Drupal Common Terms and Modules

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Common Terms

Node - almost all created content is in the form of a node.  This could be pages, blog posts, profiles, or custom CCK types.  Comments are not nodes, but most other content is one.
Taxonomy - a collection of terms used to describe a node.  These can be categories, tags, hierarchical descriptions, or any other type of categorization.  Taxonomy terms can be grouped and then put into parent/child relationships.
User - a user is an account that has been created with a username, email address, and password.  Profile items (name, address, etc.) can be added to a user account, or as a separate profile CCK type.  Users are assigned roles, which can be given different permissions. A user can have multiple roles
Role - a role is a specific grouping of permissions. A reader role could have permission to view blog posts, while a writer role could read and create them.  Permissions are very granular and can be set for almost anything.  Anonymous and Authenticated are two standard roles, as well as a single Super Admin role.
Block - a block is a small section that can be added to an area on a page (like a sidebar) that can show a small amount of content.  This could be a menu, rss feed, list of users, or many other things.


All of the modules below are additional add-ons.

All non-core Modules should be added to sites/all/modules/

Core Extensions

Token - This creates small bits of info that can be used in many other modules, such as Pathauto, Page Title, Views, and others.
Admin Menu - used heavily in development to navigate the site without having to rely on the main admin navigation block.
CCK - The Content Creation Kit allows for the creation of specific content types, such as articles, news, press releases, events, and others.
Views - Provides a high amount of flexibility for generating pages, blocks, and feeds for content types based on different filters and fields.
Nice Menus - Enables drop-down/right/left expandable menus. 
SEO (highly recommended)
Pathauto - Creates automatic URL aliases based on patterns created by the Token module. Includes options for taxonomy, user, content types, and others.  Very flexible.
XML Sitemap - Creates a sitemap based on the sitemaps.org spec.  Also allows for submission to search engines with the required api keys.
Google Analytics - fully loaded analytics tracking.  Just imput the UA number. Allows for blocking tracking on certain pages, tracking by role, downloads, and other metrics. Sweet.
Page Title - similar to Pathauto, but for meta Title Tags.  Also allows the option for a user override, by content type.
Global Redirect - creates 301 redirects for different urls on the same site, like node/1, node?q=1, and /about-us/.
Nodewords - lets you set meta description and keywords for individual nodes and views.

CCK Modules

Content Taxonomy - this gives you more freedom in adding a taxonomy referenced field to a CCK Content type.
File Field - gives a file field option to upload files to a CCK field.  This can be images or other file types.
ImageField - gives a CCK field option for images. Much better than the legacy Image project.
Link Imagefield - gives the CCK Imagefield an option to link offsite.
Embedded Media Field - creates a CCK field option for embedded video, audio, and images.
Date - creates a CCK field option for date fields.  It offers date, datetime, and timestamp formats, but date is preferred as it is better for dates where no time is given.


Image Api - used by imagecache and imagefield to dynamically create images.
ImageCache - The core image module that allows for on-the-fly processing of different image sizes.  It has the ability to scale and crop dynamically without uploading new images.
SWFObject API - Adds the ability to embed SWF Objects.  Will soon be merged with SWF Tools.
FLV Media Player - A helper module to use the JW Media flash player.
Video - Allows users to upload video to the site.  Supports many popular video types.


jQuery Update - this makes sure you have the latest jQuery for your modules to use.
Fivestar - A clean voting widget to add to your content.  Based on Voting API.
Voting API - Supports rating of content through percentage, like/dislike, and other criteria.
Taxonomy Redirect - Used with views to create node views for multiple taxonomy types based on arguments. It changes the system URLs for taxonomy terms, and is compatible with pathauto.
Taxonomy Image - gives a taxonomy term an image field. Can be useful for multiple taxonomy levels and landing pages.
Taxonomy Menu - Allows easy creation of Taxonomy Menus.
Facebook Connect - Allows users to login with facebook credentials.  Must have a Facebook app setup for the url of the site.
Addthis - A quick button to let you share content on multiple social sharing sites.
Calendar - Creates a group of calendar views for CCK date fields and node created dates. Requires Views.
Signup - Creates Event Registrations for a CCK Content Type that uses the Date field. Flexible regarding what information is required from registrants.
Blocks404 - Automatically corrects the default Page Not found page to display the navigation

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