- A listing (view) of related content, such as accessories for a product
- A standard contact block, advert, or some other calls to action in the middle of the content, exactly where the user is best ‘caught’ in their journey, rather than having to stick those in sidebars or after all the content fields.
- Some specific value(s) pulled from fields on some indirectly related entity, through a token, such as details from a taxonomy term representing the ‘section’ that a page is in.
- Consistent relevant links on user profiles to take people to common destinations
Drupal’s usual blocks system allows you to put these in sidebars or above/below the usual node fields, but not between them. You could use a ‘heavyweight’ system like Layout Builder, Panels, or Display Suite, but those tend to entirely change the way you configure or edit your content. You could get a developer to override twig templates or write custom PHP. But is there a middle ground?
Well, of course! You might have noticed some modules already allow their page additions to be moved around amongst the usual fields on content. See these rows without widget or format settings in this following screenshot, which aren’t for ordinary fields at all? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to add your own?
This is where the Entity Extra Field module (entity_extra_field) comes in. It supports embedding blocks, views or values to be replaced via tokens. So a site builder can set these up to be managed just like ordinary fields on the page (whether it’s a node, term, paragraph, or any other type of content). Each one would act as a sort of ‘pseudo-field’, rendered as part of a display mode amongst the ordinary fields. It also works for form modes – so you can display useful content beside existing field widgets, perhaps displaying relevant related data to editors in the places that they would be entering content about that data.
Entity Extra Field supports visibility conditions (just like blocks, but for views & tokens too) and passing & selecting contexts for blocks. These give it quite a lot of power – for example, to conditionally hide a field rather than just using Drupal’s ordinary display settings for it. So I believe this module does a better job than the older EVA module (for views), and my own similar EBA module (for blocks) did. In fact, I recommend that anyone using my EBA module in D7 should use Entity Extra Field in its place when moving to Drupal 9. Here are some screenshots of its interface – first for selecting a view to add to content:
And for choosing a block to display – in this case, a custom one that requires a context:
Each ‘Extra field’ gets shown on all entities of the type/bundle they are configured on. So there’s no need to constantly remember to add a common block or view every time you create/edit a page. If you do want to have different ones on different pages, then you should use Views Reference or Block Field. These modules provide true fields for editors to choose which view/block to display on each individual page.
The code inside Entity Extra Field uses
hook_entity_extra_field_info(), which acts just like its Drupal 7 predecessor,
hook_field_extra_fields(), which I’ve written about before. So you could write code using that to add your own page additions too – but given that blocks, views, and content accessible via tokens are possibly the most common things to embed, that suddenly feels unnecessary. Even as a developer, I’m glad to avoid writing code that would need maintaining anyway.
I’ve been privileged to be able to contribute fixes & functionality to the Entity Extra Field project, resulting in a recent new release. My time for that was essentially sponsored by ComputerMinds and one of our clients who would use this site-building capability, especially around block contexts. So thanks to them! And of course a big thank you goes to Travis Tomka (droath) for making the module, and accepting my many issues & patches!
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