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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 have been staring at our site's front page since we installed it from the Campaign template about a dozen videos ago, so I am sure you noticed this big giant area right at the top of the page. This is called a rotating banner, and it's a great way to highlight several parts of your site in a single space with a lot of visual impact. Now originally, when the site was installed it rotated between headline 1 and headline 2 every few seconds. I changed that earlier, so it wouldn't be so distracting. Now we are going to add our own rotating banner back in, with our own graphics and text.
A rotating banner is simply a block, and you can place it in any block region, as I showed you in the video about using blocks. To get there, we will go up to Structure and Blocks. Right now, that banner is in an area called Banner. I'm going to take the one that's there right now and hide it by moving it from Banner into None, then going down and saving. Now, when we go back to our front page, as you can see, after the page reloads, it's gone. Okay, now let's go back and create our own. Click Structure and Blocks.
Here near the top of the screen you see Add Block and Add a Rotating Banner. Of course, I will choose the Rotating Banner and give it a title. We will call this "Front page banner." This isn't shown to anybody who visits the site; it's only for administrative purposes. Then click Create. I am now going to add a few graphics to this banner. These images are from the exercise files for this course, which you should have if you are a premium member lynda.com or received this course on a disc. I have them here on my desktop.
First, I will click Add a new slide to this banner, and then Choose banner image, and then navigate to where you have the files. I have them on the desktop in my exercise files here. I'll add this first one, beach_houses, and click Upload. There you have it. Now, you'll notice that with each graphic you have an option to put in several pieces of text, headline and text, down here. You could type it in here if you want, or if you go further down the page, I actually find it easier to type into these text areas.
Now when I go back to my Desktop, I have some text already put together for this. So I'm going to just copy and paste that. I will make the headline, "Beach houses on the coast," and I think I just won't put in any text; I will have only a headline for these. Now when I do that, I'll scroll back up, and I can see what it looks like. It looks pretty good to me. So then I will click Save. I will continue doing this with the other three graphics that I have, and I will just do this very quickly.
Choose a banner image, Browse > golden _gate > upload, go back, get my text. Again, you can click up here if you prefer, but it's a little bit harder to get a hold of the text that you have there, as you can see. So I will just continue using the text area like this. Scroll down and Save. Just two more to go. Choose the banner image > Browse > ventura.
Now while it's uploading, you can go back and grab your text. You don't have to wait for it to finish to go to a different program. Paste it in, remove the text, save and almost done. One more. And there we go. We now actually have our rotating banner completely done, and we could leave it exactly as it is.
But remember, it's in a block, and it won't show up anywhere on the page until we'll put that block into a block region. I am going to do that right now on the page here, or of course, you could go back to the Block Administration page. I am going to that back into the area we had before, which is Banner, and scroll down and save. Let's go to our front page and see what that looks like. Give it a moment to redraw, and there it is. Now with these rotating banners, you could just wait for a while for it to change from graphic to graphic, as it does there, or the user can click on these buttons and move them manually.
Now, there are more options that you have with this banner. Let's go back to our Banner Setting page and see what they are. To do so, you could go back to Structure and Blocks and then click Configure next to the block itself, or the faster way is just to click on this little widget here to configure block, and you are back at it. Now once you have these images in, you could go back and edit them if you like, to change the text, for example. Or you could change some certain other things, such as where the text appears on the graphic. Let's say, for example, we didn't like it up here.
We thought it should be better over on the right. Just change it top-right, scroll down, and save. Now when we go back to our front page, we will see the result. Notice that it doesn't affect any of the other graphics. It only affects that one, and that's actually quite useful. For example, on this Ventura one, we can see it's not quite as easy to read, so let's go back in and change it. Once again, we go there, and Top right.
So that's how you can change individual graphics, but you can actually make other changes as well to the entire rotating banner, by scrolling down and clicking on this Banner Settings link. That exposes a lot more options. I use graphics that were pretty well prepared for this use, although there has been a bit of cropping. If your graphics vary in size, Drupal Gardens can make them look kind of odd. So you're best off making them all consistent in an image-processing program such as Photoshop. If you don't know how to do that already, of course, check out any of lynda.com's many Photoshop courses, such as "Photoshop Essential Training." But if you're not able to do that for whatever reason, you do have these two options here, which will either shrink the banner to fit the page or will make the banner the same size and change the area that the banner is shown in.
You can also change what kind of transition is happening. Let's try a Fade instead, for example. And you can change the length of time between transitions. I am going to make this much faster I think it's a little bit too sleepy. Finally, you can change what kind of control moves between the slides. I will change that the Numbers. Or if you prefer, make it no control, which will force people to wait the two seconds. Scroll down to the bottom just to see those changes, close out our overlay, give it a moment to redraw, and there we are.
You see the numbers here, and you see that it's switching much more quickly. Now that you have seen how to do this, I am actually going to hide this banner block for now. We are going to be working on a site's design a lot in later videos, and we will bring this banner back when we ready. So once again, we can go up to Structure and Blocks--or of course, we could've clicked on that widget--go down to the Banner area and hide it again by moving it to None. Then Scroll down and click Save. It really is a nice effect though, isn't it? As I mentioned earlier, you can do it in any block region.
So don't feel that you have to stick with the site design. It's a kind of an effect where a little goes a long way, so do be judicious in its use. Too much, and your site gets a little confusing. That's a kind of circus-like feel, with too much going on all at once. But I think it is right for our site, since the way we are using it shows off the variety and spectacle of California while enticing people to click and learn more.
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