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Top Drupal Evaluation and Rating Modules
By: wubayou
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    2011-07-20

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    One of the most important categories when it comes to Drupal modules is that of Evaluation and Rating. You want to maximize your site in terms of interaction, but you also want that interaction to be worthwhile. Here is a list of some of the top Evaluation and Rating modules for Drupal that will help you keep your siteís quality at its peak.

    Webform

    Webform is a popular Drupal Module that allows you to collect user feedback or stimulate participation on your site.  With Webform, you can create polls, surveys, questionnaires, contact forms, and more with relative ease.  You can customize these forms to fit your needs.  Whether you want to set something simple up or something complicated, it does not matter.  The module is intuitive and easy to use, so you wonít have to be an expert to get started.  Itís also a good solution if you find yourself creating forms on a frequent basis, as it eliminates the need to constantly create content types. 

    Webform makes it easy to evaluate your data thanks to various export options that let you transfer your results to Microsoft Excel and similar applications.  Additional options with the module include the ability to customize the look of your forms, confirmation pages, and emails.

    Link: http://drupal.org/project/webform

    Voting API

    Think of the Voting API module as a building block or framework that helps developers looking to create voting-based modules.  On its, own, the module is nothing flashy or life-changing.  Your visitors will not be exposed to any voting mechanisms as a direct result of Voting API, either.  It is a necessary component, however, for some other modules, such as Views. 

    As a framework, Voting API helps in the realms of storing, retrieving, and tabulating votes on a wide variety of Drupal content, such as comments, nodes, users, and more.  It supports multi-criteria voting, which gives users the ability to offer their opinions on content in an extensive manner.  For instance, someone could rate a movie based on its plot, acting, and cinematography.  Voting API also supports the automatic tabulation and efficient caching of results.

    Link: http://drupal.org/project/votingapi

    Fivestar

    Fivestar is an effective, user-friendly module that adds an eye-catching voting widget to your site.  The small widget is lets your visitors vote on content while adding a little of aesthetic flair at the same time.  True to its name, Fivestar is based on a rating system of five stars.  You can customize the widget easily in terms of color and format to include shapes such as stars, hearts, flames, and more. 

    If a user has JavaScript disabled, the module degrades gracefully to maintain functionality.  Thereís support for anonymous voting, as well as spam protection to ensure that users donít abuse the voting system to throw off the integrity of the ratings. 

    As mentioned a bit earlier, there are some modules dependent on the Voting API module.  It just so happens that Fivestar is one of them, so you will need to download Voting API for the module to work properly.  As an added bonus, Fivestar integrates easily with the Views module, giving you the power to create results pages or lists sorted according to ratings.  If you are looking for a quick way to supply your users with voting privileges and receive feedback on the administrative end, this module can help.

    Link: http://drupal.org/project/fivestar 

    Flag

    Flag is an evaluation and rating module that many believe should be included in Drupalís core features.  Simply put, itís easy to install and configure, and adds plenty of functionality to your site. 

    Flexibility is one of Flagís strengths.  On the administrative end, you can customize flagging to serve a number of purposes, such as marking favorites, reporting abusive comments or users, highlighting content for moderation, and more.  Flags can also be categorized on a per-user or global basis.

    While flagging content is powerful within itself, another plus of the Flag module is that flagging can trigger other actions.  For instance, if someone flags a specific node, it could cause an email to be sent.  This is possible when you combine Flag with the Rules module.  Thatís just one combination, however, since Flag integrates well with several handy modules, including Views for when you want to create lists of flagged content.  You also have Flag Weights, which weights flags differently to create ordered content.  Flag Abuse is another module that integrates easily and gives you a specific flag to tag offensive content.

    If you have been familiar with Drupal modules for a while now, you may have recognized the Flag module before under the Views Bookmark moniker.

    Link: http://drupal.org/project/flag

    Facebook Social Plugins Integration

    Unless youíve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know the importance of Facebook.  The social network is omnipresent, and its power is hard to ignore.  With that being said, itís a good idea to integrate Facebook features with your site, since the likelihood of your visitors having Facebook profiles is high.  The Facebook Social Plugins Integration module lets you accomplish that task in a manner that is easy to install and maintain.

    With this module, you are given the power to implement a host of Facebook plugins, such as Activity Feed, Comments, Like Button, Send Button, Live Stream, Recommendations, and more. 

    Link: http://drupal.org/project/fb_social

    User Points

    Are you tired of people visiting your site without participating in facilitating interaction?  If so, the User Points module is a great way to give them an incentive to contribute. 

    In essence, User Points offers an API for users to earn or lose points for interacting on your site.  For example, a user could earn points for leaving a comment or posting a node.  By creating a points system, a competitive environment comes alive, pushing users to contribute to your site via conversation or content.  In the end, this adds to your siteís overall value and makes it more attractive for new users to join in on the action.

    User Points integrates with various modules that help to extend its functionality.  Views, Services, and Rules, are just three examples of modules that work well with User Points.  Its features are numerous.  You can see the points earned per user, the top users in terms of points, and a notification detailing the number of points earned or lost.  To incentivize actions that benefit your site the most, you can attach point values to different note types.  So, if you have a site that focuses on pictures, you can reward users with a hefty point value for posting pictures.  On the flip side, you have the ability to delete points from user totals when their nodes or comments are deleted.

    Link: http://drupal.org/project/userpoints


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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