Streamlining Drupal Administration UI

After much work of using Drupal as a developer and also site administrator I find I’ve used a handful of modules on nearly every site because they offer a key feature that no other module comes close to competing with. For administrating Drupal from a website I highly recommend the following 3 modules:

Module Filter

The module filter module helps to streamline the look of the Administration page which shows all available modules, and their status, on your Drupal site. It makes changes it to look similar to (image courtesy of the module authors’ information page):

Module Filter

When you have a complex website with hundreds of modules enabled this refined UI can greatly help you. A derivative of this contributed module has become a new Core feature of the upcoming Drupal 8.

Fast Permission Administration

This module does 2 interesting things:

  1. Alters the Permissions page of Drupal to a refined UI similar to that of the module_filter module.
  2. From the Content Types Administration Form you can bring up a new window easily of that content type’s permissions.


Administration Menu

This module provides a helpful, non-obtrusive, Javascript based administrative navigation that can appear at the top of your website. I install this module on nearly every site I make so as to provide a visual separation between the front-end and back-end of a Drupal website.


This admin menu is essentially theme independent — it uses Javascript to render within a set of its own z-indexes.

Lastly, I typically set a Drupal Admin Theme. A Drupal admin theme typically is only visible on URLs within /admin/* paths. The theme is typically geared towards providing a clear and flexible layout to define your content (not necessarily presenting it as it will render to the visiting guest of your site). Out of the box Drupal provides an administration theme called Seven.

Rubik Theme

I really like the Rubik Admin theme. It provides its own set of Icons for Core drupal modules and features and tries to reduce visual noise on admin pages. An example of the Rubik theme, along with the Admin Menu mentioned above, looks like the following:


These sets of themes and modules really help me to moderate and administer a Drupal website through a browser or smart device with little to no pain. To install everything listed here via Drush it’s as easy as:

drush dl admin_menu rubik fpa module_filter; drush en admin_menu rubik fpa module_filter -y;

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Author Spotlight

David Gurba

I am a web programmer currently employed at UCSB. I have been developing web applications professionally for 8+ years now. For the last 5 years I’ve been actively developing websites primarily in PHP using Drupal. I have experience using LAMP and developing data driven websites for clients in aviation, higher education and e-commerce. If you’d like to contact me I can be reached at

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