Drupal 8 brings along with it a whole slew of quality contributed modules. The alphas are slowing becoming betas and release candidates; moving into production-capable tools that site builders and developers can wield to empower their projects. Let’s talk about a few of these modules from the Drupal Community that are a great fit for your next, or existing Drupal 8 project; they have been a big hit with our clients.

Before we dive in, you should know that Drupal 8 core is already a more feature rich project that its predecessors. It ships with 35 new modules, and a subset of those are some of the superstar contributed modules from previous versions of the project. While D8 does provide a full-fledged solution out of the box, there are still many gems to be found under the contributed space that can help you to accomplish project goals.

ADMIN UI HELPER MODULES

A new module in D8, Admin Toolbar, is based on an age-old concept in Drupal, dropdown menus for the administration of your website. Building upon the giant that is the D6 and D7 Administration Menu module, the Admin Toolbar module takes a lightweight and responsive swing at making your administrative experience a breeze. Being able to move across the web of admin pages quickly is a hit with our clients, as they expect a polished and nimble experience.

NEXT LEVEL?

If you are looking for the full monty, try the similar Adminimal Admin Toolbar paired with the Adminimal Theme for a super snazzy backend experience! You must use the Adminimal version as it’s tweaked specifically for the theme. This has become standard operating procedure as part of our project scaffolding process.

THE PARAGRAPHS MODULE

Do you remember field collections in D7? They are back in D8 and better than ever. If you don’t, no worries because Paragraphs takes all the pain away that was working with field collections. From defining paragraph types to usage and front end implementation, its got it all.

What this module does is open a whole new realm of content creation. No longer must we choose between the big “content area” WYSIWYG or a slew of custom fields. Content creators can choose between predefined templates and add as many as you allow them. The presentation options become limitless as the items can be presented in many different ways per custom templates and preprocessing. We use this module as the powerhouse for building custom pages in D8 as well as when designing complex parent/child data relationships.

THE SITE SETTINGS & LABELS MODULE

A relatively unknown module in the Drupal 8 ecosystem, the Site Settings and Labels module aims to provide site builders and developers with the ability to expose single settings or “variables” to clients in a sane and safe manner. You know that social network url that needs to be in multiple places around the website - how about exposing a checkbox to toggle page elements via a template conditional?

No more hard coding these items in source, or writing full-blown custom modules to handle a trivial variable you would like in the admin side. With this module installed it’s just another way to save time and give your users a better experience. That’s a win-win in my book.

THE ENTITYQUEUE MODULE

Everything is a entity in Drupal, and oftentimes we need to make lists, with custom sorts or curated by a client. The Entityqueue module builds upon the roots of the D6 and D7 module, Nodequeue, allowing users to build lists of entities, integrate with views and much more. This is our go-to when building custom slideshows, or displaying a set of items in a specific order anywhere on a site. There is even an API to do so much more, making this module a big hit and very flexible. Everything you could expect from a Drupal module.

THE ADVANCED CSS/JS AGGREGATION MODULE

The final module on our list does wonders to improve front end page performance across your Drupal website. The roots of this module date back to D6 and come equipped with a full toolset of submodules, the Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation module is a best-in-class add-on for any project. Out of the box, you can enable features like single threaded request handling, media queries, DNS prefetching, Internet Explorer workarounds, gzip support, code compression, caching of external CSS, and more. This is the tool you want to implement when your chasing Google Pagespeed Insights and trying to optimize your site as much as possible.

I hope these modules will help your current and future Drupal 8 projects!

Ryan Hartman
By Ryan Hartman

Ryan is a Senior Drupal Developer at CommonPlaces, Interactive with an eye for building clean and functional Drupal websites. He brings 10 years of experience developing dynamically driven client solutions, and has a passion for open source software.

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