Drupal Website CMS: User Tutorials
Derec Davies 2/2/2010
This document provides key links that will assist you to understand Drupal. Drupal is the IT system that
runs the RGC website. Such systems are generically called a content management system (CMS) and are
designed specifically to display websites and website served content such as online shops, online
At its core Drupal is a very basic CMS framework. The framework allows web developers to plug-in third
party ‘modules’ to extend the functionality of the CMS. The RGC website has been designed to reflect the
needs of the RGC and thus has specific modules installed, some of which will require complex
understanding and training to use.
The links below are online training screencasts to assist you in your learning journey. Many of the
screencasts are about 30 minutes in length; some of the information in these links will not be useful to
you but please bear with it. Often the first part of the more professionally developed screencasts will
contain supportive background information relevant to some.
Please note the collection of screencasts and information provided is designed to assist with the novice
CMS administration with simple web design, although the general ‘user’ will also be provided with much
of the information needed to create general website content.
Text page providing the key terms used in Drupal CMS.
General structural concepts:
Text page outlining the main functional and structure concepts of Drupal.
Taxonomy is the module used to classify website content via tags and aggregating tags
Advanced - http://gotdrupal.com/videos/drupal-taxonomy
Panels is a module that provides a non technical way (click and drag) to design the look and layout of
complex website pages. An example would be the ABC News website which displays a complex layout of
Advanced - http://gotdrupal.com/videos/drupal-panels
Views is a module that provides a non technical way to design aggregated content for display (pages and
blocks, etc). The output from this module is created through search criteria and automated display
functionality. Views is often used with Panels or by simulated page content.
Blocks is the module and a general visible display item produced by the CMS. Similar to Panels but with
limited controllable features. There are many Blocks on the RGC website, such as the left hand side
navigation menu, explore the region, enquire project search, etc.
Content Types is a tool that supports the design and subsequent creation of separate content types, such
as pages, news items, events and so on. Content Types as part of the CCK Module which is a highly
technical module. Learners should be aware only Content Type information is relevant to the RGC
Advanced – including CCK - http://gotdrupal.com/videos/understanding-drupal-content-types-cck
Drupal System for testing:
The downloadable application will install Drupal and the additional web server applications required by
the CMS. The link provides a XP, OSX and Linux (Ubuntu) version. Administrator permissions will be
required, for those people with a virtual machine platform another application can be provided.
DAMP Stack - http://acquia.com/downloads
The Menu Module provides the basic navigation functionality to the CMS. The menu structure in Drupal is
not so great, so review this tutorial is advisable.
Actions and Workflow
Works flows and actions allow for the creation of automated actions in the CMS. These are highly useful
for controlling macro type functionality. Such macros are often designed by the site system administrator.
Easy - http://www.lullabot.com/videocast/drupal_actions_and_workflow_video
Requires rules module - http://gotdrupal.com/videos/drupal-workflow-automation
Listed above, View’s Module produces aggregated content items. Within Views is the ‘arguments’
parameter is used to support complex search criteria design. This module should be viewed after the
View’s Module tutorials above have been viewed, understood and tested. Arguments are highly useful but
depending on site design in many cases may not be required.
Part of the Menu Module and its functions, secondary menu links are menu items usually displayed when
a primary site link is engaged. These tutorials are for the advanced site developer and should only be
used if secondary site navigation menus are not available by default.
PHP Editing links around - http://www.lullabot.com/node/444/play
Different menu modules - http://gotdrupal.com/videos/drupal-menu-navigation-enhanced
Additional tutorials – for reference.
Image Cache - http://gotdrupal.com/videos/using-imagecache-in-drupal
Ubuntu Installing a Webserver