In the first part of this series, you set out your list of requirements for a Drupal module of your dreams. In Drupal, modules extend the base functionality, and often there are contributed modules which will suit your needs.
Now you know what you’re looking for. If you’ve learned essential site building skills, you’ve also eliminated any possibility that you might be able to create your solution in another way.
The obvious place to start your search is on Drupal.org; the less obvious place is in your local user group. Drupal.org search results will prefer the most popular, widely used modules. And that is a path you can follow confidently. In your local community you can also glean from others' experience, and you may find people are quite friendly and generous. However, they will expect you’ve covered your bases first.
Let's start your search on Drupal.org. The module search page allows you to filter your search by version, to select for compatibility.
You can also browse by the topic area the modules relate to, for example "content modules" or "image modules."
You should also review the in-depth case studies available in the community, paying closer attention to the more recent ones. It’s amazing to see how developers are forthcoming with details about modules they’ve evaluated, and which ones they chose. They also speak about the gaps, and where they needed to provide custom code.
- Acquia’s case study page is worth a look: https://www.acquia.com/resources/case-study. I love this recent case study on Lush; you can watch a presentation by our training partner, i-KOS.
- The Drupal.org case study page is also good: http://drupal.org/cases. The Drupal.org case studies are written by the developers, and even include details about specific modules used and why. For example, in this one by Rotary International, they clearly list their choices.
You might hear a common phrase in the Drupal community: “The drop is always moving." The Drupal community is quick to respond to new trends and directions in web development; new modules come out to solve problems, or the community hive buzzes around a particular technique which involves several modules. This kind of information is easier to find at community events.
Even if you can’t make it to the events in person, there’s a wealth of recordings published by the Drupal Association. You can find them on YouTube, organized by DrupalCons. Larger DrupalCamps are also publishing their recordings online. DrupalCamp London and DrupalCamp Brighton are two regional events I missed recently; thankfully they’ve posted online.
They aren’t all called camps and ‘cons though. For example, there's DrupalSouth in New Zealand/Australia. Check your regional group on Groups.Drupal.org to find out what’s happening near you.
There’s even an online DrupalCamp! My colleague, Jam, runs an online virtual DrupalCamp. Here you can check out the playlist of recent recordings.
Even if you can’t make events in person, you can get the buzz of a community event online.
What are you looking for?
If you’re stuck trying to find a module for X, please leave a comment and I’ll help you find the module you’re looking for.
It’s most likely that your problem can be solved not through some unique snowflake module, but actually through using the most common Drupal building blocks. We cover these commonly used and most popular modules in our Drupal Site Building class.