15 modules to improve your Drupal administration and content management experience (D6 & D7) - part II

A continuation of the useful administration modules list started in Part I.


Used extensively by the developers, devel module can also be very helpful to the site administrators. One of its more popular features is automatic content generation (such as users and nodes) - including media files! Another nice feature is switching between users (for example, to test access permissions). It also integrates well with the admin menu module mentioned in the first part of the article.

To use Devel on Drupal 6, go to admin/generate and choose the type of items to generate (the modules comes with taxonomy, content and users, other modules add more types of content). The module can also delete the existing items (for examples, nodes by type).

Devel generate on Drupal 6

To switch users, go to admin/build/block and enable Switch user block. Make sure the user you switch to belongs to a role that's allowed to switch back (it's not recommended to enable this feature on the production sites).

Devel module settings can be configured on admin/settings/devel.

To use devel on Drupal 7, go to admin/config/development. Note you can now also generate menu items. If you use administration menu, you can quickly disable all developer modules (you can set up which ones remain enabled on admin/config/administration/admin_menu). Again, to switch users go to admin/structure/block and enable the Switch user block and set up the permissions appropriately so that you can switch back again.


It's generally a good idea to use revision when editing the content (so that, for example, you could easily roll back if needed). Diff module help to compare different versions of the same node and see what changes have been made line by line. 

Set up content types to use diff on each content type admin page. After you create a new revision, go to the Revisions tab and choose diff for the version you'd like to compare. 

Reivions tab

If you're using WYSIWYG, it might not look very nice:

Revision diff with WYSIWYG

The 2.x-dev version can deal with it better if you enabled "Remove markup" option on the content type config page:

Diff configuration

You can also see "Hide/show markup" option on the diff view.

Check this issue for more information and additional patches.

Vertical tabs (Included in D7)

Vertical tabs is one of those small modules that significantly improve user experience by tabbing Drupal's fieldsets (such as node type and block forms). It's also integrated with other modules, such as xmlsitemap and nodewords. It's part of the core in Drupal 7.

Vertical tabs node form

Module Filter

Any Drupal site with many contributed modules (i.e. the majority) is at risk of a modules administration page being too unwieldy to manage. Module filter helps quick find modules by adding a search field and organizing modules into tabs by their package (with the top tab showing all the modules alphabetically). To configure module filter on Drupal 6, go to admin/settings/module_filter (D7: admin/settings/module_filter)

Module filter

Taxonomy Manager

Taxonomy manager is a very powerful modules that provides an AJAX powered interface for creating, deleting, moving and merging taxonomy terms as well as export and other features (see the project page for more details). Any time you need to perform mass operations on the vocabularies and terms, taxonomy manager is invaluable. 

Taxonomy manager

Taxonomy manager is available at admin/content/taxonomy_manager/ (d6) or admin/structure/taxonomy_manager/ (d7)