Common setup tasks for small sites

The standard procedure for building small Drupal sites should have a last defined step: small tweaks (not by writing code) that can both improve the user experience and give a non-drupally look to the site, all that without bothering the builder/developer.

Let's look at some nice add-on modules that can alleviate the load on the developer by making it easier to tweak certain aspects of a Drupal site.

By common setup I refer to the usual tweaks that must be done to give the site the polishing needed for the final user; I refer to this as setup since, even though there's usually code involved, it's all about fiddling here and there (the usual hiding of elements with hook_form_alter, hook_link_alter, special cck formatters, etc). I guess these qualify as usability enhancements, though I don't pretend to be a UX expert.

  • Node form columns: nice module that helps a lot in organizing easily the node form by providing three "regions" (not theme regions) on which to locate the different fields. It even gives the possibility of hiding fieldsets!
  • Save Draft: a mini module that only serves the purpose of providing a button for the user to save drafts. Definitely the Published Options fieldset is quite geeky for a common end-user, so this one fits very nicely to correct that.
  • Download File: cck formatter for serving a file directly as a download, instead of letting the browser show it (e.g. images) and, thus, having to give instruction to the user on how to use that weird menu that pops up when clicking the right mouse button.
  • More node buttons: ever wished to have those nice buttons allowing you to save/continue or save/add-another? this one will add them for you.
  • Menu Wizard: a very useful module for getting rid of those extra tabs that the user shouldn't see, or even access. Avoiding to write code for this is very nice, since the usual inspecting with krumo can be quite tedious when there are a few items to be hidden or altered.

Just a small list for now, but a good one to start with. As a final word I would just suggest you to take some time to check the's modules directory, you'll surely find some nice gems to improve your toolset and, by the way, your life as a developer.