Our favorite SilverStripe modules
SilverStripe modules are a type of add-on (the other kind is themes) that provide extra functionality to SilverStripe. The core of SilverStripe functionality strives to include only what’s necessary. Nonetheless, we find that we almost always use a handful of modules with particularly widespread applicability.
For more on add-ons, visit the add-on repository.
Top 5 modules
We use this on almost every project we build. We formerly used Sortable Grid Field, which is nice, but the
GridFieldOrderableRowsfrom this module works more seamlessly. We’ve also used
GridFieldAddNewMultiClassfrom this package with good success.
The User Forms module provides easy-to-use custom user response forms that editors can create and manage without writing any PHP code. Perfect for when a full CRM integration is just too much.
Once part of core, and now a separate module, it works great out of the box to create Google sitemaps. It also allows for some customization and the inclusion of non-SiteTree based DataObjects. To see this module in action, check out our own sitemap.xml.
FocusPoint enables you to identify the main subject in an image, then keeps that crucial part of the image visible during cropping.
From Uncle Cheese of Data Object Manager fame, this module allows for more options when editing a DataObject and also enables adding custom form actions right in the CMS.
Technical & less often used modules
We don’t always use these items, and some of them are highly technical or serve a narrow purpose. The first item, Better Navigator, however, deserves special mention, as it nicely updates a somewhat neglected feature of the SilverStripe core.
This module provides a handy and attractive front-end menu for CMS users who are logged in. It also shows up in dev mode to help developers work on new site code. It replicates and expands upon SilverStripe’s built-in SilverStripeNavigator, which hasn’t seen much development since SilverStripe 2.4.
This module exports a SilverStripe site as static files to a local or remote server for increased site performance, when partial template caching isn’t enough to do the job. This module was behind SilverStripe’s successful deployment of the 2008 Obama campaign’s website. We use it to boost the performance of sites with heavy traffic and/or troublesome database bottlenecks.
This module is for developers only. It finds and optionally deletes disused tables and fields in a SilverStripe database.
During development of a SilverStripe application it often happens that you delete a data object class or remove a field from a data object. This module can find and delete them, but it’s definitely not a tool for production databases. Here be dragons!
This item isn’t, strictly speaking, a SilverStripe module. It’s a tool to help developers upgrade PHP code and templates from SilverStripe 2.4 to 3.0, as well as from 3.0 to 3.1.
With the March 31, 2015, SilverStripe 2.4 end-of-life rapidly approaching, now is definitely the time to do your upgrading!