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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.
When you host a Drupal site yourself, you find yourself constantly checking on it. You need to make sure all the modules are up to date, the changes on the server haven't created new problems, and on and on and on. With Drupal Gardens though, nearly all of these worries are taken from you. You still have to check for spam and abuse, and that people aren't signing up that you don't want to sign up, but those are people problems. Solving machine problems isn't your responsibility. Nonetheless Drupal Gardens does give you a few tools, so you can keep an eye on things, if you decide you want to.
Here are some of those tools. You'll find all of them up underneath this Reports link. The first one is Status report. When you host your own Drupal site, you find yourself checking this constantly, but the truth is, in Drupal Gardens there is not much you can do if you find a problem here. And you almost never do find a problem here because they run the system very well on the Acquia side. So we'll just go on to the next one. Recent log messages tells you all of the unusual activity that's been happening on your site. It doesn't tell you, for example, when somebody accessed a certain page; that's a little bit more detail than you need. But it does tell you if, for example, somebody was trying to get into a page they shouldn't have, such as here, someone was trying to change the permissions, some anonymous user.
You can cut down on the number of messages that you see here by clicking this Filter Log Messages, and let's just take a look at the alerts, for example. Filter, Ah! Good, there were no alerts that we had to worry about. But we could also see, for example, what the Aggregator has being doing. Go ahead and click Aggregator. I removed the alert by Ctrl+ Clicking on it. Filter. Good! It tells us that our Aggregator is picking up information regularly as it should. To reset that filter, just click the Reset button right there.
The next report is the Field list. This is sort of an unusual one. You might remember that when we are creating content types you could add various fields to content types, and then you could share those fields among content types. The body, for example, is found in every content type. Whereas the one we created for Tour, field_length, is only found there. This Field list is useful, especially if you go in and try to create a field, and are warned that you can't do that because the field name already exists.
Sometimes if you've been working on a big site, you've created dozens and dozens of fields, and you won't remember where you put them. Well, this screen will tell you. Continuing on, we have Mollom statistics. Now you've learned about Mollom in the video about slowing spam. Our site, however, isn't a live site. We are not actually interacting with the public, so there is not much to see here. But if you are interacting with the public and people are trying to post spam to your site, you'll see this graph that shows you exactly how many people tried to post and weren't able to, as well as the ones who were successful.
That way you get a sense of what percentage of attempts are true and which are spam. The next two, access denied and page not found errors, tells you if people who are trying to get to pages that either they shouldn't get to, or that they should be able to get to but they just aren't there. If, for example, you created a page called Big Sur Tour, but you accidentally link to it from somewhere else under a different URL, well, they will get a page not found error, and you can find that out by just clicking on this link here, taking a look and saying, I see, there should be a page there or there's an incorrect link or something like that.
The last of the reports is the Top search phrases. This gives you an idea of what people are looking for on your site when they type something into that Search box. It's a good marketing tool because let's say you find that hundreds of people are searching for restaurants, but you don't have any information on your site about restaurants. Well, that tells you that you should, and that's the end of the reports on Drupal Gardens. As I said, there is really not that much to monitor on a Drupal Gardens' site. But really that's good. Because you don't have to worry about these technical details, you're free to create content and attend to users and do all of the other things that make a good site great.
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