Modules that might be useful for newspapers

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This wiki page lists a number of modules useful for newspaper sites. Please add any module you think is missing!
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Last addition: Memcache API + Boost (090722)
Please note: The previous list has been moved to this page. It was old and dusty list, mainly presenting modules for Drupal 5. The drop is moving!

A few tips on choosing modules

  • Make sure that the module fits the Drupal version you're using. (As of 090714 you should be using Drupal 6 for any new sites.)
  • Read the readme, to make sure that the module does what you want it to do. Some modules have quite misleading names.
  • Check the feature-request list and bug report list for the module. If they are close to empty, it means that the module is barely used, and probably poorly maintained. A list full of bug reports is generally a good sign, but if the reports are old it's bad.
  • If you think the module is what you want, try it in a sandbox installation.
  • Modules make your site slower. Don't use more than you have to.
  • Some of modules may conflict with your server, make sure you contact your hosting provider to help.

Modules you should know about when building a newspaper site with Drupal

All modules work with Drupal 6 if nothing else is stated.
Some modules depend on other modules. Only modules with a useful end effect are listed here – check out any dependencies before installing.

In this list:
* Distributions for newspapers
* Modules for content architecture
* Modules for presentation architecture
* Modules for content organizing
* Modules improving interface for journalists and writers
* Modules for user management and features for logged-in visitors
* Modules for data export
* Modules for search engine optimizing
* System modules and performance tools


(out-of-the-box newspaper style solutions, also sources for modules and configuration inspiration)
* NodeStream - publish content in newspaper style
* OpenPublish - OpenPublish is an online news platform that emphasizes visitor engagement and ease of content creation. uses automatic tagging
* ProsePoint - online newspaper with configurable sections
* Managing News - Tracks news through RSS feeds and displays where each event is happening on a map.

Content architecture

  • CCK allows for customization of fields in a news story node – for example adding separate teaser fields, secondary titles, links to other news stories, et cetera. You won't build a news site without this module.
  • Date and Views Calendar supplies easy integration with dates (and times) in nodes, as well as displaying them i different kind of calendars.
  • Automatic Nodetitles allows administrators to set node titles to a combination of other fields in the node.
  • Imagefield is one of the most popular (and most future-compient) solutions for handling images. An alternative is the Image module, which is also used a lot.
  • Imagecache is a neat tool for creating preset formats for images. No more manual cropping and resizing!
  • FileField Sources The FileField Sources module expands on filefield module's ability by allowing you to select new or existing files through additional means, including:

    • Re-use files by an auto-complete textfield
    • Attach server-side files uploaded via FTP
    • Transfer files from a remote server (cURL required)
    • Select existing files through the IMCE file browser
  • Webform is a very useful module for creating sign-up lists or more advanced contact forms. (All entries are stored in a table that can be exported to Excel.)

  • Flags is a highly flexible flagging system for nodes, comments, or users. Some possibilities include bookmarks, marking important, friends, or flag as offensive. With extensive views integration, you can create custom lists of popular content or keep tabs on important content. Flags can be set on a per-user basis ("my favourite content") or on a global basis ("marked as offensive").
  • User News allows each (non-)member of your Drupal site to individually create and publish news articles, with each member having his/her own individual RSS feed. A block is also provided which collectively lists all the site's "Latest news articles," the quantity of which being set/controlled from the block admin page. Please see the project page for a much more thorough/elaborate overview of the module.

Presentation architecture

  • Views is your path to grouping and displaying news stories in any way you like – from "all sports stories, reverse chronological" and "block with titles of articles from the same author" to "RSS feed of all articles written by NN with at least 10 comments, sorted by popularity". It's incredible how much you can do with this module, and you won't build a news site without it.
  • Panels is a neat way of adding regions on a larger page and then assigning different content to the different regions. Think newspaper front page.
  • Quick Tabs allows you to create blocks of tabbed content, specifically views, blocks, nodes and other quicktabs – thus potentially providing a lot of information on a small area.
  • Nodequeue provides a simple interface to create ordered groups of content – such as a collection of articles to display on the front page. Sub queues can be created, such as one queue for each issue or section of the paper. Nodequeue also provides quick links along with nodes to add to, or delete from relevant queues.
  • Thickbox allows images to pop up in a fancy way. A good solution if you want to use large images popping up from thumbnails. (Useless if images aren't a substantial part of your news site.) Also check out Lightbox2.
  • External Links Filter adds neat icons for links leading to external pages.
  • Taxonomy Hide helps you get rid of taxonomy terms that really are meant for administration, not viewing.
  • Tweakbox allows you to apply new teaser settings on all or selected nodes, define teaser length per content type, and also to create tables of content based on heading tags. Also consider using CCK fields.
  • Paging module allows users to use a tag to break a node up, for specified content types, into multiple pages. There is reason to believe that paging leads to lower ranking on search engines.
  • Pullquote module allows editors to easily create newspaper-style pullquotes from excerpts of the body text.

Content organizing

  • Context allows more flexible categorisation of content -- for example allowing block visibility by section and more customizable choices of active links in menus (thereby relating content to menu sections).
  • Calais integrates the ThompsonReuters OpenCalais content-analysis service. Node content is submitted automatically for analysis and term extraction through a Web services interface. Extracted terms are inserted into a set of specific vocabularies. This can be used for automatic generation of related-item links, etc.
  • Abuse lets visitors flag nodes and comments as offensive for the adminstrator to review.
  • Talk puts the comments on a separate tab. The name of the tab can be customized (using tokens!). This is useful if, like many newspapers, you prefer to keep user generated content somewhat separated from the editorial content.

Interface for journalists and writers

  • Wysiwyg (including TinyMCE) is a popular choice for Wysiwyg editor, greatly expanding the functions of the standard text area (and also making it look much nicer).
  • BUeditor is a simple button-style editor. It is not a wysiwyg, and so it doesn't risk mashing up the text with weird and faulty markup without you notising.
  • Markdown with SmartyPants is a clean and intuitive markup filter, that also makes the text readable if the filter is turned off. Combines well with BUeditor above.
  • IMCE is more or less a file browser for finding images and other files.
  • Vertical Tabs provides vertical tabs in the node edit form, typically collecting not-so-often used fields to minimize scrolling through the form. As of 090715, Vertical Tabs is in beta for Drupal 6.

Workflow and automating

  • Workflow allows setting up permissions in a workflow, such as draft-copy editing-review-published.
  • Rules allows automizing a number of tasks and actions when certain events occur, such as "when three users have marked a comment as inappropriate, unpublish the comment and notify the web editor".
  • Views Bulk Operations combines Views sorting and filtering capabilities with automated actions – select 5 articles to publish, update taxonomy terms, or schedule publishing on the front page by next Monday. Combines well with Rules.
  • Scheduler allows scheduled publishing and unpublishing. (For more complex scheduling, check out Rules scheduler, included in the Rules module.)

User management and features for logged-in visitors

  • Logintoboggan provides a number of useful options for user registration, such as logging in with e-mail address.
  • Advanced User helps find profile spammers, or other lists of users based on selected criteria.
  • Twitter allows Drupal user accounts and Twitter accounts to communicate, for example to list latest twitters on the site or automatically twitter about new posts.
  • Drupal for Facebook allows Drupal administrators to create Facebook applications, publish stories on Facebook application's walls and many more.

Data export

  • NITF Views extends the Views module to output NITF XML (News Industry Text Format) for moving Drupal data to other news systems.

Search-engine optimising

  • Pathauto generates URL aliases based on variables you choose, for example Good for both humans and machines. This is a must-have.
  • Global Redirect creats permanent (or temporary) redirects from duplicate URLs, for example created by Pathauto. Not using this will make search engines angry with you.
  • Page Title allows you to set a HTML page title that is different from the title of the node you're viewing.
  • Google News sitemap generator generates a Google news compatible sitemap feed.
  • XML Sitemap creates sitemaps that can be submitted to Google, Yahoo, Bing, et cetera. This module has performance issues on large sites.
  • Meta tags allows you to add meta tags to nodes. The SEO benefit from this is disputed.
  • Site Map creates a site map that can be used by visitors, but also by visiting crawlers.

System and performance tools

Ad serving

  • CASAA has a pluggable architecture that supports Yahoo APT, Yahoo Content Match and OpenAdStream advertising servers, as well as analytics by Omniture and Google. Contexts such as paths and taxonomy terms are mapped to specifics that are passed on to the servers.
  • DART supports DoubleClick DART.
  • OpenAds supports the OpenX ad server; OpenX adds a capability to control the ad server from Drupal.
  • Advertisement implements an ad server directly in Drupal. It can serve ads directly, or via Javascript, so it could be implemented on a separate server.

Newspapers on Drupal

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Topics - Newspaper on Drupal

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