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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.
Until about 12 years ago, you had to go directly to a web site to get information from it, but the movement widely known as Web 2.0 encouraged more interactivity among sites so that now, for example, you can read someone's diary post on livejournal.com without leaving facebook.com. In fact, you can read a lot of the same content in an e-mail reader or on your mobile phone. The main thing that makes this happen is called RSS, which is short for Really Simple Syndication. I swear I'm not making that up. That's really what it stands for.
I won't go into the detail of how it works or how to read information through RSS. For that just search the lynda.com site for videos about RSS. The important thing for us is that Drupal Gardens publishes your content as RSS feeds. This video shows you how it does that. First, let's talk about how Drupal Gardens publishes your information. In short, anywhere on your site whether is a collection of nodes, for example here on the front page, Drupal Gardens automatically publishes it as a feed, and I'll show you that by clicking on the little RSS icon up here in the front page.
Click and there it is; that's the RSS format. If you wanted to subscribe to this in another web site or in a mail program or through LiveJournal or another web site that reads RSS feeds, you just copy this and paste it into the appropriate place. Now on that front page, the RSS icon is for everything that's been promoted to the front page. For example, if I go down here and take a look at our tours, and let's say I'm move this Big Sur Retreat to the front page-- I'll go up and edit it, scroll down, and publish it to the front page, save it-- then when we go back to the front page, you'll see that it's also included with the other two nodes. And when we look at our RSS feed, it's there as well, along with a photo that comes with it.
I'm going to just go back and remove that from the front page, by clicking Edit, scroll down again, publish and un-promote. There we go. Another place where you'll find an RSS feed is in each forum. I'll click on Forum to go to all of our forums, and let's just say this General discussion forum, when I click there, you'll notice that it brings up an RSS icon up here. Click that and you see the posts that are in it. That brings us to the question, are you actually giving away all of your stuff when you provide your content through an RSS feed? Don't worry about it.
You have a lot of control over how much goes out this way through three different methods, and I'll show you each one of them. The first method affects every RSS feed on your site. To get there, we'll go back to our site and then click Configuration and scroll down to RSS publishing. It's under Web Services. You'll notice that you have a choice of how many items to include in each feed, and also how much of each individual item to include. I'm going to change that from Full text to Titles only and save it, and then I'll go back to our front page and see what that looks like.
Back at our front page and look at the RSS feed. Now you see it's just the titles. So if someone were to subscribe to this, they would have to click through on the title in order to see what the story was about. I'm just going to go back and change it back. Configuration, scroll down to RSS publishing, and change it again to Full text, Save configuration. The second method of control affects all nodes of a specific content type. We can look at this best by going to our front page, where we'll see a list of nodes of varying content types.
We'll go to our front page, and here we see a basic page and a news item both as part of this feed. Let's say that we only want for the full text of the news items to come through on our feed, but not those things that are part of our basic page. What we would do is go up to Structure and edit the content type by clicking on the Content types link. Then to our Basic page and manage display. Now we talked a little bit about this when we were putting fields into content types earlier on in the course, but we skipped over this bit here, Custom Display Settings.
I'll open it up now, and we can change what's displayed in the RSS feed by clicking on this check box and saying save. Now we have another little button up here that says RSS. We click there, and we can decide whether we want to show the body or not. By default, incidentally when you add that custom display, it's hidden. So I'm just going to leave it that way and say save. Then go back to our front page, and let's take a look at our RSS feed now.
Before, this "Explore our world your way,"-- and remember that was a basic page-- showed the whole node. Now, it just shows the title, so again, you can withhold certain information by content type. The third method to control RSS feeds works only on simple views, and you learned about those in the video about simple views earlier on in this course. We created one, you might remember, called New Tours, and we put that in a block down here. It also shows up on a page, which you will see if you go to New Tours.
Once again, we're looking at a view which collects all nodes of the Tour content type, and we can see our RSS feed by clicking right here. And we see the full nodes, as we would expect. But what if we don't show any kind of RSS feed? Well, we can do that by editing the simple view. Click Structure, scroll down to Simple views and click, and then we're going to edit our Newest tours by clicking edit next to it. There is a check box here that lets you add an RSS feed or take it away, and that's exactly what we're going to do.
Now by default Drupal includes an RSS feed with every simple view, so if you don't want them to go out, make sure you uncheck this, and then click Submit. Now, when we go back to that page, we see the RSS feed icon has disappeared. So there's the three methods of taking away RSS feeds or controlling what goes out into them. It doesn't matter which one you choose, as long as you're conscious of how much you're sending out there. Remember, whatever you publish via RSS other people will republish on their sites, and they're allowed to.
You're saying that you want them to do that. If you don't want that, cut it off. On the other hand, you could increase how much you're publishing, which is good for a promotional site like ours where you probably want people to republish your content and draw them to look at your tours and other information about California. By the way, Drupal Gardens also lets you display other sites' RSS feeds for free. And if you want to learn about that, watch the video about subscribing to RSS feeds.
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