Drupal – Site Administration

In previous tutorial, we have installed Drupal in our workstation with the help of Acquia Dev Desktop environment. From this tutorial we will dig dipper into the Drupal. To learn about Drupal well, we need to get know about its user interface and need to learn the site administration of Drupal.

Drupal Icon

Understanding Key Terms in Drupal
Before start digging, we need to learn some key terms of Drupal. So, lets be it –
Core: Core is the Drupal you downloaded from drupal.org
Module: It is a piece of software, which extends Drupal. We can install these modules individually with Drupal core.
Theme: The theme, what define the way your site look. In Drupal it is called appearance.
Content type: It is a template for your content that you have on your site. There are two content types you will get in Drupal, Article and Basic page. But you can create as many types as you want.
Fields: Fields are the pieces of information inside content types. Perhaps, you have a content type called customer. You also may have fields like address and phone number with your content type.
Nodes: The pieces of content you create, is called node. In other way, every content is called node.
Views: Views are often used multiple nodes in one place.
Taxonomy: It relates to how you categories contents using vocabularies and terms.
Aggregator: Aggregator is a Drupal tool to collect news feeds from outside of your Drupal site.

Drupal Super User Page
So now, run Acquia Dev Desktop from your workstation and click on Go to my site link. Before click, make sure you have selected drupalworld from your dropdown list. It will go to the home page with your browser. Now, logged in with your username and password, what you gave at the time of installation. For me, it is –
Username: shahjalal
Password: drupal

Now, you will get the following screen –

Drupal User Interface

  1. Toolbar
  2. Shortcut bar
  3. Node or content
  4. Block

Here is the detail description of these tools –

  1. Toolbar: This is the top most bar you will see which is called toolbar. Toolbar contains home button and some other tools option like Dashboard, Content, Structure, Appearance, People, Modules, Configurations, Reports and Help. And the right side you will get a greetings and logout options. The number of tools option may differ if you are not the super user or admin of the page. You may control the accessibility of these options in user basis. Here is the short description –

    Dashboard: This is the place where you can keep your most used customizable options.
    Drupal Dashboard

    Content: Content contains the options to add content in your page. Through content an admin can manage all the contents and comments in his site.
    Drupal content

    Structure: Structure is used to configure the physical structure of the site, like Blocks, Content types, Menus, Taxonomy etc.

    Drupal structure

    Appearance: This is the place where you can change the look-and-feel of your site. We can do that by Drupal themes. We can also update and change settings of used themes from here.
    Drupal Appearance

    People: People is the place where you can manage your registered visitors, authors, editors etc. You can change their permissions as well.
    Drupal people

    Modules: Through modules tool, you can install, update and uninstall even configure your modules.
    Drupal Modules

    Configurations: Configurations is the place where you can change the behavior of your site. Even you can change the internal configuration like, Automatic site maintenance task, file system configuration, enhance performance etc.
    Drupal configuration

    Reports: Reports tool works for giving site information to the administrator. Through this tool, you can configure Status report, access denied errors (403s), page not found’ errors (404s) etc.
    Drupal reports

    Help: Help is the official documentation of your Drupal core. You can read all the detail about Drupal components like Block, Field SQL storage, RDF etc.
    Drupal Help

  2. Shortcut bar: The bar under the toolbar is called shortcut bar. This bar is fully customizable. You can add as many items as needed. Usually, we add only those items, which we use most frequently. With default installation, we get only “Add content” and “Find content”.

    If you click on the Add content, it will open the content types you have. With default installation, it only has Article and Basic page content types. But, it is possible to add more content types as you needed.

    Find content is the place where you can manage your contents and comments. Even you can filter through those.

  3. Node or content: Nodes are the contents of your site. It manages the creation, editing, deletion, settings, and display of the main site content.
  4. Block: Block allows you to create boxes of content, which are rendered into an area, or region, of one or more pages of a website. You can create blocks as per your needed.

Let’s Do Something Useful
We already have enough knowledge to work with something useful. Rest of the Drupal we will learn by doing. Let’s make a plan for our first site. Excited!!! Hmm… Me too.

Minion logo

Let’s imagine we have one battalion of Minions. These Minions can help people. People can contact with us to get our Minions.

So for our site, we have following requirements –

  1. Our site should be responsive
  2. Menu options – Home, About, Contact
  3. In the home page all the new work of Minions will come
  4. About page will contain information of service
  5. Contact page contains a contact form to contact with us

Requirement 1: Responsive Theme
We need to download a responsive theme for our site. So, go to https://drupal.org/project/corporateclean and download 7.x version of this theme. Keep it anywhere you like. Now go to Drupal toolbar, Appearance>Install new theme>Choose File, below Upload a module or theme archive to install. Locate your downloaded theme. Then click Install to install it. Now go to Appearance again. Click Enable and set default under CorporateClean theme. Click Settings under CorporateClean 7.x-2.2 (default theme) title. Change the fields as follows, only –

Select Color set – Custom

Header top – #ffffff
Header bottom – #ffffff
Content top – #ffffff
Content bottom – #ffffff
Block background – #ffffff

Under TOGGLE DISPLAY – Uncheck – Site slogan

Under LOGO IMAGE SETTINGSUse the default logo – uncheck

Click Upload logo image– and locate your logo

Under FRONT PAGE SLIDESHOW – uncheck – Show slideshow and Include slideshow javascript code

Click Save configuration button.

As in our site, we will have only contact form but no search or login option will be available, we need to change the structure of our site.

Click Structure>Block

Under First sidebar set every item to none. Then scroll down and click Save blocks.

Now question is how can the administrator will login his site? Sounds crazy, right!!! Solution is easy. Go to the following link, you will get everything –

http://drupalworld:8082/user

If you are not logged in, you will get login form or a registration form. Happy now?

Requirement 2: Menu option – Home
We have prepared our site by now. We have to add some content. So, click on Add content from shortcut bar. Click Article. And write –

Title: Bananaaaa
Tags: Bananaaaa Minion
Body: Minions ipsum aaaaaah bananaaaa bappleees. Belloo! bee do bee do bee do bappleees ti aamoo! Gelatooo hahaha chasy bananaaaa poulet tikka masala. Poopayee po kass tank yuuu! Jeje po kass uuuhhh po kass. La bodaaa daa la bodaaa hana dul sae tulaliloo bappleees butt daa tulaliloo poopayee tank yuuu! Pepete jiji uuuhhh me want bananaaa! Jiji po kass hahaha butt butt. Pepete potatoooo aaaaaah jeje chasy butt. Potatoooo wiiiii butt chasy po kass tulaliloo chasy poopayee tank yuuu! Jiji bee do bee do bee do. Tank yuuu! chasy tatata bala tu butt. Po kass me want bananaaa! Chasy hana dul sae hana dul sae bee do bee do bee do chasy wiiiii poopayee aaaaaah.

Image: Browse and Upload your image.

Click Comment settings tab. Choose Closed.
Now click Publishing options tab. Check Published and Promoted to front page
And, click Save. Now go to your home page. What you see? Taaadaaaa…

Requirement 3: In the home page all the new work of Minions will come
As you already completed Requirement 2, you can complete requirement 3 as well. Do the same what you have done in Requirement 2. Just make sure about Publishing options tab to check Published and Promoted to front page. You are all set.

Requirement 4: About page will contain information of service
Now we will create our menu links. By default we already have our Home menu link. We need to add two more. To do so, follow the sequence –

  1. Click on the Add content on shortcut bar.
  2. You will get two types of content. One is Article and other one is Basic page. All the menu items like Home, About and Contact will go to Basic page. Because they are individual page. Other normal content will be Article.
  3. So, click on Basic page and write
    Title: About us
    Body: We are the group of good Minions, want to help you. We have good record to help people. All the people around us love us. (or, any other text you like)
  4. Now scroll down, and in Menu settings tab, check Provide a menu link.
    Menu link title: About
    Description: About us
    Parent item:
    Weight: 1
    And click Save.

Do you see, something has changed! Cool, right!!!

Requirement 5: Contact page contains a contact form to contact with us
We have to create a contact form. To do so we need to enable a module, which is already installed. Go to Modules from the toolbar. You will see a number of modules under CORE. Find Contact, check it, scroll down and click Save configuration.

Contact Module

We need to change its permission to make it available for everyone. So, go to People on the toolbar and click Permissions tab. Under PERMISSION column find Contact. Check all three for Use the site-wide contact form. Scroll down and click Save permission.
Contact module permission

Our contact form is ready. Go to –

drupalworld:8082/contact

A form will appear. This form will be our contact form. Let’s make it visible for every body. Click on the Structure from toolbar. Click Menus. Click add link from Main menu.
Contact menu link

Write –
Menu link title: Contact
Path: contact
Description: Contact us
Parent link:
Weight: 2
Click Save. Now go to your home page. We are ready to go. What are you seeing? Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it wonderful?

Oh, I almost forgot, we need to change our site name. Right? So, click Configuration from toolbar. Under System category click Site information. Write-
Site name: Minions World

Here, you can change your email address, too. Remember, you will get all the emails from your customer through your contact form in this address. So, you may change it, if you like. Now, scroll down and click Save configuration.

After all of these works, we have got one beautiful, full responsive site. If you don’t believe try to change your browser size. See what happens–

Final pages

10 Drupal Must Have Modules
We know modules are pieces of software, which help us to serve our purpose. Because, we have already used one contact module for our site. There are lots-of-lots-of modules available to make our work easier for different purpose. Now, I will give you a comprehensive list of 10 modules, which are really important to know, if you want to work with Drupal. All of these modules can be downloaded from Drupal module download page.

  1. Administration menu: It will change the look your toolbar and very useful. You can download it from https://drupal.org/project/admin_menu.
  2. Views: If you ask me, what is Views? I will answer, Views is everything in Drupal. I can write a full tutorial with views. Try to use it. It is available on https://drupal.org/project/views.
  3. Chaos tool suite (ctools): This suite is primarily a set of APIs and tools to improve the developer experience. It also contains a module called the Page Manager whose job is to manage pages. It is also pre-required for many modules. Available from https://drupal.org/project/ctools.
  4. Token: Tokens are small bits of text that can be placed into larger documents via simple placeholders, like %site-name or [user]. The Token module provides a central API for modules to use these tokens, and expose their own token values. You can download if from https://drupal.org/project/token.
  5. Pathauto: The Pathauto module automatically generates URL/path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, taxonomy terms, users) without requiring the user to manually specify the path alias. This allows you to have URL aliases like /category/my-node-title instead of /node/123. Available from https://drupal.org/project/pathauto
  6. CKEditor – WYSIWYG HTML editor: This module will allow Drupal to replace textarea fields with the CKEditor – a visual HTML editor, sometimes called WYSIWYG editor. Very very useful. Download it from https://drupal.org/project/ckeditor
  7. IMCE: IMCE is an image/file uploader and browser that supports personal directories and quota. Available in https://drupal.org/project/imce
  8. Entity API: This module extends the entity API of Drupal core in order to provide a unified way to deal with entities and their properties. Additionally, it provides an entity CRUD controller, which helps simplifying the creation of new entity types. You can download it from https://drupal.org/project/entity
  9. Backup and Migrate: Back up and restore your Drupal MySQL database and files or migrate a site between environments. Backup and Migrate supports gzip, bzip and zip compression as well as automatic scheduled backups. Must have for site maintenance. It is available on https://drupal.org/project/backup_migrate
  10. Google Analytics: I think you know about Google Analytics. This module adds the Google Analytics web statistics tracking system to your website. You can download it from https://drupal.org/project/google_analytics

Conclusion
The list, I have given is the most useful modules. It may change depends on the type of work you want to do with Drupal. By now, can you realize you are becoming a Gru of Drupal!!!

Gru of Drupal

Happy Coding 🙂
Drupal – Site Administration

Hej, I’m from Bangladesh. Learning programming is one of the freaking decisions I have taken in my life. Because, it makes me and my life crazy. I have great weakness on open source technologies. Perhaps, that’s why I do not know any closed source language. I fall in love with programming, when I started my undergraduate in East West University. Till now, I can not live without it.
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