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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.
The easiest way to get interesting information on your site is, well, to get someone else to create it. Fortunately, that's pretty easy in the modern web world. If you find a blog or other collection of content you like, chances are you can subscribe to it through what's called an RSS feed. This video shows you how to take those feeds and put them on your site. The way that's done in Drupal is through the Aggregator module. To get there, click on the Modules button at the top, and then you actually have to turn on the module by clicking in this check box here.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and save configuration. So we've prepared our Drupal Gardens site to receive that RSS information. Now, we have to go out and find some to include. Then I'll open a new tab and search in Google for "California RSS," and I'll choose this second one right here. This actually went to a page which collects all kinds of California information, in this case travel information within California. I look around for something that looks this.
This is the RSS icon. When I click it, it gives me the page in a format that Drupal Gardens can understand--what's called an RSS feed. Now from here, I'll copy the URL and then go back to my site. Now I have to get that into my Drupal Gardens site. The way you do that is under Configuration and Feed aggregator, which is down here under Web Services. There are two kinds of things that you can add to the Feed aggregator: a category and a feed. I'm going to start with feeds, and then later we'll categorize things that are coming in from our feeds.
To add a feed, you either click this link here or this one down here; they both do the same thing. For the title, I'll call this "California news from Feedzilla," which is the name of the site I got it from. I'll then paste in the URL that I grabbed from that other site, and the other things I'll just leave alone for now, and click Save. Great! It's been added. Now you'll notice it comes back and asks if you want to add another feed, which we won't do right now. Now let's see what items were actually in that feed.
To do so, click List. But what you'll notice is no items have been brought in yet. In order to update it, you either have to wait for the update interval to happen or update them manually. To see what that update interval is, I'm going to go in and take a look at the settings for that feed. So we would have to wait for an entire hour to see it; instead, I'm going to go back and manually update it by clicking update items over here. Very good! We have 20 new items from that feed.
In order to see those items, it's very easy: we just click on this link. And these are all those news items, all of them having to do with California travel news. Now one thing to notice is although you brought this information into your site, no new nodes were created. If you click on any of these titles, it actually takes you to the external site that has the information, like so. I'll just go back to our site. So we found a feed of information, and we've added it to our site.
Well, what exactly can we do with it? We now have a page that shows items from that feed, and if you want to, you could create a simple link up here in the main menu or something that goes to this page. You'll learn how to do that in the videos about menus. There is another way that you can use this feed, however: by adding it into a block. We'll talk a lot more about blocks later in the course, but I'll very quickly show you how to use that. To do that, go up to Structure and down to Blocks. Now when you create a feed, it also creates a block, which you can place in different areas on the page.
I'll scroll down to the bottom to see our inactive blocks, down here under Disabled, and there is the one we just got: California news from Feedzilla feed latest items. I'm going to move that up higher in the page. Now I happen to know where all of these regions are, and you'll learn more about where they are when you see the videos about blocks. I'm just going to put this one into the right-hand sidebar, known as Sidebar B, scroll down, and save. Now when I go to my front page, scroll down, and there are some of those news items.
It's a great way to bring information into your site, and again, I didn't have to write any of this. All I had to do is find the feed and bring it in. One other thing that happens when you bring a block into the page is it adds this More link. That's another way to see that page that we saw earlier. Now at the top, you'll notice a couple of tabs that you as the administrator can see, but that other people can't. The first one is the Configure tab, which gives you an opportunity to change some of the feed information that you entered when you created the feed. The other one is the Categorize tab, which I'll talk about in the next video.
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