Best Contributed Drupal 9 Modules to Improve Editorial Efficiency

May 14 2021

Leading on from our article "Core Drupal 9 Modules To Improve Editorial Efficiency" our developers have identified their top contributed modules to help you with your projects.

 

Key Drupal 9 contributed modules for content editors

Admin Toolbar 

It’s hard to imagine efficient work with the content sections without the Admin Toolbar Drupal module. It provides a handy drop-down menu allowing editors to quickly move around the Drupal admin panel. The module comes packed with submodules such as the Admin Toolbar Extra Tools for additional links, the Admin Toolbar Search for a search box, and the Admin Toolbar Links Access Filter for the correct display of the links users do not have access to. 

Bootstrap Layout Builder

There is a growing ecosystem of modules that add extra features to the Drupal core Layout Builder and enhance the efficiency of editorial tasks even further. One of the most prominent among them is the Bootstrap Layout Builder maintained by the ImageX team. Its main committers are Lead Developers Mahmoud Zayed and Aaron Christian. 

The module adds responsive grids to the core Layout Builder. It comes packed with three default breakpoints (Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop), and enables developers to create custom ones, to provide the perfect page layout on different devices. It has lots of options that can be configured by developers on the module’s configuration page and be available to editors in the module’s UI. 

Among other things, the module enables them to add background images and videos to layouts. 

What the ImageX developers say: 

“Drupal was known to have a bad user experience at content edit forms. With help of this module, content editors can see how their content will look after editing. As a great bonus, you don’t need a developers' help to add margins or paddings to any blocks. This is available for editors from the admin interface.” 

 

Content Moderation Notifications

Here is a great add-on module for the core Content Moderation. The Content Moderation Notifications module allows notifying users of specific roles when content transitions from one state to another. Common use cases of the module are to help big editorial teams get notifications about updated content and help authors get notified when somebody is asking for a fix.

Moderation Sidebar

Yet another great tool to enhance the core Content Moderation is the Moderation Sidebar module. It equips editors with a handy off-canvas menu where they can quickly moderate the current entities — edit, delete, archive the entities, create new drafts, and so on. This menu appears as they just go to any moderated entity and click “Tasks” on the toolbar. Of course, the Moderation Sidebar module is Drupal 9 compatible just like all the other tools on our list. 

 

Coffee 

Of course, editors sometimes need a cup of coffee for better efficiency, but the Drupal Coffee module can also be helpful. It allows them to navigate through the admin dashboard fast with their keyboard. They start by typing “alt+d” and the coffee journey begins. The module also helps editors find the necessary admin pages as they start typing first letters. The search results can be navigated via keyboard. The module also makes it possible to quickly create content of a specific content type by using the “:add” command.

Editoria11y

Another great tool in Drupal for content editors is the Editoria11y (“editorial accessibility”) module. It helps editorial teams make their content more accessible. The Editoria11y runs automatically with no need to start a check every time new content is created. This tool focuses on purely editorial accessibility issues such as empty headings, links with no text, too generic and meaningless link titles (e.g. “Click here), too long or redundant ALT text, embedded visuals with no ALT text, and so on.

What the ImageX developers say: 

“It's absolutely impossible to build a modern site without implementing the accessibility standards. This task requires efforts from the whole team that works with the site: designers, developers, and content managers. This module provides a very simple and obvious way of checking the content for the accessibility compliance, and must be as a required module on every content site.”

Varbase Total Control Dashboard

Drupal can also offer a concise and user-friendly dashboard for all website administration tasks. This is provided via the Varbase Total Control Dashboard module. Editorial teams will appreciate its enhanced blocks and widgets with quick access to Google Analytics Reports, website overview (the number of content items, comments, etc.), shortcuts to creating content of all types, and much more.

Webform 

Undoubtedly, a great assistant of all editorial teams is the Webform module that allows them to quickly build all kinds of online forms. It takes care of the form creation, data submission, confirmations, notifications for the website administrator, data import/export, and much more. Every detail of how the form looks and works can be configured. The module supports both simple and multi-step forms. It has a great ecosystem of modules created specifically for Webform. It also has a lot of integrations that add extra features like spam protection, data encryption, scheduling, more. Webforms integrates with Salesforce and most other known CRMs.

Scheduler

What greatly improves the efficiency of the editorial experience is the ability to plan automatic publications. If content editors need to publish or unpublish nodes at a specific time, they can just schedule this with the Scheduler Drupal module. Content will seamlessly appear and disappear based on the date and time they set. Outdated content will be automatically cleaned up by Drupal Cron. Developers can help the editorial efficiency even more by setting up content scheduling based on Drupal Rules (when particular events happen on the website).

What the ImageX developers say: 

"You will never forget to publish/unpublish articles, events, and so on if you are using this module. Thanks to it, you will sleep at night instead of checking the publishing status of the content."

 

Pathauto 

Editorial duties often include creating URL aliases for web pages. When there is a lot of content, it’s great to have this process automated. The Pathauto module provides URL creation based on the patterns defined (for example, by pulling the page title and putting it after the “my-website/blog/”). Developers in cooperation with SEO managers and content editors set up these patterns and the module does the rest of the work automatically.

Metatag 

Another tedious editorial task is adding structured metadata to content pages, which is very important for good positions in SERP. Again, there is an assistant that can create them automatically. Similar to the Pathauto, the Metatag module just needs to be given instructions on the patterns to use. The Metatag automatically creates meta descriptions and keywords, as well as supports Facebook’s Open Graph and Twitter Cards meta tags designed to control how content looks when shared on social media.

Real-time SEO for Drupal

We cannot discuss the best editorial experience without mentioning search engine optimization. One of the modules in Drupal that help editors make their content more SEO-friendly is the Real-time SEO module, also known as Yoast SEO. This smart assistant performs a real-time check of content and reminds editors about some important search optimization details such as the length of text, the presence of a meta description full of target keywords, the proper use of subheadings, and more.

What the ImageX developers say: 

“The Yoast library is a standard for SEO specialists. That's why it is actively used in all modern CMSs. Its Drupal integration is being actively supported by a good community of developers. Just enable the module on any of your projects and your SEO manager will be happy.” 

Google Analytics 

In order to improve the efficiency of content marketing efforts, teams need to keep track of users’ interactions with their websites. There is hardly anything better in this area than the Google Analytics tracking service. In Drupal, there is a module with the same name that integrates the GA service with websites. The Google Analytics module provides an interface in Drupal with very detailed Google Analytics settings related to the tracking of domains, pages, user roles, links, messages, and so much more.

Focal Point

Drupal’s image styles are incredibly helpful for automatic scaling and cropping of all uploaded images, but how to make sure the cropping doesn’t touch important parts of an image? The Focal Point module relieves editorial teams from this trouble. It allows them to put a mark on an image so Drupal knows which part is the most important and also see a preview of how it will look. To achieve this, the tool offers a Focal Point widget for image fields, as well as two image effects to image styles — “Focal Point Crop” and “Focal Point Crop and Scale.”

What the ImageX developers say: 

“Focal Point is the best module to generate cropped images without accidentally cutting out some of their important parts. It is one of the modules that always make your client happy with the result."

 

Redirect 

Editors sometimes need to redirect the page URLs for a number of reasons (a typo in the URL, duplicate content, and more). Instead of asking a developer to redirect the page in the .htaccess file, they can use the Redirect module for Drupal and do it via a handy interface. They just need to tell the module the source page, the destination page, and the HTTP status code for the redirect. The most popular status codes are 301 (permanent redirect) and 302 (temporary redirect).

Gutenberg 

Much ink has been spilled over the user-friendliness of WordPress. For all those who prefer WordPress-like content editing experiences, Drupal has the Gutenberg module that integrates Drupal websites with the Gutenberg tool, the same that is built into the WordPress core. Gutenberg is an intuitive drag-and-drop block editor built on React.js. It enables anyone to easily create rich content pages by combining a wide range of elements such as buttons, images, paragraphs, videos, and so on. The Gutenberg module supports both the Drupal core blocks and the Gutenberg blocks.

What the ImageX developers say: 

“Many content editors have experience of working with WordPress and like their editorial experience. If they are new to Drupal, this module could fix this gap. Also it is a great landing page construction solution and a great competitor to Layout Builder and Paragraphs.”

Role Expire

Next comes the tool that improves the efficiency of editorial teams whose websites have time-based user roles (for example, to access member-only content). They do not have to track when users’ subscriptions expire — the Role Expire module that can do it for them. They just need to set the role duration and the module will take care that the expired roles get automatically removed by Cron. This can be set up per role or per user. The role expiry dates are shown in users’ profiles.  

Autosave form

At any time, editors can resume work on a page they were previously editing. This can protect them from accidentally losing some important part of the work. The autosave functionality is provided by the Autosave form module. Editors will see a modal window informing them about the saved copy and asking them whether they would like to resume their work or discard the draft. The module offers an interface to adjust the autosave intervals. By default, autosave is done every 60 seconds. 

What the ImageX developers say: 

“It is hard to imagine that some time ago people did not have the autosave functionality and often lost their work just because they forgot to click the "Save" button. The Autosave form module resolves this issue in the best way.”

Automatic Entity Label

An interesting way to improve editorial efficiency is offered by the Automatic Entity Label module. With the developers’ assistance, it can be configured to automatically generate labels and hide the label fields for content types and other entity types, or automatically generate labels if the label field is left empty. The label generation is made based on the defined patterns with the additional help of the Token module. Labels can include the dynamically changing values for any parameters like the Content ID, Date created, Number of clicks, Comment count, and so on.

Antibot

Of course, editorial teams will appreciate a tool that protects their forms from spam submissions without hassle. The Antibot module works behind the scenes and does not present users with any CAPTCHAs. The only case when users receive a message is when they do not have JavaScript enabled since it’s the module’s requirement that they do. The key principle of the tool’s work is to detect mouse movements or other signs that a user submitting a form is a human. It is lightweight and works perfectly on mobile and touchscreen devices. 

 

Let smart Drupal modules do the work!

Interested in getting Drupal modules for efficient editorial experience set up on your website? Our team can help you choose, install, and configure the right tools that will be the best fit for your editorial workflows.