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Drupal 6 Essential Training
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Creating your site's basic info pages


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Drupal 6 Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Creating your site's basic info pages

So we have a Drupal website that's up and running fine but we don't have any content on it yet. And in fact up until now we have just had this main page which says "Welcome to you new Drupal website!" on it. This page gives you a four step program of how to build your website and we have gone through many of these steps already. Now it's time to start adding content. To do so click on Create Content and you are given a choice between Page and Story. These two are very similar and we will discuss the differences between them but for now we are going to create the homepage for the site and that's going to be a page so we click on Page and enter all of this information.
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  1. 4m 38s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the example files
      3m 48s
  2. 28m 55s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 32s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 35s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 39s
  3. 11m 28s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 20s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 8s
  4. 34m 35s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 2s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 37s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 52s
  5. 25m 37s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 52s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 19s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 7s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 37s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 21s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 26s
  7. 35m 8s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 58s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 49s
  8. 19m 19s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 13s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 35s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 52s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 50s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 49s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 50s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 45s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 41s
    4. Managing comments
      9m 37s
  12. 38m 5s
    1. Configuring your theme
      11m 27s
    2. Changing your theme's graphics
      4m 59s
    3. Finding and installing a new theme
      8m 56s
    4. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 56s
    5. Deciphering CSS files
      6m 47s
  13. 22m 41s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 53s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 30s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 50s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 12s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 11s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 54s
    3. Stopping spam using a CAPTCHA
      10m 43s
    4. Using a WYSIWYG text editor
      5m 24s
  15. 22m 18s
    1. Getting around with multilevel menus
      7m 26s
    2. Building custom menus
      5m 42s
    3. Creating easy-to-navigate books
      9m 10s
  16. 20m 19s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 44s
  17. 10m 15s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 52s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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Drupal 6 Essential Training
6h 52m Beginner Aug 25, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Drupal is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) for a variety of platforms. It has a robust user community and easy-to-use administration features. Drupal Essential Training covers all the important aspects of installing, configuring, customizing, and maintaining a Drupal-powered website. Instructor Tom Geller explores blogs, discussion forums, member profiles, and other features while demonstrating the steps required to make Drupal perform. He also teaches fundamental concepts and skills along the way, including installation, backups, and updates; security and permissions; flexible page layouts and CSS; menu navigation; and performance monitoring and disaster recovery. He also discusses how to select and install the community-supported modules that further expand Drupal's capabilities, and gives experienced PHP programmers tips on customizing page templates. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
  • Creating stories, pages, blogs, forums, and polls
  • Managing users and comments
  • Setting and customizing themes
  • Exchanging content via RSS
  • Stopping comment spam with a CAPTCHA
  • Launching a site and joining the Drupal community
Subjects:
Web CMS
Software:
Drupal
Author:
Tom Geller

Creating your site's basic info pages

So we have a Drupal website that's up and running fine but we don't have any content on it yet. And in fact up until now we have just had this main page which says "Welcome to you new Drupal website!" on it. This page gives you a four step program of how to build your website and we have gone through many of these steps already. Now it's time to start adding content. To do so click on Create Content and you are given a choice between Page and Story. These two are very similar and we will discuss the differences between them but for now we are going to create the homepage for the site and that's going to be a page so we click on Page and enter all of this information.

We have created some exercise files for you. If you are a premium subscriber to lynda.com or received this course on a disk, you have these exercise files. We are going to go there now and get the information that we need for this page. To do that we go back to the Finder, Hide everything in the folder Exercise Files, Chapter07, section 01, and here in basic-info.txt is the text that we are going to enter in this page. There is our title. I am going to copy it with Command+C or Ctrl+C on the PC.

Go back to our browser and paste it in the Title area and go back and paste our BODY in. that's really all that you need to create a page, a title and something in the body and in fact the body is optional although usually you will have one of course. Let's look at some of the other options on this page as well. If you want this page to appear in a Menu that is along the left-hand side or up here on the top with the other menus, you can do so by clicking on Menu settings deciding what sort of title you want it to be. Up here for example, the title is Contact us and where you want it to appear. We will talk more about menus in another video and for this content we are not going to have a link so we will close that up.

Continuing down, Input format changes whether it's being entered as Full HTML a limited subset of HTML or many other input formats that are available. One of the other formats is PHP, which I will also show you how to enter in another video. For now we are just going to use Full HTML. Revision information allows you to create a new revision every time you change this page. Personally, I recommend doing this and I recommend having that as the default setting. I am going to click it now, and in the Log message I will just say Created page.

The reason I suggest this is that if you make many changes and especially if there are many people making changes on the website, you want to keep track of who did what and when something changed and then be able to roll back to those earlier changes if you decide to do that. Continuing down this is going to be our homepage and we don't really want to have comments enabled. That is we don't want our users to be able to say, oh yeah that's right, oh that's wrong. So I will click there and yes it's already on Disabled. Authoring information, if there are other users on the system you could change who wrote it or at least who appears to have written it. In this case we will leave it as admin. Similarly, you can change the date on which it appears to have been written. Finally, Publishing options. There are three options here.

Published should always to be checked if you wanted to appear on your site and by default every content type has Publish already checked. Promoted to front page, lets you say whether it's going to appear on the homepage in addition to other places that it might appear on the site. In this case since we want it to be a homepage, piece of information we are going to say, promote it to homepage. Finally since this is really our center piece for our site that is it appears as the welcome page we do want it Sticky at top of lists. It might not be clear to you exactly what that means at that point but it will become more apparent as you add more content. Essentially it means that if there is a series of content on a single page, this one will always be at the top. And again since this is our homepage, we are going to say yes we want that at that top. Then we say Save, good. The page has been created as you can see.

If you want to go back and edit it, all you need to do is click on Edit and you can go back and do the same sorts of things. This Split summary at cursor, we will be discussing at another point. It's really for a longer stories and not relevant here. Let's go back to View, we still see our piece of content there. Now remember how we promoted it to the front page, let's go back to our front page by clicking on the logo here and there it is. It's on our front page and the original text that was there that said here is how you create your site is gone. That text disappears whenever you first promote something to the front page.

This page is still little bit boring. So I am going to add a graphic. After all it is our front page. To get there, I will go back to the Finder and hide everything. I will go into the Exercise Files and find the file I want which is this one called House-Underwater. Again, if you have received the Excise File it's in that folder. Now I am going to go to where I have my Drupal directory. For me that's in the Hard Drive, Users, tomgeller, sites and Drupal. Although of course your directory could be anywhere on your drive and for PC users, it's certainly in a different place. The directory we want to put this in since its specific to the site is sites, default, files.

I will go back there and I copy that file over by hitting Command+C or Ctrl+C on the PC and clicking in this directory and Command+V or Ctrl+V on the PC, there. I am going to copy the name of this file by highlighting it and on the Mac I say Command+A, Command+C to copy it. That will just make it a little bit easier to enter when I go back into Drupal, which I will do now. Go back into Drupal and I want to edit this piece of content. To do so click on the Title and then go to Edit. Here we have to enter a little bit of HTML. The HTML to enter to add this graphic is (img src="/sites/default/files --and remember that was the path to get to that file, and then / the name of the file itself, end your quotes (") and end your bracket ()).

Now let's go down and take a look and see if that took. Save it there it is. However it's not quite right. We are going to do one more small change to the HTML. To do so click on Edit and here we are just going to say align="right" hspace= "10". This will make the graphic appear to the right of the text and make the text wrap around it. Further it will add a little bit of space between the graphic and the text, so it will be a little bit more attractive. Let's scroll down to the bottom and there we have it. We go back to our front page just to see what it looks like.

Looks a lot better. That's how you would set up the front page to your website. You could create other static pages just as easily and pepper them throughout your site. The main difference in this case is that you have promoted this page to the front page and then again made it sticky so it will always be on the top of the front page.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6 Essential Training.


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Q: While following along to the installation instructions in the “Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows” chapter in the Drupal Essential Training title, an error occurs when attempting to open the local host page. Nothing appears except for an error reading “WAMPSERVER server offline.” What is causing this?
A: There is a known problem with some versions of WAMP that include a version of PHP (5.3) that some versions of Drupal is not compatible with. See http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp#comment-831 for more information.
If that is not causing the issue, reference the tips at http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp.
If you don't see the solution at either of those links, try using another AMP stack, such as XAMPP or the Acquia stack installer. See http://tomgeller.com/content/what-hells-wrong-drupal-wamp for discussion about these.
Q: After installing XAMPP and running Drupal for the first time, the Administration menu does not appear. What is the reason for this?
A: There are several possible problems. Here are some likely solutions. (These may also solve problems encountered with other AMP stacks.)
  1. Increase XAMPP's PHP allocation.
  2. Check to make sure all XAMPP's paths are correct and that permissions are correct. If the database information appears, but not Drupal's supporting files, and an included theme is being used, the supporting files will be in the /modules folder.
  3. Another solution is to not use WAMP or XAMPP. One option is to use Acquia's Drupal Stack Installer ("DAMP"), which can be found at http://www.acquia.com/downloads. However, that installs Acquia Drupal, which is a version of "normal" Drupal extended with additional modules. If  only core Drupal is desired, see the instructions at http://acquia.com/blog/kieran/try-drupal-7-alpha-your-laptop-or-desktop. (The instructions are for Drupal 7, but will work for Drupal 6 as well.)
Q: In the "Using the example files" movie, the method of importing information to the database is shown, using the backup in Chapter 10. When attempting to do this, the following error is shown: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." The system is running the latest versions of Apache, PhP and MySQL, on Windows Vista. What could be causing the problem?
A: This is probably caused because your AMP stack allocates too little memory to PHP. 
 
That's especially true if you're using WAMP, which only gives PHP 2MB of memory, when it really needs at least 16MB. 
You'll see the issue if you go to the MySQL-controlling phpMyAdmin screen (probably at http://localhost/phpMyAdmin) and click "Import": The maximum file size allowed is 2,048K. That's only 2MB, and the databases for most Drupal sites are much larger than that. (The example site for Drupal Essential Training gets as big as 5MB.) The video "Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows" shows (at around 3:30) where the php.ini file is, but here are some more-complete instructions to increase that memory limit. 

  1. Click the WAMP icon in your system tray.
  2. Select "PHP". In the side menu, select "php.ini" to open a file containing PHP's configuration options.
  3. Search for the line, "upload_max_filesize = 2M".
  4. Change it to "upload_max_filesize = 32M" (or whatever you like). 
  5. Save the file and restart WAMP. (Better yet, restart your computer entirely to be sure. I'm frankly not sure whether it makes a difference.)
  6. Now go back to that "Import" screen in phpMyAdmin: You should notice that the limit has changed.
Q: I don't remember the default username and password used demonstrate Drupal.
A: The default username used in the course is "admin"; the default password is "booth".
Q: How can I change Drupal's administrative username and password?
A: If for some reason the default exercise file username (admin) and password (booth) don't work, you can change them in the database itself using phpMyAdmin. (This technique is demonstrated in a video from Chapter 8, "Recovering from disasters".)

  1. Open your Drupal database with phpMyAdmin.
  2. Go to the "users" table. Click the Browse icon.
  3. For the row where uid = 1, click the Edit icon. (Note the value under the "Name" column: That's the administrator's username.)
  4. In the "pass" row, select "MD5" under the "Function" column
  5. In the same row, enter your new password under the "Value" column.
  6. At the bottom of the screen, click the "Go" button. You should now be able to log in with that username and new password.
Q: In Windows Vista, the WAMP icon disappears from the system tray after a certain amount of time. How do I get it to reappear?
A: To make the WAMP icon reappear (so that you can access localhost, phpmyadmin, php.ini, etc.), you have to activate the "start WAMP server" icon (from start menu, desktop or wherever). The system tray icon will reappear.
Q: My .htaccess file disappeared. What caused this?
A: A few times during the Drupal Essential Training video series, the instructor says to copy a Drupal installation by selecting all the files in the folder and then "dragging and dropping" them, either to a server or another location on your local computer. This is not the best way to do so, as the hidden file ".htaccess" will not be copied. 

There are two ways to get around that problem: 
  1. When installing Drupal for the first time: Instead of copying files from the Drupal folder, move the entire folder to its target location and rename it. This is the easiest solution for those without experience with Unix. 
  2. Use the command-line interface to copy the .htaccess file.
Sorry for the error.
Q: In the video, the instructor says the current version of Drupal is 6.3, but on the drupal.org site, the latest version is 6.17. Which is the newer version of Drupal?
A: Drupal 6.17 is newer than version 6.3. For some reason, the the version numbers go 6.3, 6.4... 6.9, 6.10... 6.17. It’s counter-intuitive, but that’s the order.
Q: My WAMP phpMyadmin will not allow me to upload the exercise files. It returns this message: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." There was no previous database to drop, so what do I need to do to make this work?
A: This is a common problem, caused not by Drupal, but by WAMP. WAMP only allows you to upload files of 2MB or smaller, which is much too small. The solution is detailed at http://tomgeller.com/cant-import-a-drupal-site-in-windows.
 
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