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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.
More than design or structure, content is what brings people to your site. That content can be graphics, text, media files such as movies, or even just links to other sites. No matter what it is Drupal encapsulates all contents into units called nodes. We are going to look at a few node types and explain how Drupal handles them. A node can be defined as the basic unit of content in Drupal. For example, a story, a page such as we have on the front-page here on any other entry of a content type. All nodes require a Title such as this one here. They may require a Body although that's not always necessary and must have additional options such as a check box that lets you promote the node to your site's front page.
Let's take a look some of the options in this node. We go to it by clicking on the Title and then clicking on Edit and we can go through and see there is our Title, our Body. Here are some options to make Menu settings. That's to create a menu choice that will go directly to the story. Going down further we can change the Input format. In this case we only have two options, but the addition of other modules would let you, for example, add PHP code and perhaps some other type of input format. Revision information, which will let you save a different version every time you make a change and so forth. Very important is down here in publishing options. If this Publish box is not checked then it won't show up on your site and it won't be public.
Now this particular node is a page, but there are other content types. We can see them by going to Administer and then to Content types. We have three that are enabled Page and Story came built in with Drupal as part of the default installation. Blog Entry we turned on at another point in this series. Let's see what it looks like from an ordinary user's point of view. We are going to switch to our ordinary user who is fishyjoe and who has been launched into this other browser Firefox. If fishyjoe or any other user wants to Create content they go down to this link Create Content. They then have a choice of several different types of content. This is a list of all of the content types from the previous screen in the Administration interface that also have permissions allowing this particular user to enter that content type.
So, for example, not every user will be allowed to enter a blog entry unless you specifically say that they can. In this case, let's have fishyjoe create a blog entry. If you are a premium subscriber to lynda.com or have received this course on a disk, you will find the Exercise file which has the text we are going to enter here. We are going to get that text now by going to the Finder, hiding everything else, and opening up our folder called Exercise Files. In there, you will find it in Chapter 9, video 1 called blog- post; double click on that and there we have it. I am going to copy this text and paste it into the Drupal interface.
Command+C or Ctrl+C on the PC, switch to other program, on the Mac by the way I am doing that by holding down the Command key and hitting Tab. Clicking the Correct field Command+V or Ctrl+V to paste it and then do it again for the Body. So this user has put in everything that they really need to for the blog entry. As we scroll down, we see we don't have the all of the options we did in the administrative interface, that's because certain options are only available to the administrator. We click on Save and we have created a node, but where exactly does that node show up? Let's go back to the Administrative interface and find out. I am doing that again by holding the command key and hitting tab. In the Administrative interface you can see a list of all of the nodes. No matter what their content type by going up to Administer and Content and there you have it and we even have a little note here that shows that it's new node that the administer hadn't seen before.
If we click on it, we see the node itself. As the administrator we can also edit the node and the superuser, that is User ID number one, the one you created when you first set up Drupal, can always edit all nodes. The Administrator, as I mentioned before, has additional options such as the input format, comment settings, authoring information, all of the things we discussed earlier. I am going to just click Save. So then I'll ask the question is every page on a Drupal site a node, not necessarily. Some types of pages that aren't are the user pages. If you go up to your site and then go to /user this shows me the admin user page and if you go back to the other person and say user this is Fishyjoe's user page.
These are not actually nodes they are built in to Drupal and are not handled the same as Stories and Pages and blog- posts. A second kind of page on Drupal that's not a node are those that are created through some process. For example, Drupal has a module called aggregator which will pull in news from other websites throughout the Internet and those news pieces are put into a page. That page does not have a node ID. That is to say it's not edited in the same way. Finally, pages that are created by Drupal itself or are installed by modules, those aren't nodes either, we will go back to our administrative interface and go to Administer this page that you see here is not a node, again, it's built directly into Drupal.
All nodes can be viewed as stand alone pages and we'll see that by going to Administer and Content and take another look at this, "Can you help me find a lender?" The post that fishyjoe just put up. You see up here the URL is localhost/node/3. All that, that means is it's a node and it has ID number 3. If you go into the database itself, you can actually see the IDs. We are going to do that now. We will go to MAMP or if you are on a Windows server, you will go to WAMP. Open start page, phpMyAdmin, select your Drupal database and then go down to the table called node. There is also one called node_revisions. The difference between the two is if you have turned on revisions, sometimes you have to look in both. We are going to click on this icon, which is the Browse icon in phpMyAdmin. Scroll down a little bit and we'll see a list of all our nodes in the Drupal site and there is our blog post.
If you as the administrator wanted to change it within the MySQL database, you could actually do that by doing it here or, of course, you can change it in Drupal's interface. I am just going to scroll to the bottom here and click on Go to make sure that we save anything that we might have changed and then go back to our administrative interface. As you develop your site you may add node types that didn't come with Drupal's default installation either explicitly or by downloading modules that create new node types. Some of these nodes will be very complex even having dozens of fields beyond Title and Body but your basic understanding of nodes, how they are stored, and how to control them will serve you well for all of your content types.
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