Skip to main content

Blog Post

Top Drupal 8 Modules - Rain Edition

by Jay Callicott
June 10, 2020

Welcome friends, once again, to our long-running blog feature covering the best modules available for Drupal 8. Many of our past module favorites have made their way into the award-winning Rain distribution which we debuted last year at Drupalcon, Seattle.

This edition will cover every project included with the Rain distribution with notes on how we use the module. The first heading groups all the modules we label as “Essentials'” for most Drupal site builders. The second list covers other modules we package with Rain that also highly recommend.

As usual, if you have any questions or feedback hit me on Twitter at @drupalninja.

Essentials

Paragraphs Browser module used in Rain

  1. Admin Toolbar (Beginner) - The admin toolbar is a simple module that adds rollover menus to the Drupal admin experience.
  2. Component Libraries (Intermediate) - This module is a must-have if you are doing custom theming development. We leverage this module in our Rain theme to map Drupal templates to their corresponding Pattern Lab component.
  3. Field Group (Beginner) - This module lets you organize fields into tabs, accordions, etc. to give your content editors a better experience. All of the content types provided by Rain Features use the same groupings under the following headings: “Basic”, “Summary”, “Content”, and “Taxonomy.”
  4. Googalytics - Google Analytics (Beginner) - This module replaces the former Google Analytics module. Its purpose is to give administrators the ability to easily add basic visitor tracking.
  5. Linkit (Beginner) - The LinkIt module gives you an autocomplete popup inside of Wysiwyg for adding links.
  6. Metatag (Beginner) - Maintained by Mediacurrent’s very own Damien McKenna, this module lets you configure all of your meta tags for SEO purposes. We have the meta tags field enabled on our content type features by default, which skips a step when you need to customize them on individual pages.
  7. Node Revision Delete (Beginner) - By default Drupal core does not do anything to pare back old revisions. This can be a problem on larger sites as well as sites that use Paragraphs which act as a multiplier for revisions. This module provides a simple solution in that it allows admins to discard older revisions automatically.
  8. Paragraphs / Entity Reference Revisions (Beginner) - Our team uses Paragraphs extensively which we tie to Pattern Lab components in the Rain theme project. Paragraphs enable editors to create robust pages that rely on structured content. The advantage of this approach is that content can be more easily deployed across multiple channels such as a decoupled Frontend.
  9. Paragraphs Browser (Beginner) - One of the significant features is a better UX with custom thumbnails for each Paragraph feature we offer in Rain Features. We believe this gives editors a much better experience when using Paragraphs.
  10. Pathauto / CTools / Token (Beginner) - The Pathauto module lets you set up clean alias patterns for all of your content. If you want all of your blogs to have the path /blog/[title of the blog with hyphens instead of spaces] - this will be the module that you use.
  11. Redirect (Beginner) - Most new sites need to incorporate 301 redirects for old page URLs. The redirect module gives site admins an easy interface for creating those redirects in Drupal.
  12. Search API (Intermediate) - The Search API suite of modules is a fantastic way to configure your site searches. Our Rain distribution pre configures a simple site search out of the box.
  13. Simple Sitemap (Intermediate) - A pretty easy to configure module for creating XML sitemaps for search engines.
  14. Webform (Beginner) - This module makes it easy to create forms on your Drupal website. Rain ships with 2 integrations out of the box: 1 feature that adds Webform as a Paragraph, another feature that supplies a Webform content type.

Top Picks From Rain

These modules make all the difference to improve your content, media, and theming experience. They come pre-configured with the Rain distribution.

“List View” paragraph using Viewsreference module

  1. Address (Beginner) - In our Rain distribution we use the Address field with the Geolocation module to create a Map Paragraph. This allows authors to easily place a Map anywhere on a page.
  2. Allowed Formats (Beginner) - This module lets you define allowed formats at the field level. We use this module to configure an “Embed” paragraph strictly for 3rd party embeds.
  3. Block Field (Beginner) - One of our newer paragraphs features uses this module to render a Block within a paragraph. This allows editors to have a consistent experience for how they construct a page.
  4. Geolocation (Beginner) - The Geolocation module makes it simple to add a point on a map and have that map render in a field. As mentioned previously, we leverage this module in our Map paragraph feature.
  5. Moderation Sidebar (Beginner) - The moderation sidebar adds improved UX for modifying content states by integrating moderation into the admin toolbar area.
  6. Multiline Config (Intermediate) - This is a small utility module we use with Rain to allow config to wrap multiple lines, which is a huge help when managing Webforms.
  7. Scheduler (Beginner) - The scheduler module lets you schedule the publishing and unpublishing of your content. We have this feature integrated with our Rain content types by default.
  8. SVG image (Beginner) - The SVG image module allows SVG files to be used with image formatters. Our team often uses SVGs as the main image within a card component.
  9. Taxonomy Access Fix (Beginner) - This project addresses the fact that core Taxonomy doesn’t have granular enough permissions. The Taxonomy Access Fix module provides additional permissions to fill in the gaps.
  10. Twig Tweak / Twig Field Value (Intermediate) - These theming utility modules add functions to Twig to make it quicker and easier to theme in Drupal.
  11. Video Embed Field (Beginner) - This module is used in the Rain distribution to provide a Video media type that can support popular 3rd party services like YouTube.
  12. Viewsreference (Beginner) - The Viewsreference module gives editors the ability to select a View from a field. The Rain profiles adds this field to the “List View” paragraph type to give editors the ability to embed a View anywhere on the page.
  13. Yaml Content (Advanced) - This module is used by developers to stage sample content. Mediacurrent’s team uses Yaml Content during development to construct a consistent “state” that makes collaborative development faster and easier.

Be sure to visit the Rain distribution page on Mediacurrent.com for more information on how to get your Drupal project up and running in under 30 days with our team of talented designers, strategists, and developers. The Rain open source platform adds security, editorial enhancements, SEO and content features that save weeks of development time. 

Meet team member, Jay Callicott

Jay is an engineer and leader with a passion for creating technical solutions that solve real-world problems. As a long-time advocate for Drupal and Open Source, he has spent over a decade speaking, writing, and developing enterprise solutions that advance Open Source worldwide.

Since 2009, Jay has worked in a variety of roles for Mediacurrent. For the first 6 years, he focused his efforts on perfecting his craft as an engineer. From Drupal consultant to Senior Developer, then Lead Architect, Jay created solutions and led teams that delivered dozens of enterprise websites.

In 2015, Jay was promoted to Director of Development where he was tasked with hiring developer talent and implementing processes and best practices for the team. Jay also split his time as a lead architect, launching several large projects during this period.

A few years later, Jay moved into his current role as VP of Technical Operations. Jay’s primary responsibilities are working with the revenue team to acquire and retain customers, overseeing Security, DevOps, and IT roles, and leading Mediacurrent’s technology vision. He also helps lead the development of tools and solutions, including the Rain distribution, which won Acquia’s “Open Source Giants” award in 2019.

Currently, Jay is a big proponent of decoupled architecture and the JAMStack approach to web development. Read more about Jay’s thoughts in “The State of Drupal in 2019

Learn more about Jay >

Related Insights