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23Oct

Drupal Module Development: 3 Kick-Off Online Guides

Drupal Module Development: 3 Online Guides

Want to learn how to develop a Drupal 8/9 module? Follow one (or all) of the guides below

In this post, you will find a collection of online guides on Drupal 8/9 module development. Pick one that suits you and follow the instructions. It’s true that becoming a competent Drupal 8/9 module developer takes more than reading one tutorial. Still, it’s a chance to look under the hood and see what Drupal module development is like.

Drupal is one of the comparatively few software products that has successfully stood the test of time. Released almost two decades ago, this Content Management Framework (CMF) is still the number one choice among companies of all sizes.

A CMF is more powerful than an ordinary content management system such as WordPress. It is, in fact, so powerful that it can serve as a basis for creating other content management systems by reusing software components. In the Drupal terminology, these recycled components are known as modules.

Modules bring flexibility to Drupal, making it suitable both for small business sites and enterprise applications. They are, in essence, folders that contain PHP, CSS, and JS files. Modules come in three flavors:

  • Core
  • Contributed
  • Custom

Let’s briefly talk about their main features, benefits, and drawbacks before we proceed to the discussion of Drupal module development tutorials.

Three Types of Drupal Modules

The Types of Drupal modules

Core Drupal Modules

These are shipped with every Drupal distribution package. There is no need to install them specifically. Just enable and use them. Examples include accessibility modules, such as the Inline Form Errors module, or modules for building multilingual sites like the Content Translation module. One of the key differences between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8/9 is the number and variety of core modules, with the latter having more of these than the former.

Core modules are “untouchable,” as one of the most important principles of Drupal development says that you should never change the core functionality. If you do, you may have to face a number of serious issues, such as:

  • No availability of updates
  • Security problems
  • Maintenance nightmare

What if you need a feature that the basic package doesn’t have, though? This is when you should either find a corresponding contributed module or hire a professional Drupal 8/9 module developer.

Contributed Drupal Modules

Drupal is famously known for its large and active developer community. There are lots of enthusiasts across the globe who want to improve the platform by creating new external modules for it. You can find thousands of free contributed modules on Drupal.org for all purposes imaginable, from search engine optimization to advertising.

This variety is actually a double-edged sword. A rank-and-file Drupal site owner will be hard-pressed to find a good contributed module that meets their granular requirements. There is a host of criteria to take into account:

  • Is the module regularly updated?
  • Is it widely used by other people?
  • Have any technical issues been reported?

Another important consideration is the version of Drupal that the module is compatible with. Drupal 8/9 uses a newer version of PHP. Therefore, if a module is intended for Drupal 7, it will be completely useless in Drupal 8/9. Read one of our previous posts on Drupal 7 to Drupal 8/9 migration for more insights on this.

In addition, contributed modules can include many redundant features you don’t really need. This may cause the website to run slower. Finally, the code of a contributed module may have conflicts with the core or other contributed modules you’ve installed before.

The best way to avoid all this trouble is Drupal 8/9 custom module development.

Custom Module Development in Drupal 8/9

This is by far the best way to add unique features to a Drupal-based website. A Drupal 8/9 module developer creates a plugin that’s tailored to your specific project. For example, if you need to accept money from visitors, you can have your own checkout functionality.

Drupal custom module development can be more or less expensive. A developer can simply download an existing contributed module and modify it in any way they want (add your code, remove or change the existing code). This will normally take less time and require a smaller investment.

On the other hand, Drupal 8/9 plugin development from the ground up is quite common too. Whichever method you ultimately choose, the result should be a well-tested, lightweight module that satisfies all your business requirements. If you want to know how to develop a Drupal 8/9 module, we’ve outlined 3 online guides on Drupal 8/9 custom module development.

3  Drupal Module Development Guides for Beginners You Can Find Online

Creating Custom Modules — Official Drupal Module Development Documentation

Official Drupal custom module development guide

It’s only natural that we should begin our overview with the official Drupal module development guide. It’s targeted towards version 8/9 of the platform and later but actually teaches developers to create Drupal modules in general.

This is definitely the most comprehensive source of information you can use to conquer Drupal 8/9 module development. You’re invited to walk the entire way from getting started and creating a module skeleton to publishing a finished product on drupal.org, plus everything in between. You can also see great examples of Drupal modules on the Examples for Developers project page.

Drupal 8/9 Custom Module Development — A Beginners Guide

Custom Drupal module development tutorial for beginners

A brief tutorial intended for a beginning Drupal 8/9 module developer. It has four steps and contains some illustrating graphics. Compare your results with the screenshot the author has provided at the end of the post.

Building Drupal 8/9 Modules: A Practical Guide

Tutorial on building custom modules for Drupal 8 and 9

This one closely resembles the official Drupal module development set of tutorials we described above. It’s detailed and well-illustrated, so every aspiring Drupal 8/9 module developer should find it useful. Here are some of the most challenging sections this Drupal 8/9 module development tutorial includes:

  • Creating a TWIG template
  • Creating a service
  • Creating a routing
  • Creating a controller

Conclusion

Drupal is a module-based content management framework with many great features already included in the core. If your business requires something unique, though, the best way to have it is to hire an expert Drupal 8/9 module developer or development agency.

The PSD2HTML Drupal development team provides all the services related to one of the most popular content management platforms in the world. We are true experts in developing Drupal modules, creating beautiful Drupal themes, performance and security optimization, and other tasks. Let us help your business grow and develop. Contact us!

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