Drupal Website Administrative Overview - dummies

Drupal Website Administrative Overview

By Lynn Beighley, Seamus Bellamy

After installing Drupal you can browse to your new website. Your default website home page will needs lot of administrative work. Begin by logging in with the administrative username and password.


Note that a menu bar appears at the top of your browser window.


This menu bar contains the following links:

  • Dashboard: New for Drupal 7, the Dashboard provides Drupal site administrators with an at-a-glance information interface for everything that is going on with their site. You can see if new people have registered with your site, review new posts, forum entries, and see how many people are currently visiting your site.

    At this point in the life of your site, the Dashboard looks pretty vacant. This will change as you populate your site with content and visitors begin to, well, visit. As with most Drupal features, the Dashboard is highly customizable.

  • Content: As the name suggests, clicking this link will open a pane that details all the content present on your site, no matter whether that content is published or unpublished.

  • Structure: When logged in as an administrator, the Structure link will allow you to change the layout and ordering of your site. This is done by manipulating Blocks, Content types, Menus, and Taxonomy.

  • Appearance: With the Appearance tab, you can review the various themes that come preinstalled with the Drupal web application. From here, an administrator can enable or disable themes and even install new ones.

  • People: Once opened, the People pane will allow you to peruse, edit, and set the permissions of the user accounts associated with your Drupal site.

  • Modules: The Modules pane allows administrators to manage all of the modules contained within the Drupal application. The Modules pane also allows administrators to install new modules, and uninstall any they feel don’t add value to their websites.

  • Configuration: Clicking this link gives site administrators access to a wide variety of options including the ability to automate site maintenance tasks, web services, regional settings customizing the site’s information, the number of posts allowed per page, and how the Drupal installation handles media files such as photos and video.

  • Reports: From here, you can brush up on site information, check for available updates for your Drupal installation and its various modules, or consult a recent event log and a number of error logs to ensure that you’re always aware of any hiccups visitors to your site may be encountering.

  • Help: Best. Feature. Ever. If you’re ever stumped on how to proceed with your Drupal site, design, maintenance, or even just some of the jargon used in the application, the Help pane will see you sorted out in short order.

    Covering a wide variety of topics and even offering links to additional free help located around the World Wide Web, the Help pane is indispensable. (But since you bought our book, you won’t need to use it all that often, right? Right.)

  • Log out: This does exactly what you think it does — logs you out. Make sure to log out if you plan on leaving your computer unattended in a public place for any length of time. All users see this link.