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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.
We are still looking at our site as we first launched it, with just a few tweaks that we did in the video about configuring the site. There is still a lot of sample content. Now it's a time to get rid of all that and replace it with some of our own stuff. Along the way, I'll show you, also, how to add raw HTML code and put images into the content, and also how to make page summaries. Now we won't have time to look at all the different ways you can affect content in Drupal Gardens. I'll just show you the most important parts. But remember, Drupal Garden is built on Drupal, and this is one area that's almost exactly the same between the two.
So if you want to learn more, just watch relevant selections from my lynda.com course, "Drupal Essential Training." First, let's go to a page that will be seeing a lot of once you get your site going, the Content page. To get there, just go up here, and click Content. Each line on this page is an individual piece of content, known as a node in Drupal jargon. Nodes are defined by their content type, which you see here in this column. We'll talk a more about content types in the video about content types, but for now, those don't matter. You will manage them all pretty much the same way, no matter what the content type is.
Also in each line of this page is the author of that particular node, and if you click on that, you'll go that user's profile, whether or not the node is published, when it was last updated, and links to directly edit or delete the node. Although a particular node might appear in different ways throughout the site, they all have a basic form, which you can see by clicking on their names. I'll show you the node This is a sample article, which is a News item type. Once we are there, we can click on Edit to actually change what's in that node.
There are few different things to see here. The Title and Body are common to all nodes. Some of them also have Tags, which you might know from, for example, WordPress and other web sites. We'll talk more about tags later on in this course. Part of the Body field is this little pop-up which tells you the different text formats that are available. Safe HTML prevents other people from changing the node in a way that could be damaging to your site. You could, however, allow for more HTML tags by changing it to Full HTML or forbid all HTML tags by changing it to Plain text.
Down at the bottom of the page, we have what are called vertical tabs. Clicking on each one of these brings up a different set of controls. We will talk about these other tabs later on in the course, but for right now, I am just going to look at Publishing options, which is, generally speaking, the most important one. Here you can change whether or not a node is published--that is, whether it shows up on the site to anybody except for administrators. You can also make it either promoted to the front page, or remove it from the front page. Finally, you can make it sticky at top of lists.
Now I know that doesn't make much sense for right now, but I'll give you an example of what that actually means. I'll do that by closing out this content- creation form and go into our front page. As we scroll down, we see this article here, This is a sample article. Now that's the one we were just editing. If we click to go back there and edit it again, we see that its both promoted to the front page and published, but it's not sticky at top of lists. If there had been multiple nodes there and this one was the only one sticky at the top of lists, it wouldn't matter how recent those other nodes were.
This one would always show up at the top. I am going to close out this overlay because I want to show you one other thing about nodes, particularly that shows up when they are collected on a page with other nodes--for example, on the front page, or on the News or Blog pages. As I bring my cursor down over this news item, you'll notice this little widget pop up. That's a direct access widget, which lets you either edit or delete the node directly from that page. It's very handy. But let's get back to the Content page and start removing some of that extra stuff we don't want.
I am going to remove everything from this site except for that About us page that we changed a little bit earlier in this course. To do so, I am going to select everything by checking this box, and then unselect that one. As you can guess, you can select these individually or unselect them. I'll then go up to Unpublish selected content. I just want to mention something: you have the options both to unpublish and delete content. Unless you are certain that you absolutely don't want that content back, I recommend you always unpublish.
All that that does is it removes it from everybody else's view, but then if you want to bring it back later, you can. I'll then click Update, and it's done. You'll notice that this status has been changed to "not published" for all that we had checked earlier. Now if go to the front page, scroll down a little bit, we see that no front page content has been created yet. So let's go ahead and do that. I have created some text that you will find in your exercise files, which you received if you are a premium member of lynda.com or received this course on a disc.
I have them right here on my Desktop, so I'll open up exercise files and createcontent, and then frontpage. I am going to copy all of this text and then return to my site. Click Add new content. You can either do that here, or more commonly, you'll do that up here in the shortcut bar. Now I am going to make that a basic page. These are all different content types, again, which we will describe later on in the course. But for now, we just want a basic page. I'll paste in the information that I copied.
I'll put the title up here in the Title field, get rid of the little extra cruft here, scroll down to the bottom, and remember, we want it on the front page, so under Publishing options, it's go Promoted to front page, and Save. Now when we go back to our front page, scroll down a bit, there it is. We now have a homepage. I am going to create one more, just to show you a few features we didn't want to put on the homepage--which in Drupal, by the way, is called the front page. I'll do it on another page, which we will called mission.
The text is from the example file called mission.text, and I am also going to add a graphic, which is mission.jpeg. Again, I go up to Add content and Basic page. I go back to my sample files, open up mission, copy it, and paste it, get rid of the extra bits here, put the title up here.
We could publish this just the way it is, but I want to add that graphic, so I am going to click down here and click Add media. I will navigate back to that graphic file that I have, go up to the Desktop, go to Exercise Files, createcontent, and mission, and Upload. You then have a few options such as what the description should be, and how large you would like that graphic to be. I just change the Description, "Beautiful California beaches," and submit, and there is our graphic.
I will put a little bit of space between the text and the graphic, and here, of course, you could style this however you like. We could add a little bit of italicization. All of this works very much like a word-processing program. You can bold the things, and so on. The last thing I am going to do is I am going to change one of these vertical tab's setting so that we have menu link that goes directly to this. We will do that in the menu setting tab and click Provide a menu link. The main menu item is just going to be called Mission, and the Description will be "What makes us different," and that goes into the Main menu.
Then I'll just go down and save. Now, when we go around our site, you'll notice we have this extra button up here, Mission. Click on it, and it takes us directly to that page. You'll learn more about menus in the video about understanding menus. Now what I just showed you here only took a minute, but it's actually quite a big deal in core Drupal. Drupal Gardens, it's easy; core Drupal, it's hard. That's one more way that Drupal Gardens is easier then core Drupal. I want to go just a little bit further. What if you know HMTL and wanted to do that's not possible using the style text editor? Well, that's not so hard.
We'll click Edit and change from WYSIWYG to HTML. Here, you can make any sorts of HTML changes you like. When you do so, however, you may need to change this from Safe HTML to Full HTML if you find that it's not showing up the way that you want. There is one other thing I want to show you which will save you from a lot of heartbreak. Down here this Revision information, right now when you change a node, you are not saving any old copies of the node, but you can, by simply clicking Revision information and Create new revision, and say "Added a bit of text" or any other sort of description that you would like to add.
Then when you say Save, you can now revert to an old version if that's what you want to do. You see this Revisions tab right here. When you click it, you can go back to the old version before you made the change. There is one last thing that I want to mention, and that's summaries. To do that, I am going to go back to our Content page, and let's just republish a blog post, let's say the sample blog post. I am going to mess with this blog post a little bit, and then I'll unpublished it again. So first, I will publish it and then go back in and edit it.
Now you'll notice at the beginning we have this Edit summary. In order to demonstrate that, I am first going to take this text, and I am going to copy it and paste it a whole bunch of times. Now, if we were to promote this to the front page, as I'll do down here, we really don't want to have that much information showing up on the front page, even though it's important information to have perhaps elsewhere in the site. As we scroll down, we see, this is the beginning of it. Drupal knows to show only a little bit of the text, but you can control how much of that text actually shows.
Let's say we only want to have this first sentence showing. Let's go back and edit it, and we will edit the summary, and then only select that first sentence, like so, copy it, bring it up, and paste. Scroll down and again I make a revision and say "Changed summary," and Save. Now when we go back to our front page, we see it only shows that first paragraph. Once again, I am just going to go in and unpublish that again because we don't really need that garbage stuff on our site. Unpublish and Update.
There. You have just learned an often a lot about creating and managing content in one video. Now that you know all this stuff, you could actually stop the series and just go ahead and create your site. You could fill your site with all of your pictures and text that you need. In fact, we are getting pretty close to the limits of simple competing CMSes like WordPress, but if your aims are more ambitious, keep watching; there is lot that Drupal Gardens can do.
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