Learning to recognize good modules is a skill that takes time to master. A good start is, once you find a module you think matches your requirements, to check these criteria:
- Make sure that the module works with Drupal 7 (or the Drupal version you are using). On the module's project page is a list of all versions you can download . The Drupal 7 versions have version number starting with 7.x (such as 7.2).
- At the project page is also a header project information. It is a good sign if maintenance status is actively maintained and development status is under active development. It is also good if reported installs is high. Consider anything less than a thousand reported installs a warning.
- The information about the latest release of the module, also found on the project page, could provide further information. A high version number indicates that the module has been around for a while and should be more mature. If, on the other hand, it is more than six months since a new release was published, there is a risk that this module is not very actively maintained. Modules available in (only) beta, alpha or dev versions should only normally be used on experimental sites.
- In contrast to the naïve reaction, a large number of issues reported on the project page is a good sign. It means that a lot of people use the module and care about its future. It is usually a bad sign, though, if more than 10–20 percent of the reported bugs are open.
- Modules offering general solutions are in most cases preferable to those that solve very specific problems. This is probably the most difficult factor when assessing modules, since it is far from obvious what you can do with the most general modules. Luckily, you have this book to help you!
- Finally, you can of course also install the module and try it out. The more rigorous you are with other ways of assessing modules, the more time you can spend on trying out and learning the modules with the highest potential.