Has it been almost six months since my last drupal module post?  Well then, time for another drupal module round up!

Last week after attending the monthly San Diego Drupal Group meeting there was an interesting module discussion between all the drupal enthusiasts, and so here are some of the latest and greatest modules discussed and used by Best Rank:

  1. Boost – I actually had a chance to start using the boost module recently and it’s been very useful (I highly recommend checking this one out), speeding up slow drupal sites and making them that much more SEO friendly.  It basically works by caching copies of pages on your site as they’re requested, right onto the file sytsem – which means no database or PHP overhead.  To install you will need to modify your htaccess file in addition to the regular drupal module installation proceedure.  What’s also really nice is that you can define which sets of page(s) should be cached and which should not, and that’s good news for sites that have moving parts (you wouldn’t want to cache your contact forms or captcha devices for example).

    Here is a chart of how the boost module works (credit drupal.org)

     

  2. Lazy Image Loader – I haven’t been able to use the lazy image loader module yet but I might find an excuse to do that in the near future.  This module lets you "lazy load" images on a page, meaning images won’t load unless the client browser encounters the imaes as the user scrolls down the page.  You may have seen this type of speed optimization trick on Amazon product pages… try doing a search and then scroll down the page, see those images load as you scroll?
     
  3. Drupal for Firebug – It’s about time.  I love using firebug on my firefox web browser and now we’ve got something similar for drupal – it’s lets you see sql query information similar to how firebug lets you see HTML/css information in it’s own little window.  One catch is that you also need to install the firefox "Drupal for Firebug" pluggin.
     
  4. Open Flash Charts API – I’ve been doing some programming lately with the very cool open flash charts project and the drupal module makes it pretty easy to integrate charts wherever PHP can be used.  Here is a sample chart I developed using the module:

    Looks almost on par with Google analytics 😉
     

  5. Voting API and Fivestar – actually two modules here, a while back I used the voting API module in tandem with the fivestar module to turn the standard drupal comments on nodes into a review system on bambooandtikis.com.  

    The Fivestar module presents a sort of range of stars or icons to rate a piece of content while the voting API serves as the backbone for processing the voting behavior.

OK well that’s it for this edition of useful drupal modules, until next time 🙂

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