I began running this website on Drupal 6 shortly after the official release. Before then, I periodically installed development versions of Drupal 6 on the production server during the weekends so others could judge the progress that was being made. During this period, I made the claim that I didn't really need any contributed modules to run my site on Drupal 6.
As I said last week, it's amazing how many people overlook the power of Drupal...even without its contributed modules. Yes, I'll be glad when the Views, Panels, and even the TinyMCE contributed modules are ready to use with Drupal 6. But I've always looked at contributed modules as modules of convenience and not necessity.
It could have been a bold statement that I made at the beginning of the year. Although Drupal 6 interest has finally overtaken Drupal 5, there still are a number of popular modules still under the designation of release candidate, beta, and even alpha. My site has shown that you don't have to always wait for contributed modules to upgrade a site to the latest version of Drupal. However, my statement was a lie. By the time Earl Miles released Views 2.0 Beta 1, I found I didn't want to live without my essential modules for very long.
The following are a list of contributed Drupal modules that I wouldn't want to do without here at CMSReport.com. I am neither the first word nor the last word of which modules you should be running for your Drupal site. In fact, by coincidence, Kathleen Murtagh has just written a similar list of contributed modules that should be considered. Some of the modules on my list are still going through their development phase and you'll have to assess the risk of using the modules on your own sites. Personally, I like to take the risk for my hobby sites such as these, but I am more cautious when using development code for sites managed at my day job. Whichever modules you choose, be sure to thank the developers that have made your site possible.
Contributed modules used at CMSReport.com
There are a number of comment and subscription related modules for Drupal. However, I found this module to be very convenient for both users and administrators.
Sends e-mail to notify both registered and anonymous users about new comments on pages where they have commented. The goal is to drive one-time users that comment back to you site to convert them to real registered users. This conversion step is an essential one in building a blog comment community.