offer a wide variety of Drupal services ranging from Drupal migration to Drupal Security Auditing.
Path Auto is a highly essential module for a small business website as it can be used to generate automatic URLs or path aliases using a preset pattern for specific content types. All content types will have urls of that particular format when they are created. The pattern is created with the help of Token module.
Global Redirect should be used in sync with Clean URLs to ensure that thall all URLs/Path aliases point to only one page. The module redirects URLs to the correct page after checking for aliases. Without this module there could be a situation where multiple URL aliases point to the same page which leads Search Engines to believe that there are duplicate content on the website. This can lead to negative rankings and is bad for SEO.
Sitemaps helps Search Engine crawlers to crawl and index a website better which eventually leads to better page rankings. The XML Sitemap module creates a sitemap that conforms to the sitemaps.org specification and can be automatically submittted to popular Search Engines like Yahoo and Google and thus is beneficial to the SEO aspects of your website.
Note: Also checkout our list of 10 essential modules for building a community website in Drupal
This Drupal module throws out a search listing page instead of a Search 404 page when a user encounters a broken url or non existent link on a Drupal website. The search page results are intelligently generated from the url itself so that the user gets what they were looking for or something related to it.
Views is an extremely powerful module which can be used to create lists and tables of content from a Drupal site. Views is also one of the most popular modules in Drupal. At its core, the Views module automatically generates queries from the information passed to it. If you are planning to have a Drupal based small business website then this is one module you cannot ignore.
CCK which stands for Content Construction Kit, also known as fields is yet another highly capable and popular content management module like Views. CCK allows custom fields to be added to a content type which would otherwise have to be done by hacking the core. It also allows the creation of new content types. Its functionality can be extended by other modules.
The Drupal token module provides token handling functionality for other modules in a Drupal website. Tokens are bits of text that can be replaced in a document using placeholders. Tokens find a variety of uses in different scenarios. For e.g. the PathAuto module uses a pattern created by Tokens to generate URL alias. Another scenario would be to send a single email to multiple recipients with minor changes for each recipient. This makes the Token module essential for running a Business website.
WebForm is useful for creating HTML forms easily and rapidly by providing a drag and drop interface for creating the form elements. Users with little knowledge of HTML forms can create complex forms with minimal effort. Webmasters can use these forms to create surveys, registrations forms and custom contact forms. The module can also be configured to send notification emails to webmasters and applicants on successful submissions and these submissions can also be tracked via an interface provided by the module.
Caching is used to speed up a Drupal website by providing a static HTML version of that website to web browsers. Caching should not be ignored if there are a lot of anonymous users on a Drupal website due to significant performance loads on the server to generate the same content each time it is requested. There are many caching system in Drupal but Boost is the most popular one. Boost provides a static page caching system with configurable options to set the expiration time and duration of the cache. Boost can provide a significant boost to any Drupal website and is essential for Drupal business websites.
Spammers can be successfully thwarted by Captcha widgets. If you have a highly visibly website with a number of pages with user facing web forms then there will inevitably be spammers trying to overwhelm your site with junk. The Captcha module comes with a number of Captcha tests that can be easily added to any webform in your website. Different Captcha types can be used for different webforms in a Drupal website with ease using the Captcha module.