Using your Drupal Website

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4 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 5 μήνες)

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Using your Drupal Website
Book 1 - Drupal Basics
By Karl Binder, The Adhere Creative Ltd. 2010.
This handbook was written by Karl Binder from The Adhere Creative Ltd as a
beginners user guide to using a Drupal built website. It is meant as an end user
guide, not a developer guide, and covers the basics of using Drupal’s core functions
to control your website content.
The Adhere Creative Ltd
Studio 34, Fazeley Studios
191 Fazeley Street
Using your Drupal Website
Common Terminology
Logging in
Creating and Managing Content
Custom content types
The WYSIWYG Editor
Managing Taxonomy Vocabularies and Terms
Managing Users and Roles
Views and Blocks
Understanding Browser Differences
Further Reading

Drupal is the name of the content management system that is driving your dynamic
website. It’s purpose is to provide a system for you to be able to update and
manage your website content via a web interface, rather than relying on coded,
static pages that require a web developer to change.
The content management system stores your website content and settings in a
database, so your content can be easily edited and delivered via your website’s
front end ‘theme’.
As a site administrator you will be able to log in and manage your content and other
elements of your website directly online, without needing any prior knowledge of
HTML or the other languages that make up your website.
Using your Drupal Website
Common Terminology
Drupal uses common phrases and words to refer to things
within your website’s system. Below is a handful of these
that are most common...
A common term within Drupal is ‘node’. A node is a piece of content on your
website. This might be a ‘page’, an ‘image’, an ‘event’ and so forth. Each piece of
content is stored individually within your database as a node. Each node has fields
such as it’s ‘Title’, ‘Body’ and ‘Author Name’. Nodes can be assigned to Taxonomy
Terms (see below) to organise them in to categories.
Taxonomy is the name given in Drupal to organising your content in categories. A
vocabulary is a category container. For example the categories ‘Meat, Vegetables,
Fish, Pudding’ could be listed within the vocabulary ‘Food’. The categories
themselves (‘meat, vegetables, fish etc...’) are referred to as ‘Terms’. Content can
be assigned to ‘Terms’ so you could create a page called ‘Lasagna’ and assign it to
the Term ‘Meat’. You could then display a category page, listing all content in the
Meat category and Lasagna would display in the list.
Blocks are used to display chunks of content on the web page. These usually
contain lists of information, menus or other calls to action. For example a main
menu can be displayed as a block and told to appear in the ‘region’ (see regions,
below) ‘Menu Bar’. Another block could be the log in form and told to appear in the
‘region’ - ‘Right Hand Column’. Blocks are managed in the Site Building > Blocks
settings page. You can also specify certain blocks to appear for specific users only.
Regions are areas within the webpage that are defined within your website’s theme
where block content can be placed. Common ‘regions’ are ‘Left Menu’, ‘Right
Column’, ‘Header’ and ‘Footer’.

Cron (short for chronograph) is a command scheduler that executes commands or
scripts (groups of commands) automatically at specified time/date intervals. Drupal
uses a 'cron job' to perform periodic tasks that help Drupal to run smoothly and
Drupal modules are blocks of code, installed within your content management
system, that perform specific functions within your website. Core modules within
Drupal include ‘Search’, ‘Taxonomy’ and ‘Users’. There are thousands of additional
modules that perform specific tasks such as E-commerce, Statistics, Image
Galleries and so forth.
Modules add functionality to your site. The core installation of Drupal includes a
selection of modules which are known as
core modules.
There are several key
core modules that you should consider enabling on any Drupal website include
‘Upload’ for uploading files, ‘Path’ (see below), ‘Search’ for enabling the site search
and ‘Menu’ for setting up and using menus on your site.
Within Drupal the path is the last part of the web page’s URL. For example you may
create a page with the node number 7.
The URL would be
(if clean URLS are turned
on) or
(is clean URLS are NOT
turned on)
You can customise the URL of your website pages by using the URL drop down
when editing a node. You can add a friendly name to your URL, such as ‘aboutus’
then your node 7 would become
Views is a Drupal module that allows you to setup specific pages of collections of
content to display to your users. For example you might set up a ‘Latest News’ view
that shows all of the nodes added to the ‘News’ Taxonomy Term. Using views you
could organise them by date, newest first, set how many nodes you want to show
on the page at one time (such as 10 per page, with a paging function below) and
Using your Drupal Website
even what fields from the content are shown. You might show the node’s title, a
piece of teaser text and a link to ‘Read more’ which would take the user from the
view to the specific news node to read the full content. Views is a very flexible
module that can be used to setup many different types of content display, such as
calendars and image galleries.
WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get. The WYSIWYG editor in
your Drupal website allows you to edit content on your page and apply web site
styles (such as Bold text, font colour and bulleted lists) without needing to add
HTML code. You use a familiar word processor styled icon interface to edit the
appearance of your website content.
Google Analytics
Google analytics is a free web service provided by Google that can provide visitor
statistics about your website. An easy way to integrate it with your Drupal website is
via the Google analytics module. Using this module you simply need to enter the
reference number provided by Google for your domain into the settings page on
your website and from then on Google will start collecting visitor data about your
For more information on Google Analytics go to:

OK, let’s get started and
Log IN
This guide is written presuming you have administrator, or at least, content editor
access to your website. In Drupal you can always get to the user log in page by
going to the URL:
Figure 0
If you have a user log in block also on your website you can log in from there, this is
no different, both lead to the same place and will log you in to the website.
So enter the username and password you have been provided with. Once you are
logged in your will see content and options that are specific to your user role. If you
are the website administrator you can now go to:
This will show you the main Drupal admin. What you see will depend on your
access permissions. If you are the main site administrator you will see all the
options that are available to you (see figure 1).
Using your Drupal Website
Figure 1
The display of the admin options will differ depending on your administration theme,
but the common functions and naming will remain the same.
Admin menu bar
A useful Drupal module is the ‘Admin Menu Bar’. This adds a black drop down
menu to the top of your website once you are logged in as admin. This is a very
good way of moving around the administration areas of your website (figure 2).
Figure 2
Drupal gives you the option of editing content directly in the front end of your
website, using the same theme as what is displayed to the end user, OR by using a
separate Administration theme. Depending on the style of your website there are
benefits to both. For this guide we will use the administration theme ‘slate’ as the
example admin theme (figure 3).

Figure 3
Using your Drupal Website
Creating Content
Now that you are logged in we can get started creating content. From the black
admin menu bar, or from the administration options choose:
Content > Create Content > Page
There might be other types of content available for you to create, such as images,
stories, events, bookings, news and so forth, depending on what has been set up
within your site. The process is much the same for each, but on this occasion we
are creating a standard website ‘page’ (figure 4).
Figure 4
You now have a form in front of you where you can start directly adding your
content. First you need to give your page a title and add the body ‘content’ of the
page. In Figure 4 you can see that the body section of the page has a WYSIWYG
editor to allow you to style your content.

Menu Settings
Within this form is a section called ‘Menu Settings’. This allows you to create a
menu link from one of your site’s menus (such as a main menu bar) directly to this
page as you create it.
Figure 5
The menu link title is the wording that will appear in the menu to your users. The
‘Parent item’ allows you to specific where in your menu structure (and which menu,
if you have multiple menus set up) your link will appear. The weight allows you to set
where in the menu order the link will appear. The lower the number (weight) the
sooner is appears. For example if you had menu links with the following weights
(weight in brackets)...
Homepage (5)
About us (1)
Contact us (3)
Services (7)
... the menu order would display as:
About us, Contact us, Homepage, Services
Using your Drupal Website
Meta Data
Meta data is used by search engines to help understand your website and rank it
accordingly to people searching for content. Meta data is an additional module that
can be added (called Nodewords at the time of writing) that will put this hidden
content into your web pages for the benefit of search engines. If you have the meta
data module installed you can add in here information to help optimise your site.
(Figure 6)
Figure 6
Search engine optimisation is too big a topic to cover in depth here, but this is an
efficient way of adding meta data to specific pages on your website.

Authoring Information
Figure 7
The authoring information section of the form allows you to modify the username
and date that the node is created. If you do not alter this it will use your username
(that you have logged in as) and today’s date. You only need to change this if you
want to assign the node to a different user or to post, or pre date the node.
Using your Drupal Website
Publishing Information
Figure 8
The Publishing Information section allows you to control a few settings regarding
the display of your content. If the ‘Published’ box is ticked then the node will be
viewable to your website users, if it is unticked then it remains as a draft, only
viewable by you as administrator.
‘Promote to front page’ will display this node on your homepage IF you have a
dynamic homepage that display multiple node content. If you have a STATIC, or
custom built front page then this might not have any effect.
‘Sticky at top of lists’ tick box gives this node extra weight, like a featured item, so
that if it appears in a date based list it could remain at the top of the list even if there
were newer pieces of content available.
URL path settings
Figure 9
The URL Path settings section allows you to override the default URL of the page
(such as node/7) with a string of your choice (such as ‘aboutus’). If you have the
‘Pathauto’ module installed a tick box called ‘Automatic alias’ will create a user
friendly URL for your page based on the page title.

File attachments
Figure 10
If your web site content allows files to be attached to content then this section will
allow you to browse for a file and upload it to the page. Files attached to a node will
appear as a list by default below the body content of your node.
Comment settings
Figure 11
If your content type allows users to leave comments on your nodes then the
‘Comment Settings’ section will appear on your form. Here you can override the
default settings for the content in order to disable comments, allow people to read
comments but no longer leave comments, or allow users to both leave and read
comments on the node.
Once you have finished editing your content you can click
‘Save’ to finish and save your content into your website
Using your Drupal Website
Managing your content
Once you have created content you have a few ways of editing it and managing it.
When viewing a node logged in as administrator you will see an edit button
available to you to edit the page. Depending on your website template the edit
button may appear by the title of the page OR in the black admin menu bar (figure
Figure 12
By clicking the edit button you are taken directly back to the editing form to edit the
content of the page.
If you need to browse your website’s content you can use the administration
interface to view all of your website’s content. By using your admin menu bar and
going to Content > Edit > List (or
) you are presented with a page that lists all of your website
content with a set of filters that allow you to filter down your content list (Figure 13).
By using the filters you can display a list of all content of a specific content type
(such as all images, or events).
Figure 13

Custom Content Types
Default Drupal content types include Page and Story. Other content types such as
Image and Event are created when associated modules are installed. There is also
a module called CCK (Content Construction Kit) that allows you to create bespoke
content types for your website. Custom content types can be used to create content
that needs specific fields, such as image uploads, drop down lists, dates, videos
and so forth.
Custom content types are created using the default Drupal options, of node TITLE,
Body, Author name etc... and CUSTOM FIELDS. You can add different fields to your
content type such as Date fields, Image uploads or references to other content
types and uses. Custom content types are used to create bespoke pages on
websites, such as Events, Locations, Bookings etc...
The WYSIWYG Editor
Figure 14
The ‘What you see is what you get’ editor is a user friendly interface for styling
content on your website nodes. The icons at the top of the editor allow you to style
your content using familiar word processor images, such as text alignment, link
icons and drop down options to style text.
Using your Drupal Website
Managing Taxonomy Vocabularies and Terms
The category structure within your website is managed by means of taxonomy
vocabularies and their terms. You can view a list of all vocabularies (figure 15)
Figure 15
... and then a list of terms in a particular vocabulary (figure 16).
Figure 16
To add a new term to a vocabulary click on ‘add terms’ next to the vocabulary
name. Give your term a name and a description.

Managing Users and Roles
Your website might have just a few users, used to allow access to your site for
editors and contributors only, or it could have hundreds or thousands of users if
your website is a community site or allows user creation for booking or buying
online. To manage your users in the admin interface you need to go to
People >
Users > List.
Here you can see a list of all the users registered on your website, with
most recent users showing first (Figure 17).
Figure 17
In this table you can see the username, whether they are an active or blocked user,
when they registered (or were created) and when they last accessed the site. The
Edit link allows you to edit that user’s settings, such as changing their password or
what roles are assigned to the user.
Using your Drupal Website
Roles & Permissions
User roles allow you to create a set of permissions that can be given to users by
means of assigning them to a role. For example, you might want to create a user
role where people can create blog posts on the site, but not edit or change anything
else on the website. For this you would create a new role, give it a name (such as
“Blog Writer’) then from within the
People > Permissions
(figure 18) page you would
give the new role access to Create Blog Content, but not create or edit other
Figure 18
The User permissions structure in Drupal is very, very flexible, but as a result
contains a lot of options that can be a bit daunting at first glance. The key is to
approach it one step at a time, first understand the roles and permissions that are
already set up to do certain things, such as ‘Leave Comments’ then as you become
more confident about the user permissions you can create new roles and test them
on test users within your system to see what a normal user with your new role can
see and do.

Views and Blocks
Views and blocks are 2 key modules for delivering dynamic content to your end
user. Blocks are used to place chunks of content (such as menus, forms, logos
etc..) into regions within your site template - such as displaying a menu block in a
menu bar region at the top of your website.
Views are used to create dynamic pages that are made up of multiple nodes on
your website. A basic example of a view would be a ‘latest news’ list. This view
would take all nodes of the type ‘news’ (if a content type was created specifically for
news content) and be set up to display the most recent X (maybe 10 or 20) nodes
by date order, most recent first.
Views are a very powerful tool within your Drupal website. To see all views that are
setup on your system go to Structure > Views (Figure 19)
Figure 19
To edit a view click on the edit button next to that view in the list. You are then
presented with a long list of settings and functions (figure 20) that make up the
dynamic view page (and/or block - yes, views can be displayed in a block as well as
a page on their own).
Using your Drupal Website
Figure 20
Basic settings of a view
Below is a short explanation of the core basic settings for a view on your Drupal
Here you can give your view a unique name
This is the title that is shown on the page or block for this view
Here you can set the style of the view, such as displaying the view as a list, a
table and a grid.
Row style
: Here you can display nodes in the view as fields, or as the whole node
Ajax allows you to load content in without refreshing the page, so if you
have a pager (too many nodes to list on one page) you can use Ajax to page
through these nodes without refreshing the page every time
Use pager:
The pager can be on or off in full or as a mini pager. These show
numbers and next/previous links below your content if there are too many items to
show on one page (as per the items to display below)
Items to display:
This number defines how many nodes to show per page in the
view. If set to 0 it will be unlimited and show ALL nodes that match the criteria of the
More link:
If selected to “yes’ a more link will show if there are more nodes that
match the criteria than can be shown
This will add a level of filtering to try and ensure duplicates are not shown

in the view
You can restrict the access to this view by role or permission
This turns caching on/off for this view
Exposed form in block:
If set, any exposed widgets will not appear with this view.
Instead, a block will be made available to the Drupal block administration system,
and the exposed form will appear there.
Here you can manually add text to appear at the top of your view, before
the view results
Here you can manually add text to appear at the bottom of your view, after
the view results.
Empty text:
Here you can set what text is to display if there are no results to show
in the view
CSS class:
Here you can define a specific CSS class to be applied to the view.
This is for designers and developers only.
The theme information provides info for designers and developers
concerning this view.
Using your Drupal Website
A common way of adding customisable forms to your website is by installing and
using the ‘Webforms’ module. This creates a specific content type for Webforms
and allows you to create your own forms and define what fields will appear in those
forms, who the forms get sent to and so forth. All submissions of webforms via the
website are then emailed to a recipient and also stored in the database to be
viewed at any time by the website administrator.
To create a new form go to:
Content > Create Content > Webform
You then add the basic form information as you would with any node, such as title,
authoring info, description and so forth, but you also have a selection of bespoke
settings unique to webforms, such as who the form is to be emailed to and what the
email subject will be.
Figure 21 - Basic webform settings

Once you have added the basic form settings you can then add/edit your webform
components. These are the fields that are to be displayed on the form, such as First
Name, Last Name, Company, Message and Email address.
Figure 22 - Example webform components
Form components usually take the form of text fields, text areas (multiple line text
fields), email fields, radio buttons or checkboxes and select lists. With these
elements you can easily construct dynamic forms for collecting data from your
website users.
Using your Drupal Website
Viewing webform submissions
As an administration you might be the person that receives the webform
submissions in your mailbox. If you want to see all submissions for a webform on
the site (you can access them because they are all stored in the database) you
simply need to navigate to the form page on your website, and providing you are
still logged in as admin you will see a new set of options next to the ‘Edit’ and ‘View’
buttons at the top of the page.
Firstly there is ‘Results’. This takes you to a page where all the webform
submissions are listed. Then there are other ways of displaying this data, in table
format, an analysis or a CSV download (which you can open in a spreadsheet
application like Microsoft Excel).
Figure 23 - form options in the admin menu bar
Figure 24 - Example form submission results list

Understanding Browser Differences
It’s important to remember that websites are a fluid medium and will display
differently, sometimes in minor ways, sometimes in major ways, from browser to
browser and from system to system. Differences in screen size, resolution, browser
type, plugins, operating systems and toolbars all have a big effect on the way your
website appears to the end user. So how you view it on your screen might not be
exactly the same as how someone else is viewing your website.
Embrace the fact that a website can flex with the platform and browser your users
are using, don’t be scared of it or treat it like a book that is to appear the same to
everyone who sees it.
Figure 25 - Browser Usage Statistics
Using your Drupal Website
Further Reading
There is lots of reference material available for Drupal, although the majority of it is
targeted towards developers and designers. Here is a list of recommended sites
and books for further information:
Online end user guide -
Drupal Online Handbook -
Drupal Video guides -
Drupal School -
- Drupal 6 Themes: Create new themes for your Drupal 6 site with clean layout and
powerful CSS styling
Beginners Guide to Drupal -
Drupal Dojo -
- Pro Drupal Development, Second Edition
- Front End Drupal: Designing, Theming, Scripting
- Learning Drupal 6 Module Development: A practical tutorial for creating your first
Drupal 6 modules with PHP