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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.
As easy as Drupal Gardens is, sometimes you'll run into problems. There are essentially four ways to get help. The first is in Drupal Gardens itself, the second through Drupal Gardens documentation, the third in Drupal Gardens forums where people talk to each other directly, and finally, elsewhere on the Internet. This video tours each of these four venues briefly. First, let's talk about how to get help from within Drupal Gardens itself. I'm already logged in as explorecalifornia. I'll go to My sites, and then I click on the site I created.
Once there, I'm just going to go to any administrative page, let's say Modules right up here. As you scroll down this page, you see a list of all of the different features that are turned on in this site, and next to many of them, you see this link, Help. If we click on that, we get more information about that specific feature of Drupal Gardens. These context-sensitive Help links are part of Drupal 7 generally, not just Drupal Gardens. And normally, there is a link next to this Reports link up here that reads Help.
Acquia has taken that link away, but you can still get to it by going to /admin/help. What you do is you go to the end of your URL here at explorecalifornia.drupalgardens.com/ admin/help, and there is a directory of all of those help pages. The second way to get help from Drupal Gardens is from Drupal Gardens' documentation. You can get all of it when you're logged in and most of it when you're not logged in. Here is what it looks like when you're logged in. You go to this Help link at the top of the screen, and you see this menu of different ways that you can get help.
There is a lot of stuff here. The Getting started guide is a great one when you're just starting to set up a site. There are also videos, some very short videos showing you how to do specific things, and then there are these other areas, which I'll talk about a little bit more later. To show you what this page looks like when you're not logged into Drupal Gardens, I'm going to switch to another browser that I've set up, Google Chrome. And here you notice it doesn't have the Help link up here at the top. But if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there is this Help link down here, which gives you a lot of the same information.
It does, however, lack a few things that you can only get when logged in, the most important of which is the Forums. And speaking of those forums, let's just take a quick look at what's there. Down here, you see quite a few Support areas, and you could also see how many posts there are in each one of them, and how long ago they have been tended. And as you can see, this one was tended just a second ago, this one about 25 minutes ago. The people at Drupal Gardens really do watch these, and they help out a lot. So let's go into How to questions, just click on any one, and you can see.
It's quite an active conversation. Finally, there are several places where you can get general Drupal help online. Now, because this is Drupal Gardens and not core Drupal, not everything they suggest is going to be relevant, but some of it will. To get there, go to drupal.org and then click on Community & Support. Down here, there are a lot of ways of getting help. There are, of course, forums on the drupal.org site, very much like the Drupal Gardens site.
There is also a way to chat live and get help that way. If you'd like more information about this, see my Drupal Essential Training course. In short, there is really a lot of help out there for Drupal Gardens. Partly that's because it was designed to help people with no previous web-building experience at all, get their site up and online quickly. Acquia managed to do that in two ways. First, they made the software simpler, but they also streamlined the Help documentation quite a bit and their forums are, to be quite honest, a lot easier to navigate than those on the drupal.org site.
Drupal Gardens other users, in my experience, have been very quick to help out, and where they can't, Acquia's own staff will jump in and help you out.
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