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Understanding menus

From: Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Video: Understanding menus

If you look at our site like a storefront, we're not quite ready to open yet. We stocked our inventory with text, graphics, videos and maps, but we still don't have any signage, so people don't know how to find anything. Adding some menus will make our site a lot more visitor-friendly and better showcase what we have. That's what this video is all about. When you first create your site on Drupal Gardens, there are already two menus on the page. There is this Main menu right here and the User menu right here. You can tell that they are menus by clicking on the little widget here.

Understanding menus

If you look at our site like a storefront, we're not quite ready to open yet. We stocked our inventory with text, graphics, videos and maps, but we still don't have any signage, so people don't know how to find anything. Adding some menus will make our site a lot more visitor-friendly and better showcase what we have. That's what this video is all about. When you first create your site on Drupal Gardens, there are already two menus on the page. There is this Main menu right here and the User menu right here. You can tell that they are menus by clicking on the little widget here.

In addition to Configure block, you also have Edit menu and List links, both of which are specific to menus. By contrast, if you go down to any other sort of block--this one is from a feed-- you get different options: Configure block, sometimes you'll get some other things like Edit view. So you can edit a specific menu by going up and using that contextual menu link, or you can edit all of them by going up to Structure and then clicking on Menus. Here we see all of the menus that come by default in Drupal Gardens.

Again, I mentioned Main menu and User menu, but there are also these two: Management and Navigation. Let's click on List links, just to see what's in those. The Management menu contains Dashboard, Content, Structure, and so on, and that might sound familiar to you, because it's actually what's in the toolbar up here at the top. The Management menu controls what shows up in the toolbar, but like every other menu, it also appears in a block. We could take a look at these menus by going to the Blocks Administration page. To do so, you go up to Structure and then Blocks, and we discussed this quite a bit in the video about working with blocks.

Now as we scroll down, we see the User menu is already in that Preheader second area. That's right. That's the one up here on the right. The Main menu is in the Navigation area and then down at the bottom, we have all of our disabled blocks, which include Management and Navigation. So if you wanted to, you could move all of these options into any block area on your page: the left column, the right column, the bottom of the page, and so on. But I do want to warn you: don't just move a block somewhere and walk away without checking it out.

Make sure that it works in the target region, because some blocks simply don't look right when you move them around. For example, you might end up with white text on a white background, which doesn't do anyone any good. But let's move on and actually start building our own menu. To do so, once again, you go up to Structure and Menus, and then up at the top, click Add menu. I am going to call this one "Explore California," and I don't think I need a description. Once again, that description only shows up on administrative pages. Then click Save.

Now we've created the menu, but there are no links in it yet. It also doesn't show up anywhere on the page, because it appears in a block, which hasn't been placed in a block region. Let's start adding some links by clicking Add link. I think the first one I'm going to create is actually an offsite link. I'll call it "State parks," and the path will be http://www.parks.ca.gov. I happen to know that that's the State parks' site. And for description, we'll say, "Information about state parks." Now that shows up when you hover your cursor over the link.

We'll ignore the rest of the settings for now and just click Save. Great! So we have one link so far. Just to show how that works, I am going to move that block into a block region, so we can keep an eye on the menu as we build it. To do so, go up to Structure and then Blocks, and then scroll all the way down to the Disabled blocks, because when you create a menu, the block that it creates remains disabled until you put it somewhere. And there is our Explore California block, which I'll just put in sidebar A.

Scroll down to the bottom, Save Blocks, and just to prove it's there, I'll close out that overlay. Once the screen redraws, we go down, and there it is, down at the bottom. And when we click on the link, of course we would then go to the external page. But let's go back and continue building our menu by clicking Structure and Menus. I'll just add a few more links by clicking Add link here next to the menu. Let's say, Related news.

The Path is going to be aggregator. We covered what the aggregator page is in the video earlier about subscribing your site to RSS feeds. Again, I don't really need a description, and I'll leave things as they are, and save. I am just going to create two more. Click Add link. It will be About us. The path is about-us, and save. And then one more, which is Our Mission, with the path, content/who-we-are.

Let's just have a description there. What makes us different? Now the reason that I did this is I want to show a little bit about the hierarchy. So we have these four links, and you might notice that Our Mission sort of fits underneath About Us. So I will actually pull it over, so it's subordinate to About us. You'll notice that as you drag these around, you can make them subordinate to each other, and in fact, you could have multiple levels like this. It takes a little bit of practice to figure out exactly how to make them fit underneath each other properly, but eventually you get it. And I will leave it just like that, so we have our three levels with one sublevel.

Scroll down and save configuration. Now, when we go back to our front page, wait for it to redraw--now when we scroll down, we can see our menu, and it shows that there's something underneath About us. In order to show what's underneath About Us, we're going to have to go back and edit that menu. I'll do that simply by clicking on this little widget here and Edit menu and List links. Now this About us menu is what has to change, because we need to expand it to show that Our Mission.

Click Edit, scroll down, and Show as expanded, then save. Now let's take another look at that page. Wait for it to redraw and scroll down. Now we see all of the links in there. There's something interesting about the way that this works as well. If you were to put this up into the Navigation region--that is, up where the Main menu is now, and you had this multilevel sort of menu with the top one expanded, it would show up as a dropdown menu. And in fact, you could have dropdown menus as much as nine levels.

The one thing you have to make sure you do is to expand each level to show the ones underneath it. The last thing that I'm going to do is I am going to hide that menu just to keep our site clean. Scroll down, go to that widget, and this time instead of editing the menu, I configure the block and then move it so that it's in no region and save. Now I have to admit that sometimes I'll build a big site with features I am very proud of and then forget to make them easy to access with menus. But it's really important that you give people easy and obvious ways to reach the parts of your site you most want them to see.

Then if you want to be really thorough about its usability, invite friends to browse the site while you watch over their shoulders, and adjust menu links according to their behavior.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal Gardens Essential Training
Drupal Gardens Essential Training

65 video lessons · 11911 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 29m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Previewing the finished project
      1m 29s
    3. What's new in the late 2011 update?
      5m 28s
    4. What is Drupal?
      5m 8s
    5. What is Drupal Gardens?
      5m 57s
    6. Getting started with Drupal Gardens
      5m 35s
    7. Getting help
      4m 1s
    8. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 17m 40s
    1. Using the administrative overlay
      2m 54s
    2. Using the dashboard, toolbar, and shortcut bar
      5m 36s
    3. Touring the newly created site
      3m 55s
    4. Configuring the site
      5m 15s
  3. 59m 47s
    1. Creating and managing content
      11m 11s
    2. Creating and managing content types
      10m 35s
    3. Embedding YouTube videos and other media
      4m 5s
    4. Subscribing to RSS feeds
      4m 49s
    5. Categorizing RSS feeds
      5m 1s
    6. Managing tags and taxonomies
      5m 50s
    7. Creating dynamic pages with simple views
      4m 29s
    8. Creating complex information collections with Views
      8m 59s
    9. Creating image galleries
      4m 48s
  4. 37m 50s
    1. Working with blocks
      10m 26s
    2. Setting up rotating banners
      7m 45s
    3. Understanding menus
      7m 27s
    4. Setting up contact forms
      7m 7s
    5. Adding and removing functionality
      5m 5s
  5. 54m 54s
    1. Managing users
      6m 28s
    2. Adjusting user permissions
      6m 35s
    3. Managing comments
      7m 7s
    4. Slowing spam
      5m 20s
    5. Starting discussion forums
      9m 3s
    6. Creating blogs
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up mailing lists
      4m 50s
    8. Allowing users to rate content
      4m 21s
    9. Using best practices for online clubs
      6m 29s
  6. 44m 35s
    1. Getting feedback with webforms
      6m 14s
    2. Publishing RSS feeds
      6m 40s
    3. Taking advantage of social media
      9m 33s
    4. Emphasizing external links
      2m 44s
    5. Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
      7m 30s
    6. Internationalizing sites
      8m 6s
    7. Tracking site usage with Google Analytics
      3m 48s
  7. 34m 40s
    1. Understanding Drupal themes
      5m 44s
    2. Understanding the Theme Builder
      5m 25s
    3. Switching, saving, and copying themes
      7m 13s
    4. Introducing custom CSS
      6m 51s
    5. Refining selections in the Theme Builder
      5m 48s
    6. Exporting themes
      3m 39s
  8. 48m 31s
    1. Changing the site's color palette
      2m 32s
    2. Changing the site's main logo and favicon
      5m 22s
    3. Changing the column number and arrangement
      5m 7s
    4. Adding background colors and images
      6m 29s
    5. Changing element spacing and borders
      6m 11s
    6. Adjusting typography
      4m 24s
    7. Using fonts from outside sources
      5m 7s
    8. Inserting raw CSS code into themes
      6m 57s
    9. Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
      6m 22s
  9. 14m 18s
    1. Finessing theme design
      7m 51s
    2. Eight ideas for modifying themes
      6m 27s
  10. 23m 38s
    1. Monitoring sites
      4m 11s
    2. Duplicating and deleting sites
      4m 23s
    3. Adding custom domains
      3m 48s
    4. Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens
      3m 46s
    5. Hosting exported Drupal Gardens sites
      7m 30s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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