Drupal For Dummies
With Drupal, you can create robust websites with blogs, forums, e-commerce, image libraries, RSS feeds, and more. Drupal.org and other websites give you opportunities to download free modules and themes to extend the features and customize the look and feel of your Drupal website. Get to know the Drupal Dashboard and various menus that are critical to helping you build a great website.
Touring the Drupal Dashboard
All Drupal site-building, maintenance, content management, and user management is controlled through the Drupal Dashboard menu bar's administration menus. You can also monitor your Drupal site through status reports accessible through the Reports menu. Here's an overview of the main menu options:
Home icon: This takes you to a view of the live site, while leaving the administration menu visible across the top of the page.
Dashboard menu bar: Think of this as an administrator's home page. You can configure this page to give you a custom view of the latest activities on the site.
Content: Here's where you add and manage existing content on the site. This form allows you to search, move, publish, unpublish, and delete content by type or status.
Structure: This menu contains options to control the way your Drupal site is arranged and structured.
Appearance: This form lets you install and manage the themes your site uses.
People: All user management options are available on this form. Find, add, delete, block users, and manage user roles.
Modules: Opens a form that lets you add, delete, enable, and configure modules.
Configuration: This menu contains links to configure all the customizable features of your Drupal site. There are many!
Reports: Configure, fine-tune, and view information about your site with the report links offered on this menu.
Help: This is a built-in set of help pages to assist you in building and maintaining your site.
The Drupal Content Menu
Drupal's Content menu allows you to create and manage content. To quickly create new Drupal content, log in to your Drupal site as the administrator and click the Add Content link. To manage your Drupal site's content, click Content on the Dashboard menu bar. The options are
Add Content: This is another way to open the Add Content form to create content.
Show Only Items Where: This section contains two filters to help you find content posted on your site. You can choose to filter by status (for example, published content or promoted content) or by type (for example, article).
Update Options: When you've found the content you're looking for, select the check box next to the item and choose an option from this list to change its status or delete it. You can update multiple items of content at the same time by selecting multiple check boxes.
Content tab: View, edit, and delete all content on your Drupal site.
Comments tab: List, moderate, and edit comments on your Drupal site.
The Drupal Structure Menu
The options under the Drupal Structure menu help you manage everything involved in controlling the way your Drupal site looks. To access the Drupal Structure menu, log in as administrator and choose Structure. The options are
Blocks: Manage the content that appears in the major regions, or blocks of your Drupal site.
Content Types: Configure which kind of content pages can be created, as well as what kind of information they may store and how that information is displayed.
Menus: Control location and links of the major Drupal site menus.
Triggers: Define rules for when actions should happen.
Content Types: Manage the settings for each type of content.
Forums: Create and manage forums.
The Drupal People Settings
The Drupal People page enables you to manage your Drupal site's users and their privileges. To access the Drupal People page, log in to your Drupal site as the administrator and choose People. The options are
Permissions link (on Permissions tab): Control exactly what features users can use and see on your Drupal site.
Roles link (on Permissions tab): Add, edit, or delete access roles.
Users: Add, edit, and delete Drupal site user accounts.
The Drupal Configuration Menu
Drupal allows you to configure basic site settings through the Configuration menu, which is a very large set of menus. Basic Drupal site configuration settings, such as date formats, image preferences, and your Drupal site name and e-mail address are accessible from this menu. Log in as administrator and click Configuration. The options are
Account Settings: Manage user settings such as requirements for Drupal site registration and ability to upload images.
IP Address Blocking: Manage which IP addresses can or can't access your site.
Text Formats: Controls which HTML or other code is permitted in posted content.
File System: Set the directory location for uploaded files.
Image Styles: Drupal lets you resize and adjust uploaded images.
Image Toolkit: Choose which image toolkit to use if you have installed optional toolkits.
Search Settings: Control how your site is indexed and how search results are ranked on the results page.
URL Aliases: Create alternative URLs for specific pages on your website.
Clean URLs: Create simpler URLs for pages on your website.
Regional Settings: Settings for your website's time zone.
Date and Time: Controls how the date and time are displayed.
Site Information: Basic site information, such as your website's name and administrator e-mail address, are set here.
Actions: View actions available on your site and create advanced actions.
Cron: Specifies how often your site checks for updates or performs other time-sensitive periodic tasks.
Shortcuts: Controls which set of shortcuts appear on the Shortcuts tab of the admin account page.
Logging and Errors: Manages how errors are handled and reported.
Maintenance Mode: If you need to work on the Drupal site, you can use this option to take the site offline and prevent users from logging in until you finish.
RSS Publishing: Settings that control how the RSS feed from your site is displayed.
Feed Aggregator: This form lets you add and categorize third-party feeds for display on your site.
The Drupal Reports Menu
Drupal offers a number of reports about the status of your Drupal site, errors, and updates for modules. To view these reports, log in to your Drupal site as the administrator and browse to Reports menu. The options are
Status Report: Creates a status report about your Drupal site's overall status and operation.
Available Updates: Reports any available updates for your installed modules and themes.
Recent Log Messages: Reports any events that have recently been logged.
Field List: Get a list of all information fields configured on your site, used to extend the information available in things like content pages, comments and user accounts.
Top 'Access Denied' Errors: Shows you Access Denied errors (403 errors), which result when unauthorized users try to see a protected page.
Top 'Page Not Found' Errors: View Page Not Found errors (404 errors), which occur when a URL is not found on your Drupal site.
Top Search Phrases: Shows you the most popular words and phrases searched on your site.