Skip to main content
Essential module list vazcell

Essential modules for any Drupal site 8/9/10

When we start a Drupal project we find ourselves with an empty system, without the basic functionalities that we normally use. That is why every time we start a new project, we always include a series of modules that makes our life easier and help us to carry out all tasks. In this list, I will show you a list of modules (both core and contribs) that I consider essential in any Drupal installation.


In order to avoid chaos I have organized them by categories and each title has a link to the corresponding project in


Essential modules:

  • Media (Core) (Plugin that should be activated by default, raises the possibilities to infinity by giving us a new entity, reusable and scalable).
  • Pathauto (Automatic configuration for friendly URLs).
  • Redirect (/node/3 is redirected to its slug so we avoid non-friendly URLs).
  • Admin toolbar (Admin menu more accessible).
  • Simple block (Exportable blocks in YMLs).
  • Field Group (Tabs for the Front of the site and the form display).
  • Display Suite (Adds the Title component in the manage display and gives us a chance to select the output format (H1, H2, etc..).
  • Block class (Add classes for blocks).
  • Token (Used by thousand of modules, variables that contains dynamic information to be used anywhere).
  • Paragraphs (What can we say about paragraphs?, used everywhere to make complex behaviours)
  • Layout Builder styles (Add classes on the Layout Builder sections - Stable alternative: Layout Custom Section Classes & Attributes).
  • Search API (Improve the search system and avoids killing the db with huge sites)
  • Easy Breadcrumb (More flexible breadcrumbs).
  • Eu Cookie compliance (Cookie compliance, nothing else).
  • Conditional Fields (Let's avoid showing fields that are not always required in the form display)


Essential modules - Extra:



  • Automated Logout (Auto logout if the user is away for a specific time).
  • Captcha + reCAPTCHA (Every form should use this module to avoid bots, in addition, we can use Honeypot).
  • Antibot (Lightweight module that prevents the submission of the form for bots, really cool functionality behind with Javascript) 


Essential themes:

  • Gin (minimum stability = dev) (Best Admin theme for Drupal based on Claro)
  • Gin Admin toolbar (Apply the Gin style for the Admin toolbar in the front theme)
  • Gin Login (Best Login form theme)
  • Gin Layout Builder (Apply Gin styles for Layout Builder - A little buggy).


Basic SEO:

  • Simple XML sitemap (Structure of the site read by Search engines).
  • Metatags ( Metatag fields so we can set the info read by the Social networks).


Advanced SEO


Performance modules


Development modules

  • Stage file proxy (No more local files, set the origin environment, and voilá the files are loaded).
  • Config Ignore (Ignore configuration so we can modify it in any environment without losing them in the config import).
  • Config Split (Configuration by Environment).
  • Devel
  • Structure sync (Export the content of menus, taxonomies, etc.. ).
Profile picture for user cms-sys-admin
Adrian Vazquez Peligero
Technical Product Owner and Senior Drupal Developer