Drupal is the most popular Content Management System that is used by more than two percent of the websites in the world. Drupal helps you to create blogs and websites for various purposes and assists you in handling the content of the same in the most professional manner. Drupal offers a wide range of Modules that enhance the performance of your Drupal website or blog and reduce the manual efforts in various areas largely. The Feature Module offered by Drupal is yet another wonderful module that would be discussed in detail in the sections below for better understanding.

Drupal Features Module

The Features Module acts like a bundle of components from various other Drupal Modules to enable the reusability of the same by capturing and managing them. The only difference that you can find between the Features Module and other regular Drupal Modules is that the Features Module can declare its own components. You can define or add the components that you would like to use repeatedly across various other blogs or websites. The Features include components such as the photo gallery, blog, forum, slideshow, pressroom, e-commerce store, menu items, fields and many more. The Features Module declares all the components in a .info file to check, update and revert the same programmatically whenever required.

Creating a Feature

As already mentioned in the above section, a Feature in the Features Module can be any component such as the calendar, photo gallery or of an even complex nature. Considering the Views Slideshow Module as a component, the steps involved in creating a Feature are detailed below:

  1. Downloading and installing the Features Module: To start working with the Features Module, download the same from the official website at the link https://drupal.org/project/features and install the module into your Drupal system. Enable the module on your Drupal website.
  2. Creating a Feature: Create a feature by following the path Structure > Features. Click the Create Feature button. Fill in the details in the necessary fields that appear as listed below:
    1. Name: Enter a name for the Feature that is unique. Keep in mind that the name you enter here does not resemble any module, just to avoid confusion.
    2. Description: Text in a brief description of the package.
    3. Package: Decide on a group name for the Feature that you are about to create.
    4. Version: Include your Drupal version, as this would turn into an installable Drupal Module.
  3. Editing the Components: Choose the component that you would like to edit by selecting the same from the list displayed on the page. Some of the steps involved in editing certain components are detailed below:
    1. Content Type: Select the Content type: node in the displayed list and you can find all the content types that you have defined. Select the type such as testimonial by checking the checkbox next to the options.
    2. Views: Select the Views from the drop down list of Edit Components and select the Testimonial Slider option by checking the checkbox next to it.
    3. Adding the Image Style: Select the image option and check the checkbox next to the testimonial thumbnail to add it to your feature.
    4. In this way keep adding the components and edit them to add those to your feature Module according to the level of complexity you would wish to have.
  4. Downloading the created Feature: After adding all the necessary components, you will have to download the Feature file to a directory in your system. Now follow the path Modules > Add New > Browse and select the downloaded file. Install the module just like other Drupal Modules and enable the same.
  5. Enabling the Feature on your Drupal website: Find the installed module listed along with the other modules in your site. You might find some of the missing modules notified in red without which working with the new module might not be possible. Therefore, you have to install the missing modules that are necessary.
  6. Using the Feature created: The new feature content type will automatically be listed and you can now start installing the Feature Module created on any other Drupal site by installing and enabling it like other Drupal Modules.

Related Modules

Some of the related modules to Features Module are displayed below:

  • Features Override: The Features Override can be used to alter some of the current features in the Feature Module.
  • Strongarm: The Strongarm is a developer’s tool to override certain default values.
  • Features Plumber: The Features Plumber will assist you in developing the features in the Feature Module.
  • Features Extra: The Feature Extra provides you with various faux exportables in the form of features that are required for various other site-building components.
  • Features Tools: The Features Tools Module consists of tools that enable you to remove some of the existing features in a Feature Module and retain them back in the database.

In short, the Features Module offers a lot in a simple and clean way. Get started with your Drupal hosting experience with GreenGeeks. Learn more about our optimized Drupal hosting plans.

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