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Author Tom Geller demonstrates how to create and publish a complete web site with the powerful tools in Acquia's hosted service, Drupal Gardens. The course shows how to leverage the pre-built page layouts and add custom styling using the ThemeBuilder tool; integrate rich site features, such as surveys, user ratings, and media galleries; and push content to Twitter and Facebook. The course also covers transitioning from a Drupal Gardens site to a self-hosted Drupal site. Exercise files are included with the course.
You might remember back in the Getting Started with Drupal Gardens video that we could choose from among several site templates which varied in which functions they included, but the thing is you only see those template choices when you first set up a site. So I'll show you how to turn those functions on and off after your site is up and running. First, let's start by taking another look at those templates. I am going to create a new site by going up to My sites and then Create a new site. We won't actually make this site. I just want to show you sort of what it does.
And I'll call this explorercalifornia6, yup. We could we can do that. Click on Continue, and that brings us to the Template page, which again you remember from earlier. Now on this page you can turn on individual pages and blocks and see exactly what they do by hovering your cursor over them, or you could turn on and off features. Now we've talked about what pages and blocks are. You already know how to create those. Features are what are called modules in Drupal, and in order to turn those on and off after you've installed your site, you have to go to the Modules page.
I just get out of this and go back to my sites, by clicking My sites and explorecalifornia.drupalgardens and then go up to the Modules button up here. As you can see when you scroll through this page, there are a lot of modules to choose from, way more than we could go into individually in this course. Some of them are part of core Drupal-- that is, the basic version of Drupal you get downloaded from drupal.org. Somewhere written by individuals for the community's benefit, and these are called contributed modules, and some were created by Acquia specifically for Drupal Gardens.
Some modules, by the way, are hidden from view. You don't see them on the screen. You learn how to do that in the video about exporting your sites. You can learn more about those core modules for my course Drupal Essential Training. All those core modules are listed up here in the top in this group CORE. We can hide that group by just clicking on this link. I mention that some of these modules are contributed, meaning that they were written by individuals and then contributed to the community for their use. The directory for those is at drupal.org/project/modules.
For example, let's go back to our site. As we scroll down, I see something called AddThis. Now I happen to know that that's a contributed module, so we could search for that on drupal.org, AddThis, and there it is, AddThis button. Now unlike core Drupal, you can't actually install modules that you find this way, but you can go there if you want to get more documentation about the feature, and you don't find enough information on Drupal Gardens' own help resources. Be sure to watch the video in this course about getting help to understand more about what these resources are.
Also, when we go back to the Modules page, sometimes we'll see a little Help link next to a contributed module. Clicking that will give you a little bit more information. Anyway, let's go back and talk a little bit more about turning features on and off. The mechanism is really pretty simple. To turn something off, you would simply uncheck its check box here, scroll down to the bottom, and click Save Configuration. But there's something really big to watch out for. When you turn off a feature and your site already has content that depends on that feature, turning it off might take some of that content with it, or at least it will take off temporarily.
One example is in that rotate banner module, which we discussed earlier in the course. But then if we were to turn off this rotating banner module, that banner would actually just disappear from the site. Now it's still in the site's database, so when we turn on that module again, it'll probably show up again. But be careful about that because it might not show up, or it might show up with some problems after you turn off the module. The last thing I want to mention is the Uninstall tab. It's a holdover from regular Drupal, where you can add your own modules.
Since you can't do that in Drupal Gardens, I recommend that you leave it alone. You generally can't do anything with it, and if you can do something--such as here to remove this feature-- it's usually not a good idea. So it's obvious why you would want to add features after installation, but why would you want to turn them off? Usually it's to clear up clutter on the site and to make it more streamlined, but before checking that box to disable the module entirely, I recommend you take a good look at the Modules configuration options. There are couples of places you can find those. One of them is on the Module page itself, where if you look next to the module you'll sometimes see these Configure Links here.
Clicking those will take you to controls that will let you turn things on and off. Another place you might find them is under the Configuration screen up here. For example, let's take a look at the AddThis module, which I mentioned earlier. Instead of disabling the entire module, I want to just take off the display on node pages and then save configuration. That's one way to turn off part of a future without entirely disabling the module. That's generally a better solution, and it's less likely to have consequences that you're not expecting.
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