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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.
So, you've created your first site by following the video about getting started with Drupal Gardens. Now we are going to take a look at what exactly you have. The site includes some menu links at the top, some sample content so you have a sense of how it all fits together, and some dynamic areas such as these blocks showing comments and blog posts that are automatically created. For now, we'll leave all the sample content in place because it'll be useful for later demonstrations. But don't worry; we will get rid of it all soon.
If you're itching to just jump ahead and trash it all right away, watch the video about creating and managing content. What we see here right now though is the site's content as it appears when you create a site using the Campaign template, as we did. If you use the different template, you will see some very different options, but most of it is at least similar. One thing the Campaign template gives us is the seven links at the top of the page in what's called the Main Menu area. Only the About and Contact pages lead to static content.
The other five are dynamic. The Blog is automatically created as a collection of all of your blog posts, much like what you see in WordPress and other blogging sites. You will learn more about how to control these in the video about creating blogs. The News section is actually something called a view. You will learn about views in the video about creating dynamic pages using simple views. A view is essentially a collection of nodes that you've created, a node being an essential content unit in Drupal.
So here we have one node, sample article, First news item, and so forth as you go down the page. The next link is Forum. The Forum is a place for your sites' members to interact with each other. When we created this site, you had a choice of whether to include a forum or not, and you'll learn how to further configure it in the videos later on about starting discussion forums. The Contact link leads to this web form, which you'll learn how to control in the video about setting up Contact forms. Through this page, anybody visiting your site, if you give them permission, can send you e-mails.
Finally, we have Galleries, which you'll learn how to set up in a video about creating image in YouTube video galleries. Well, that takes care of the main menu. Let's take a quick survey of the rest of the other content on the site's front page. We go back there by clicking on the Home, and we actually see two different kinds of content. I used the word "node" earlier. That's the basic unit of content in Drupal. You can see a node in its natural form by clicking on its title. Now we see not only the node, but also an Edit link.
This is how you create content in Drupal, and again we'll talk about this more later on in the course. Going back to the front page, you will notice a different kind of content, which are these blocks on the side of the page. These are what is called dynamic content. You don't create them directly--that is, I didn't type in sample comment created one day and one hour ago; instead, I simply created the comment, or in this case Drupal Gardens created it, and this Comments block keeps track of what was last created. You'll learn more about those in the video about working with blocks.
But let's get back to nodes. I've showed you how to see a node and then edit it. You can see a list of all nodes on your site by clicking on this Content link up here, and that brings you to this page. This is all of the stuff that came with your site automatically. It's what I would call "junk content" that you later replace with your own stuff. Well, that pretty much tells you what you have. The next step is to start configuring it the way that you want it. The two most important videos in this respect are about configuring the site, which shows you how to give it your own name and basic design, and creating and managing content, which lets you un- publish or delete all of the sample text and then replace it with your own.
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