10 Must-Have Drupal Image Modules

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A 'cut out and keep guide' to the ten most essential image modules for Drupal users.

Our love of all things Drupal is well documented on this site, our Contact Media Ventures site, and a number of other websites which we have built with the aforementioned CMS. We adore its flexibility and wealth of modules.

No matter how your website's coded, sound content - verbal and visual - is an absolute must. The verbal, interspersed by fine examples of the visual, must always be of sufficient quality to its target audience as well as the search engines. Few people may return to your site if the images are uninspiring and if the text is insipid. Animated email icons are so 1996. Hidden text and spammy content? Just don't go there. Ever.

For the graphics, Drupal has a wealth of suitable modules, designed to create enticing landing pages with, and striking visual effects that will grab the user's attention. Its flexibility and well established user base ensures a number of paid-for and freely downloadable modules. For the purpose of this article, we can only describe ten of them, out of what is a most staggering amount.

1. fancyBox

It seems as if no self-respecting website or three should be without a light box effect of some description. For Drupal, the fancyBox module allows you to integrate the fancyBox jQuery plugin onto your site. It enables images and text to be seen within a number of transitions. The Drupal module supports the latest version and offers an admin interface for changing each transition.

  • Also Available For: Wordpress, Joomla! and ExpressionEngine (as Fanceebox).
  • Website: http://fancybox.net

2. Colorbox

To our list of 'must have' image modules, we cannot forget Colorbox. Like fancyBox, this allows for light box style effects, and it is pretty light on the server load. There is support for the embedding of videos, audio files, Google Maps and allows for carousel effects.

3. Juicebox

Juicebox is an integration between the Juicebox HTML5 gallery library and Drupal itself. Created by SimpleViewer Inc., it is wholly cross-platform and enables you to add a fully responsive photo gallery to your website. It also supports fixed size galleries, and on professional versions, supports background music and adds watermarking facilities. As well as on Drupal, it is available to embed in HTML code.

  • Also Available For: WordPress (as a compatible plugin), all web browsers and operating systems.
  • Website: http://www.juicebox.net/

4. FlickrGallery

This module does exactly what it says on the plugin. If you have a Flickr account, and wish to add your images onto your Drupal derived website, FlickrGallery allows you to do just that. After adding the libraries, and a module for your chosen light box effect (i.e Colorbox and fancyBox as seen above), you can start adding away.

5. ImageCache Actions

Drupal users are also blessed by a number of image modules and ImageCache Actions is no exception. It offers a number of image effects to its toolkit. You can watermark, overlay text, create rounded corners, change aspect ratios and posterise your images. All in a jiffy.

6. Image Editor

Supposing you don't have an Adobe CreativeSuite subscription nor a copy of The GIMP, you can now add an image editor to Drupal. Through downloading this module, you can edit existing images or create new ones, and it integrates a multitude of functions from popular online image editing services. Not only Pixlr but also via Photobooth.js, an open source webcam.

7. Responsive Background Images

Sometimes, trying to work out the width of background images can be a pain whilst working on a responsive website. Drupal has a handy module which takes the heat out of this. It enables you have a single background image which is scalable on anything from an iPhone screen to a 27" monitor.

8. Image Effect Kit

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to add effects to your images, without the need for Photoshop, the Image Effect Kit is a good place to start. It has seven effects, all of which requires a GD library, image module and a token module to work.

9. Verite

'And time goes by, so slowly...' or rather in a couple of minutes if you add Verite to your Drupal installation. It enables you to add a timeline to your website, supporting all visual and written data, including Google Maps, YouTube videos and photographic images as well as text. It is an implementation of Knight Lab's timeline which is easy to use within a Drupal module.

10. ImageScale

For our last of the ten modules, we go to ImageScale. This quick and easy module enables you to crop, scale and desaturate any image in any combination regardless of device. All at no effect on download speeds. A few changes in the management interface within Drupal sees to all functions.

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Unit 4, Lingard Court, Lingard Lane
Bredbury, Cheshire, SK6 2QU
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Email: team[at]contactmedia.uk

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