Eager to “exploit” Drupal 8 modules on your web projects? Then why don't you? Even if this innovative version of Drupal is still work-in-progress, lots of valuable modules have already been released and are ready to be... tried out! Give them a “test drive”. In this respect, I've hand picked 11 most useful (in my opinion) ones, “useful” in various stages of building and managing a Drupal 8 website. Here they are:
DRUPAL 8 MODULES FOR WEBSITE ADMINISTRATORS
1. Field Group
A great “tool” for keeping the content on your site properly organized. Any content administrator's ultimate goal, right?
This module's function is “revealed” by its name itself: it groups fieldable entities together, thus streamlining the content editor's job. He/she'll get to easily order his groups by types: accordions, vertical or horizontal tabs, HTML/HTML 5 elements, fieldsets, divs...
2. Admin Toolbar
What more does this module, replacing the standard Drupal Toolbar, bring to the table? Drop-down functionality!
… and additional links for site admins to select from and add to their menu. Just imagine: no more click though to go to sub-menus! Site administrators' gain easier-than-ever access to specific tasks such as running cron or flushing caches, as now they get direct links to them.
Overall, Drupal's 8 Admin Toolbar eases your job, as a Drupal developer, of putting together a highly efficient, easy to use back-end interface for all the user roles that you'll grant permission to (editors, content writers, moderators etc.).
Here's a “fuel” module for your SEO strategy! What PathAuto enables you to do, as a site admin, is to set up relevant and friendly links (no search engine would rank better an “node/4803” link structure, right?).
So, seize your chance to boost your SEO ranking and to make your website “shine” on SERP with easy to remember, friendly (both to your users and to search engines) links which with Drupal 8 are easier to generate than ever.
Another “surprise” that the Drupal 8 has prepared for content writers/editors! With Linkit they won't have to challenge their memory and thus slow down their workflow for remembering or copying each and every URL relevant for their work.
With an easy-to-use, friendly UI and “wysiwyg” feature at their disposal, editors can now rely on the module's auto-complete feature for filling in the link field.
Welcome a new “era” of adding both internal and external links with Drupal 8's Linkit!
DRUPAL 8 MODULES FOR WEBSITE BUILDERS
If you've used Drupal 7's own Features module a lot, in you work as a Drupal programmer, you'll hardly recognize” Drupal 8's Features.
A lot has been changed, plenty of enhancements have been implemented, including a friendly user interface for editing content.
If in Drupal 7 you pretty much expected Features to help you with the configuration management “ordeal”, in Drupal 8, that has the CMI (configuration management) in its core, Features “focuses” exclusively on bundling configuration.
It streamlines your whole workflow, as a Drupal developer, of transferring your configuration from one site to another!
“Faster!”, you say? Drupal 8 sets up the perfect context (improved render API and render pipeline), for this module to make things a lot faster for you and implicitly for your users (and search engines sure love “fast”, as well)!
How does it work? It practically renders the initial page first (its cached components) and its dynamic components (replacements for the placeholders) shortly after.
And voila! This is how BigPipe catching works, speeding up your web pages' load time “dramatically” I dare say!
DRUPAL 8 NEWSLETTER MODULE
A handy “tool”for marketers, which enables them to set up their emails' templates and themes or to send out “regular” newsletters, instead, to their subscribers.
DRUPAL 8 PICTURE MODULES
By far the most significant improvement applied to Drupal 8, when it comes to handling images, has been including the responsive_image module in its core. A big leap into the mobile-first future that Drupal 8's developers are preparing us for.
What does this module do? It allows you to easily handle your images within the text as it displays them in an overlay popping up over the current page.
Pretty convenient, right?
9. Image Effects
Its name says it all: it's Drupal 8's collection of additional image effects that you can enhance both your images and your UI components with.
To list jut a few: brightness, color shift, watermark, plugabble image selectors (basic and dropdown), plugable color selectors (HTML, Farbtastic, color element) and the list can go on.
DRUPAL 8 MODULES FOR BLOGS
Turned now into a contributed module, Blog does exactly what its name suggests: it enables you set up and handle your blog.
No mystery about what this module “could be” doing either, right? It allows you to add social sharing buttons on your blog and thus enable your visitors to share your posts nice and easy.
Now if your content will, indeed, be valuable and “worth sharing”, this is entirely up to you and the resources of time and creativity you will invest in your content!
And here we are, at the end of my list of 11 Drupal 8 modules that we've found useful in various stages of building and administering a Drupal 8 website. Of course, this list will change dramatically along the year, when new modules get released and other older modules get ported, too. But for now, this is how my list of Drupal 8 preferences looks like. How about yours?