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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.
They say that listening is more important than speaking, and that's why we have two ears but only one mouth. The thing is, people don't say much directly on the web. They just come to your site, look at a few things, and then leave silently. But even if they are not saying anything directly, you can still listen indirectly. You do that through a web site analysis system. Drupal Gardens integrates well with Google Analytics, the most popular such system. You first have to sign up for it though, which you do it google.com/analytics.
Through Google Analytics you won't be able to watch someone as they move through your site or discover their e-mail address and pester them afterwards. What you get instead is what's called aggregated information. So you might find out, for example, that we get more visitors from Mexico than from Japan. We then know that we would get a better return producing translations in Spanish than Japanese: very useful information, although again not for specific people-- only aggregated groups of people who visit your site. First, you have to add your site's domain to your Google Analytics account.
Once you have logged in to Google Analytics, the procedure is fairly simple. I have already signed up and logged in to my account. I will add a new web site profile by clicking down here, Add Website Profile. Down here you type in the URL that you would like to track; in our case that's simply explorecalifornia. drupalgardens.com, and then click Finish. Now we are going to have to come back and copy this code right here next to Web Property ID, so leave this page up.
But right now, I am going to go back to our site and turn on the Google Analytics module, which is turned off by default. To do that go to Modules and then scroll down to the Google Analytics Module. It's fairly far down under Statistics. Turn it on and Save configuration. Now that it's turned on we have to take that code that we got from Google Analytics and put it into our Drupal Gardens site. To do that, go up to Configuration and scroll down to Google Analytics.
Now you will notice we now have this error message up here. This is actually just telling us that we haven't added our information into Google Analytics. If you click on the status report link, you will see that; as we scroll down see Google Analytics Module, and in fact you can get directly to the Settings page here as well. Now this is where we paste in that Property ID. I will go back and copy it and then go back to Google Analytics in our site and paste it and scroll down and Save configuration.
Once we have done that, we can go back to our Google Analytics page, scroll down to the bottom, and click Save and Finish. Now you see a warning here that we can't yet see that explorecalifornia.drupalgardens.com report. Don't worry about it. It takes a little while for this to be set up between Google Analytics and your site, but after a few hours you will start to notice some activity. The last thing I want to mention is about some of the options that you have back on our site. So let's go back there and take a look down through here.
There are actually quite a few options. You can have Google Analytics only look at certain roles--that is, what certain users do, see exactly what all the bloggers are doing, what pages they tent to go to, for example--only have Google Analytics watch certain pages, or you could have it track downloads from your site. I won't go into all of these details, but if you want to learn some more about it, there are several courses on lynda.com that will help you: One of them is "SEO, Search Engine Optimization Getting Started"; another is "Google Analytics Essential Training"; and finally, "Google Website Optimizer Essential Training." All of these will help you to get more information out of your site though Google Analytics.
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