Drupal Platform Introduction

Administration Menu Bar

When Logged in as a Site Manager or Content Creator, the first bar at the top of the page is called the Administration Menu Bar and it allows users with the correct permissions to add/view/delete/edit content as well as other administration-specific tasks.


A node is the generic term for a piece of content on your website. The content type of the node will define what fields are included with it. Depending on the type of node, different fields will be attached, and this is known as a content type. For example, a basic Page content type has attached fields such as title and body fields. Other examples of content types include Book pages for use in Books, Discussion topics in forums, Blog pages in blogs, and News articles.

The Flexibility of Nodes

Essentially, a node is a set of related bits of information. When you create a new blog post, you are not only defining its body text, but also its title, content, author link, creation date, taxonomy (tags), etc. Some of these elements will be shown by the theme layer when the node is displayed. Others are meta-data that control when the node will show up at all - such as taxonomy or publishing status.

Regions and Blocks

Blocks are a method for positioning data within a page.

Nodes on your Drupal site are laid out in Regions. These can include the header, footer, sidebars, and main content regions. Your theme may define additional regions.

Blocks are discrete chunks of information that are displayed in the regions of your site's pages. Blocks can take the form of static chunks of HTML or text, menus (which are for site navigation), the output from modules (e.g. hot forum topics), or dynamic listings that you've created yourself (e.g. a list of upcoming events).

Positioning Nodes Using In-Place Editor

Content Type

Every node belongs to a single node type or content type, which defines various default settings for nodes of that type, such as whether the node is published automatically and whether comments are permitted. Content types can have different fields and modules can define their own content types. The core Drupal Book and News modules are two examples of modules that define content types.

Site Architecture - Content Types the UoG Template Provides:

  1. Basic Page

    • The Basic page content type is used for static content that can be linked into the main navigation bar. This is one of the most basic content types and can be very flexible.

  2. Featured Items

    • The Featured Item allows content authors to create a lead-in to any page content on the website (e.g. Events, News, Basic Page, People Profiles, etc.) or an external URL.

  3. Banner

    • The Banner feature provides editors with an image carousel at the top of the page which can feature multiple pieces of content. The Banner can be configured for manual rotation (controlled by the user), or autoplay.

  4. News

    • The News feature allows content authors to add news articles to the website and display them in a Listing Page view, an Article Detail Page view, and a Recent News Teaser List view. Any article can be featured on any page using the Featured News Article view. Site visitors can also browse for news articles by date and category tag.

  5. Events

    • The Events feature allows content editors to add events to the website and display them in a Listing Page view, a Weekly Events view, a Monthly Calendar view, an Event Detail Page view, and an Upcoming Events Teaser List view. Any event can be highlighted (or “featured”) on any page using the Featured Events block. Site visitors can also browse for events by date and event category.

  6. Social Media

    • The Social Media feature allows Anonymous Users to share pages on their favorite networks and visit a variety of (external) social media pages affiliated with the website. They can also access Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds directly on the website.

  7. Services

    • The Services feature provides a method for outlining and featuring the services that you offer. Users can find Services alphabetically, by service category, or by audience (eligible user). They can also search for services by keyword (tags).

  8. FAQ

    • The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) feature allows editors to create a repository of commonly asked questions and their corresponding answers.

  9. Book

    • The Book feature is a set of pages tied together in a hierarchical sequence, perhaps with chapters, sections, subsections, and so on. You can use books for manuals, site resource guides, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), or whatever you'd like.

  10. People Profiles

    • The People Profiles feature allows an authorized user to create and edit an organizational profile. Anonymous users can browse through these profiles in a Listing Page view and find more detail about a specific member of the organization in the Profile Detail Page view. Editors can highlight (or “feature”) any profile on any page using the Featured Profile view.

  11. Web Forms

    • The Web Forms feature is for making forms and surveys in Drupal. After a submission, users may be sent an e-mail "receipt," and administrators can also be notified. Results can be exported into Excel or other spreadsheet applications.

  12. Landing Page

    • A Landing Page is a basic page that is created by the Drupal platform and is used to link all pages related to each other under a menu item. This page is created because the "breadcrumbs" that track site navigation require a page that acts as a parent for all subsequent pages below it ("children") in the menu hierarchy structure.

  13. Course Outlines

    • The Course Outlines content type allows content creators to create and edit course outlines. Anonymous users can browse through these outlines in a listing page view and find more detail about a specific course.

  14. Custom Content (Style Guide)

    • The Style Guide allows content creators to create custom content that can be easily inserted into their code as well as being accessible. The style guide features many examples of code as well as snippets of code that can be reused within the page.


Fields are elements of data that can be attached to a node or other Drupal entity. Fields commonly contain text, images, or terms.

Input format

These are settings that define the filtering of user-entered text before it is displayed. This can be used to control formatting or malicious input.

Menus refer to the navigation elements on a page, and to Drupal's internal system for handling requests. When a request is sent to Drupal, the menu system uses the provided URL to determine what functions to call.

There are four standard menus in Drupal 7: 1. The Main Menu is built by site administrators and displayed automatically in the page header of many themes (and if not, you can enable their blocks to display them). 2. Management is the Administration Bar Menu, and is presented as the first item at the top of the page for Content Creators and Site Managers. 3. Navigation is a catch-all menu that usually contains links supplied by modules on your site. 4. User Menu contains links to the User account and the logout link.


A module is software (code) that extends Drupal features and functionality. The University of Guelph supplies and maintains its own modules for compliance with AODA - within this documentation they are generally called Features.


In Drupal terms, path is the unique, last part of the URL for a specific function or piece of content. For instance, for a page whose full URL is http://example.com/CCS/AODA, the path is "CCS/AODA".

Path Alias

This changes default paths such as node/7 into user-friendly paths such as about/contact. This is automated with UoG enabled modules.


Drupal has a system for classifying content known as taxonomy. This is provided by the core Taxonomy module. You can define your own vocabularies (groups of taxonomy terms) and add terms to each vocabulary. Each vocabulary can then be attached to one or more content types, and in this way, nodes on your site can be grouped into categories, tagged, or classified in any way you choose. Go to the taxonomies page for more information.

Users, Permissions, and Roles

Every visitor to your site, whether they have an account and log in or visit the site anonymously, is considered a user to Drupal. Every user when created also has a role assigned to them, these roles grant the user certain permissions. When those users are logged in, Drupal will let them do the actions that role has permissions for.

Types of UoG Users

Anonymous User

This is anyone visiting the website who is not logged in.

  • Can view the front-end of the website.

Authenticated User

These users are assigned a user ID when they register for the website. A user name and email address is associated with any user that isn't anonymous (therefore must be logged in).

  • Can log in to the back-end of the website.

  • Can edit their own user profile.


  • Can create new content drafts.

  • Can edit their own content drafts.

  • Can view their content revisions.


  • Can view/edit all project data, create/edit all content types.

  • Can edit any content (drafts or published).

  • Can approve any content drafts for publishing.

  • Can publish any content.

Site Manager

  • User: administer permissions.

  • User: administer users.

  • User: Allow editing of page layouts, includes: changing view categories, titles, and number of items to display.

  • Can create/edit taxonomies.

  • Can create/edit menus.


WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get, used in computing to describe a method in which content is edited and formatted by interacting with an interface that closely resembles the final product. We use a WYSIWYG editor for adding main body content. Read the guide on our WYSIWYG editor for helpful tips.

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