Drupal Documentation

Topics
  1. Brief Description of Drupal
  2. Logging In as Admin
  3. Adding Themes
  4. Adding Modules
  5. Configuring the Site
  6. Adding Menus
  7. Adding Blocks
  8. The Taxonomy Module
  9. The Polling Module
  10. The Article Module
  11. Adding a New Content
Note:
This documentation applies to the drupal test site. There are still broken links.

Brief Description of Drupal

Drupal is an open source content management system written in PHP. Like many modern CMSs, Drupal allows the system administrator to create and organize content, customize the presentation, automate administrative tasks, and manage site visitors and contributors.

Although Drupal does offer a sophisticated programming interface, basic web site installation and administration can be accomplished with no programming.

Drupal runs in many environments, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris 10, OpenSolaris and any platform that supports either the Apache (version 1.3+), or IIS (version IIS5+) Web server and the PHP language (version 4.3.3+). Drupal requires a database such as MySQL or PostgreSQL to store content and settings.

Basically, Drupal was used so that it would be easier to create, update, and manage the content of the website. You can get track of the articles that are written on the site.

Back to top

Logging In as Admin

Simply go to http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/drupal-5.8/user/ and enter your username and password in the appropriate fields. The admin has the privilege to completely manage the whole site including menus, blocks found on the sidebar, and managing the users. Basically, the administrator has complete control over the website.

Back to top

Adding Themes

Aeon5 is a theme that can be found on Drupal's official website. As what is being described in its project page, Aeon5 is a simple, minimalistic, fixed width 2 column theme. It supports a left sidebar only. Aeon5 was used for the reason that it was the theme closest to the layout of SHM. You can download the theme from http://drupal.org/project/Aeon5. That link contains the file that has the original images and layout of the theme. The theme that is being used in SHM has different images. You can get our modified Aeon5 theme on this link.

To install this theme, simply extract the compressed file and upload the folder to the themes directory of Drupal which is /themes/. To ensure that you have installed the theme, go to the administrator page which is http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/drupal-5.8/admin/ (you should be logged in to open this link). Click on the Administer link (located at the left side) and another menu will appear. Now click on Site building, then again another menu will appear. Click on Themes. If you find our theme (Aeon5) there, that simply means that we have successfully installed our theme. Now, check the checkbox in the label Aeon5 to enable this theme and click the radio button to make it the default theme. Next, click configure, go to Aeon5 and make sure that only Primary Links and Secondary Links are checked in Toggle Display. This is to ensure that we have our menus.

Back to top

Adding Modules

One module that is considered significant and needs to be installed is nodewords. Since we would like each page to be search engine friendly, nodewords allows each page to have its meta tags (i.e. description and keywords). To download this module, go to http://drupal.org/project/nodewords.

Similar to installing a theme, you only need to extract the compressed file and upload the folder to the modules directory of Drupal which is /modules/. To check if we have successfully installed the module, go to http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/drupal-5.8/admin/build/modules. Once again, you need to be logged in to access this page. At the bottom of page, if you are able to locate the module named Meta Tags in the Other section, it simlpy means that we have successfully installed. Just check the checkbox to enable the module.

The modules that are needed for SHM are:

Back to top

Configuring the Site

A good feature of Drupal that we consider useful is that it includes a complete control of managing the site. Once again, since we're going to need the site to be search engine friendly, let's try to configure the URL settings. We usually don't consider URLs such as /node/1 or /?=admin as, let's say, user or search engine friendly. So we're going to change that. If you would like to use the normal URL addresses, go to http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/drupal-5.8/admin/settings/clean-urls. You should always keep in mind that in configuring Drupal, you need to be logged in as administrator. Proceeding to Clean URLs, this feature of Drupal changes URLs such as "http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/?q=admin" to http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/admin/. This way, URLs make more sense.

Next thing we need to configure is how Drupal displays the post. When you create a content, Drupal trims down the content to 600 characters (w/c is the default) and displays a link labelled "Read more". To remove this, simply go http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/drupal-5.8/admin/content/node-settings and change the Length of Trimmed Posts to unlimited. This way, Drupal won't cut down the contents you have created.

Back to top

Adding Menus

There are three types of menus in Drupal as you can see it here. We're going to give focus on the Primary Links which is located at the top section of our pages (below the header). If you would like to add a menu in this section, go to the Primary Links section and click Add Item. In the title field, enter the name of the menu e.g. Home and the path e.g. http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/. If you would a menu's path to go the index page of drupal, simply put <front>. The Description field isn't really that significant. If all is done, just click on Submit. You will then see in the navigation section the menus you have added.

The Weight was somehow confusing to me. Although, this is how I understood it. For example, you added a menu Article first. Then after that, you added a menu Home. The Article menu would be located before Home which isn't what we want it to be. To fix that, change the Weight of the Home menu to to a negative value. That way, Home would go before Articles.

Back to top

Adding Blocks

Blocks are the ones that are manually added to the site e.g. ads, newsletters, etc. Let's say we would like to add some ads in our site, go to http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/drupal-5.8/admin/build/block. You'll be able to see the blocks that were already added by drupal. To add our own, click on the Add block link and supply the fields required. You can either choose on how drupal would handle the block body by clicking on Input format and selecting the format of your choice. I guess Drupal has its description on each option. After all is done, you can now click on the Save block button.

The Taxonomy Module

The Taxonomy module is a module that is pre-installed in Drupal. This module allows the admin to categorize the contents of the website. All you need to do is to activate this module (I'm quite sure you know already how to do this). For example, we can have Department as one category. To make this a category, go to the administer link (I assume, you can now navigate through Drupal easily) and then click on Add vocabulary. You will then be directed on another page wherein you can supply the necessary data. Enter in the Vocabulary name (keep in mind that fields with starts (*) require inputs) and Description fields the appropriate data e.g. Department and a description. In Types, just choose Page. Then click on the submit button. You'll be directed back to the Categories page where you'll be able to see the vocabulary you've just created.

Next would be adding the terms. Now that you're in the Categories page, click on the add terms. Based on my own understanding, a term is considered as a sub-category e.g. Aging belongs to the Department category. Enter in the Term name and Description field the appropriate data. After submitting the term, you'll then be able to see that term listed in the, let's say, "Department" category.

Now, that you're quite familiar with the Taxonomy module, you can easily categorize and manage the contents of the website.

Back to top

The Polling Module

Another module that is pre-installed in Drupal is the basic Polling module. It allows users to vote on a certian topic posted by an admin or another user that has the privilege to create a poll. The polling module is not enable by default in Drupal so once again, you're going to need to activate it. It was discussed in the previous topic (Adding Modules) how to activate a module.

Now if we want to allow all visitors to vote, we need to do some configurations in Drupal. Go to the Administer page again and you'll be able to find there a link labeled Access Control. Once you click on that link, find in the page the label poll module. You'll see there the options that will allow an anonymous and aunthenticated user. So, if you would like to allow an anonymous user to vote, simply check the checkbox labeled vote on polls on the anonymous user column.

Next thing to do is to create a poll. Let's say we would like to create a poll for favorite author. Go to Create content and click on Poll. Provide the necessary data in the fields. Options are also provided below e.g. Input format. By default, Drupal promotes the poll to front page. If you would not want this to happend, change it in the Publishing options. Click on the Submit button when all is done.

If you would like to edit the poll, go to Administer then click on content. You'll be able to see there the poll you have created. And if you would like to put the poll in the sidebar, you could add it as a block. When you go to Blocks, you'll find there Most recent poll. Just change the region to left sidebar.

The Article Module

The Article module is a module that can be downloaded from Drupal's official website. It creates a page that contains a heirarchy of the contents. This module works with the Taxonomy module. For example, you have the Aging term in the Department category. The Article module would create a page that lists Aging in the index page. And when you click on the Aging link, it would list the contents that were marked as Aging.

Back to top

Adding Content

In adding a content, go to this http://selfhelpmagazine.com/drupal-5.8/admin and click on the "Create Content" link. You will then be directed to another page which lets you select what content you would like to create. You'll be able to find there the link page (this is how we're going to add articles and such). Simply click on the link. Let's say we would like to create an article. Fill in the Title and body field. Now select which department would this article be by clicking on the dropdown button with the label Department. Again, choose on which format you would like Drupal to handle the body. Let's say Full HTML because we would usually be inserting HTML Tags in our body. In the Teaser or Summary, just enter a "by <author>" text e.g. by Emily Carton, LISW. Now click on the label Meta Tags (probably by now you would know how Drupal would provide options). Enter in the Description and Keywords field the appropriate data And finally, in the URL Path Settings, enter what URL would this page be e.g. aging-drinking-rehab. When you're finish, simply click the Submit button. Drupal will then show you how the page would look like. As you can see in the page that Drupal has directed you, there are links at the top of the content, View and Edit. Just ignore those links since they won't be displayed once you're logged out, they are for easy navigation.

Back to top