Introduction to Modules in Drupal

Modules are packages of PHP code that extend Drupal’s core capabilities. They can add new features, alter existing functionality, or integrate your Drupal site with external services and APIs. Understanding how modules work and how to develop them is essential for anyone looking to customize their Drupal site beyond what’s possible with core and contributed modules alone.

What Are Drupal Modules?

Modules in Drupal are similar to plugins or extensions in other software. They are packages of code that extend or alter the functionality of a Drupal site. Modules can range from small tweaks, like customizing user login behavior, to large-scale features, like e-commerce systems.

Types of Modules

The following are the types of modules in Drupal:

Role of Modules in Drupal

  • Modules extend Drupal’s core capabilities, allowing you to add custom content types, fields, and functionality. They play an important role in customizing your site to fit specific needs, improving both the site builder and end-user experience.
  • Modules can also alter existing Drupal functionality, allowing you to adjust how Drupal behaves without modifying core files. This modular approach ensures that customizations are preserved across core updates.

Getting Started with Module Development

  • To develop a custom module, you’ll need a basic understanding of PHP and familiarity with Drupal’s API and coding standards. The Drupal community provides extensive documentation and resources to help developers learn these skills.
  • The process begins with setting up a module folder and creating an .info.yml file to declare your module to Drupal. From there, you can add controllers, forms, and other components to build out your module’s functionality.

Best Practices

  • Follow Drupal’s coding standards and best practices to ensure your module is secure, efficient, and compatible with Drupal’s ecosystem.
  • Leverage Drupal’s API and hooks system to interact with core functionalities and other modules. This ensures that your module can coexist with other components of the Drupal system without conflicts.

Finding and Installing Modules

Step 1: Finding Modules


Use Search and Filters

  • Utilize the search functionality to find modules based on keywords related to your desired functionality. Filters can further refine search results by stability, compatibility with Drupal 10, and other criteria.

Evaluate Module Viability

  • When considering a module, evaluate its documentation, the frequency of updates, the number of sites using it, and community reviews. This information is crucial for assessing the module’s reliability and fit for your project.

Community and Support

  • Pay attention to the module’s issue queue and support forums. A vibrant community and active maintainer(s) are good indicators of a well-supported module.

Step 2: Installing and Enabling a Module

Download the Module

  • Once you’ve identified a module you wish to install, you can download it directly from its org project page. You can download the module as a tar.gz or zip file.

Use Composer (Recommended)

  • Using Composer is the recommended method to manage modules for Drupal 8 and later, including Drupal 10. To install a module using Composer, run the following command in your Drupal root directory:

composer require drupal/module_name

Replace module_name with the machine name of the module you want to install. Composer will handle downloading the module and managing any dependencies.

Enable the Module

  • After downloading, the module must be enabled to be active on your site. This can be done through the Drupal admin interface or using Drush, Drupal’s command-line tool.
  • Admin Interface: Navigate to Extend in your Drupal admin toolbar, find the module in the list, check its checkbox, and click the Install button at the bottom of the page.
  • Drush: Run the following command:

drush en module_name

Configure the Module

  • Many modules come with configuration options that need to be set up before the module is fully functional. After enabling a module, look for a configuration link on the module’s page under Extend, or navigate to the Configuration tab in your Drupal admin area to find settings related to your new module.

Creating a Custom Module

Step 1: Setting Up a Module Folder and .info.yml File

Create Your Module Folder

  • Navigate to the modules directory within your Drupal installation. Within modules, create a new directory named custom if it doesn’t already exist. This is where all your custom modules will live to keep them separate from core and contributed modules.
  • Inside the custom directory, create another directory for your module. The name of this directory is the machine name of your module, typically in lowercase and underscores for spaces (e.g., my_custom_module).

Create the .info.yml File

  • In your module’s directory, create a file named after your module with an extension of .info.yml (e.g., info.yml). This YAML file tells Drupal about your module.
  • Open the .info.yml file in a text editor and add the following basic information:

name: ‘My Custom Module’
type: module
description: ‘A custom module for doing amazing things!’
package: Custom
core_version_requirement: ^10

This YAML file includes the human-readable name of your module, its machine name, a brief description, the package under which it should be grouped in the Drupal UI (optional), and the core version compatibility.

Step 2: Writing a Basic Module

Create a .module File (Optional)

  • While not always necessary, a .module file is where you can include hooks and custom PHP functions that alter or extend Drupal’s default behavior. Create a file named module in your module’s directory.
  • To start, you can leave this file empty. As you grow more comfortable with Drupal’s API, you may add functions that interact with Drupal’s core features.

Implement a Basic Hook

  • One of the simplest hooks to implement is hook_help(), which provides help text on the module’s functionality. Open the module file and add the following code:


 * Implements hook_help().
 * Displays help for the My Custom Module.
function my_custom_module_help($route_name, $route_match) {
  if ($route_name == ‘’) {
    return ‘<p>’ . t(‘This is a custom module to add amazing functionalities to our Drupal site.’) . ‘</p>’;

This function checks if the help page for your module is being accessed and returns a simple help text.

Enable Your Module

  • With your .info.yml and optional .module file in place, go to the Extend section of your Drupal admin dashboard to enable your custom module. You can also use Drush with the command drush en my_custom_module.

Verify Installation

  • After enabling, you can go to the help section (/admin/help) in your Drupal site to see if your module’s help text is displayed, indicating that your module is active and working.

Creating a custom module in Drupal 10 can be as simple or complex as your site requires. Starting with these basic steps introduces you to the module development process, providing a foundation for building more sophisticated functionalities as you become more familiar with Drupal’s API and hook system.