My Drupal Nice to have Modules

Published Sep 3, 2020
Updated Sep 23, 2022
By Simon
Table of contents

After working on and developing some quite complex Drupal 6 and 7 websites, in Drupa 8 and 9 so far  I only have 2 module projects I think are essential, other than the SEO modules I recommend in the Drupal SEO modules post. These modules are Admin Toolbar and Backup and Migrate. Keep reading to find out more.


Admin Toolbar

Admin Toolbar

To be honest, the Toolbar that comes with Drupal is a little bit bare-bones, even though you can get to all the top-level sections, its make navigation to deeper levels a little time-consuming. That's where Admin Toolbar comes in it has the ability to get to any admin page via multi-level dropdowns if being used in horizontal mode or if used in the left sidebar it has multiple levels of accordian menus to get to everylevel.


Actively maintained Yes
Requires No extra requirements


  • Enable Admin Toolbar and Admin Toolbar Extra Tools to get all the admins pages in the Toolbar.
  • Can also add Admin Toolbar Search which enables a preemptive search.
  • Currently, there is Admin Toolbar Links Access Filter for a bug if you are setting up a site with limited perms for some users, see the issue in the UI explanation.
Drupal admin toolbar module and sub-modules on the extend page

Backup and Migrate

back and migrate drupal 9 quick backup UI

A Development Tool, Backup and Migrate makes it easy to back up your site, after dump and archive were removed from the Drush CLI tool, this is the easiest way.


Actively maintained Yes
Requires No extra requirements


Out of the box, you can download a backup and restore via the UI by upload, it is highly configurable and can store backs up in a private file system, schedule backups and lots more.

Note on local backups and Private file system: If you have not set up your private file system you will get a message

The backup could not be saved to 'private://backup_migrate/' because your private files system path has not been set. 

If you get that message you will need to create a private files system path, you can also check the File System page.

Manage > Configuration > Media > File system

If the above message is present you will get the following message.
Private file system path Not set. 
An existing local file system path for storing private files. It should be writable by Drupal and not accessible over the web. This must be changed in settings.php

To set the private file system path use the below snippet which is outside the Drupal site root. Add to your settings.php.

$settings['file_private_path'] = $app_root . '/../private-file';

You will need to also make the directory in the location outside the app root and make it writable. You may also need to add a .htaccess file to the directory if it is not created automatically. Check the status report page of your Drupal instance to see more details.

# make directory
mkdir private-file

# change owner:group to be user and apache (www-data)
chown my-user:www-data private-file

Well that's it just 2 modules I feel most sites can't live without. I have a few more that aren't essential but true nice haves, make sure to check shortly.