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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.
One of the ways that you can control what your users do is by allowing them to have their own identities in their profiles. For example, do you want them to be able to upload icons of themselves? Should their posts be able to include signatures? Should they be allowed to change their usernames? Controls for these options are hidden away in several parts of Drupal's administration interface. This video will show you where they are. We have set up two users already. We can see them if we go to Administer and then scroll down to Users. They are called fishysue and fishyjoe and both of them have contributing user permission. Some changes that affect user profiles are done by the Administrator while some are done by the user. Let's take a look at some that you, as the Administrator, can change. The first thing we will do is go to Administer and Permissions, and then go down to the user module. Now remember, the anonymous user is the person who has never signed in to your site. The authenticated user is the one who signed in to your site and became a member, while Contributing user is a level that we created. We are only going to work with authenticated user here. In the user module you have several choices. The second to administer permissions and administer users are usually reserved for Administrators. We don't want to give that to every authenticated user. Change your own username is something that some sites do actually use because it gives a little bit of fun to each person if they can change their username. But we are not going to allow them to do that. We will only give them permission to access other people's user profiles. So we click there and Save Permissions. That's one example of how the Administrator can give additional permissions to users.
Another place is in User settings. Much of this page, which is shown in another video, has to deal with when people first sign up on to this site. User registration settings and User e-mail settings deal with when people first become members. The last two sections down here, give additional power to users in setting their own identity, Signature support and Pictures. By giving users Signature support, it means that every time they post on the site, it will add a little tag of their choosing. For example, this is the name of my company; this is where I am located. Under pictures, we have enabled it and you can choose where on the server those pictures are stored, we are not going to change that in this case. If there is a default picture, for example, if you want to show say, a little icon of a fish for all people who haven't chosen their own icon, and you can select how big the icons can be, by default 85 X 85 pixels which is a fairly small icon.
In addition, you can set the file size and give people guidelines. Let's just say, Keep it clean, keep it kind. Very good and we will say Save Configuration. Now you will see when you do that, it will save the options and then it will also create this additional directory to store those pictures. There's one other place that we can change the permissions we give users to set their own identity and to let other people contact them. That would be under Administer, Permissions and the Contact module. If you want to allow people to contact the site administrator, you would say yes, Access the site-wide contact form and then go down to the bottom and say Save permissions. Finally, there are certain changes that are affected by the user. These are, as I mentioned, the Signature and Picture, which the user can choose to include or not include and whether they give a personal Contact form.
We have already seen, how you can allow users to include a Signature and a Picture. The personal contact form would allow users to open up their e-mail box to all of the other users on the system to a form that's created on the site. To turn this ON, you would go in to the Contact form administration link and then go to Settings. By default it's turned ON. That is to say, each user can send messages to other users. If you don't want that to happen, possibly because you want to avoid abuse, you could turn it OFF. But we are going to leave it ON.
Now that we have made the Administrator settings, we can take a look at what individual users can actually do. To do that, I am going to sign in as an ordinary user while keeping this administration window open. Unfortunately, you can't do that in one single browser because the browser holds a cookie that says who is logged in at the moment. So you can't have more than one person logged in. One way I have found that works really well to keep more than one user signed in is to have more than one browser type on your computer. For example, here we are looking at Safari for the administrator. I am going to switch over to Firefox, a different browser, and go to my site. So I am going to login here as fishyjoe and let's say he set his password to booth. Login, we don't need to remember that. And there we are. Now let's go to his own account and see what sort of options are available to him as an ordinary user. Click on My account and then click on Edit. He can change his e-mail address if he wants. He can change his password and here, since we are allowing signatures, he could say, "Yarr, I be Fishy Joe!" He can also upload a picture and here's where he can set that personal contact form. It gives a little bit of help text here to explain to fishyjoe exactly what happens if he enables this. Let's go ahead and enable it though. He can change his time zone if he likes and click Save.
So there you can see the user has certain powers to affect their own identity. You as the Administrator can give them additional powers and I will show you how to do that now. First, I am going to switch back to the Administrator interface by going back to Safari. We can give users additional powers by going to Administer, Modules and turning ON a Module that's called Profile. Click in there and then click Save Configuration and we will just check to make sure that's the most recent version and indeed, it is. To see what that Module controls, we are going to go to Administer and then down to Profiles, which is under User management.
Profiles allow you to add additional fields. So if for example, you want to find out, how old the person is or what their favorite restaurant is or anything like that, you can do so. Let's add for example, a single line text field to the profile. This is going to be called Personal information, the Title will be Age, the Form name is an internal name that Drupal uses. You must make sure that you don't use the same name for more than one field. We will just call this profile_age and here we will explain, Please enter your age.
Underneath that, you have several options, for example, you can make it a hidden field, which only Administrators could see. For example, you could say, this person is a troublemaker and the user will never see that. But administrators could tag each individual user with special information. You can make it a private field that only certain users can see. Public field. That's only shown in some places or a public field that's shown throughout the site, wherever it appears. We are going to keep it as a public field that's shown on the profile page only, which is the default. Page title is if you want to create a page, that has all of these fields for all of the users, for example, here's a page with the list of every body's age. We don't really need to do that. So we are going to leave that blank now. Finally, you can choose where exactly it appears, that is if it's the first thing, the second thing, and so forth, by changing Weight. We are not going to change that right now because we are only adding one field. But after you have to have numerous fields you may start playing around with which one appears first.
In our case, we really want to know, how old somebody is. So we are going to force them to enter value and further more, we think, they should enter it when they first register for the site. So I am going to click Visible in user registration form. This form will auto complete while the user is typing, will look for other values that are already in the system and suggest the ones that match the first two letters that somebody has entered. We will click on Save field. There, we have created a new field called Age. Well, what exactly does that do? Let's go back to the user, fishyjoe and let's click Edit again. Now we are editing his personal account, but you will see a new addition here, Personal information. We click on that and we see, ah! They are requiring me to enter my age right now. So we will do that. Click on Save and there it is.
As you can imagine, you could have quite a lot of information in the user profiles, for example, for a dating site, you might have age and gender and what you are looking for and so forth and all of that could then be used for matching. We have only just scratched the surface of what you can do with profiles. Other modules that you can download let your users apply information that they enter in their user profiles. For example, if you ask everybody for their location, one particular module collects all of that information and then can show a map that tells you where all of the users are and who exactly is near you. The user account information and profiles can be a very powerful way of building community on your Drupal site.
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