Drupal Tutorials

Creating a Workflow for Drupal Users

This week’s tutorial is the second of a two-parter. We’ve had several students in our classes looking to build websites with multiple content authors … blogs, newspapers, university sites and more. A common request is to improve Drupal’s default handling of nodes.

In the first part we covered how to give people easy to a list of their own nodes, using a module called workspace.

In this second part we’re going to create a workflow, allowing you to choose who has control over a node. A newspaper website is a great example – a writer may submit an article which is then passed to the copy-editor for checking and then to the editor for approval and publication.

In Part 1 we used the “Workspace” module. This time we’re using the “Workflow” module.

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Drupal Users Have Their Own Workspace

This week’s tutorial is the first of a two-parter. We’ve had several students in our classes looking to build websites with multiple content authors … blogs, newspapers, university sites and more. A common request is to improve Drupal’s default handling of nodes.

This week we’ll show you how to give each person their own control panel for their nodes. This will allow them to much more easily see, understand and update the content they’ve submitted. Without it they’d be reduced to searching and guessing their way through the site to find their content.

Next week we’ll focus on how to create a workflow and allow nodes to pass through several approval steps before publication.

In order to give each person their own control we’re going to use a module called “Workspace”:

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Update All Your Social Networks From Drupal

Would you like to be able to update your Drupal site and automatically send those updates to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, Ning and dozens of other sites?

This tutorial will show you how.

Our first part will be to create an RSS feed to export new posts. From there we’ll use Twitterfeed.com and Ping.fm to distribute the posts to all our social networks.

 

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Improving Drupal URLs with the Pathauto Module

This tutorial was requested by a student who is learning the Drupal basics. They turned on “Clean URLs” in the Drupal admin area and were surprised to see that the URLs remained largely unchanged:

  • Old: /?q=node/3
  • New: /node/3

The student’s comment was:

“that’s still a silly address for my About Us page. I want the address to be /about-us/.”

The solution is the “Pathauto” module and let’s show you how to set it up:

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Printer-friendly Versions of Drupal Articles

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to add a “Print This Page” button to Drupal. The main reason you’d want to do this is as a courtesy for your readers. Many still print things they read online and you don’t want them to waste that expensive printer ink just to print your logo and theme as well as the article.

This is a themed tutorial because our sister newsletter with WordPress tutorials is covering the same topic this week: Creating Printer-friendly Versions of WordPress Posts.

Without this solution you’d likely need to create a separate CSS file with styles specifically for the printed page.  Fortunately the Print Module makes this much easier. It will automatically create a printer-friendly version of each page. As an added bonus and it can also do “Email to a Friend” and “Download as a PDF” link (if your server has the correct features).
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Showing Different Drupal Themes on Different Pages

This tutorial was written written after a request in one of this week’s Drupal classes: “How do I show different Drupal themes on different pages?”. The answer is a module called “Sections”:

Installing Sections to Your Drupal Site

  • Step 1: Click here to download the latest version of “Sections”.
  • Step 2: Extract the files into a folder on your desktop. The folder will be called “sections”.
  • Step 3: Login to your site’s files via FTP and navigate to /sites/all/. If there isn’t a folder called /modules/ here, create one.
  • Step 4: Upload the “sections” folder to /sites/all/modules/
  • Step 5: Go to Administer >> Site building >> Modules. Check the box next to “Sections” and click Save Configuration.

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Showing a Twitter Feed in a Drupal Block

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to place a Twitter feed inside a block. You can then display that Twitter feed anywhere around your theme. There are many different Twitter options out there but most have a couple of limitations:

  • They post tweets as nodes rather than in a block.
  • If they post to a block, they require very complex setups normally involving creating Views.
Thanks to Expedition Post, we’re going to suggest a much simpler way to show tweets in a block on your site. They’ve created a script that is very cleverly called “Twitter Block”.
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Showing an RSS Feed in a Drupal Block

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to place an RSS feed inside a block. You can then display that RSS feed anywhere around your theme. We don’t need any extra modules this week as we’ll be using the core Aggregator Module:

Setting up the Aggregator Module

First of all, we’re going to set up the Aggregator module so that it can handle the RSS feeds for us.

  • Step 1: Go to Administer >> Site building >> Modules. Check the box next to “Aggregator” and click Save Configuration.
  • Step 2: Go to Administer >> click “By module” at the top.
  • Step 3: Find the “Aggregator” area right at the top and then click on “Feed aggregator”:

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Adding a WYSIWYG Editor to Your Drupal Site

What is a WYSIWYG Editor and Why Do You Need It?

So your site users don’t have to use code. Its as simple as that.

WYSIWYG stands for “What You See Is What You Get” … if you select some text and click the “bold” button, that text will be bold. If you select some text and click the “italic” button, that text will be in italics. There’s no messing around with HTML. That will be a relief to some of you and more particularly … your clients and site visitors.

 

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Blocking Spam Comments and Users on Your Drupal Site

Why Block Spam Comments?

MollomIf you site is new, this might not be too much of a problem. However, as your site grows, it will increasingly be seen as a valuable target for spammers. If they succeed in placing links on your site, they may get a couple of benefits:

  • Search engines may rank the spammer’s site more highly
  • Unsuspecting users may click on the link and visit the spammer’s site.
Perhaps the best solution available for Drupal sites is Mollom – a module created by Drupal’s founder. It automatically filters out spammers who try to register, comment or contact you.
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How to Add a Sitemap to Your Drupal Website

Why Add a Sitemap?

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t believe sitemaps improve your ranking in search engines. However, they do make sure more pages get indexed and that they get indexed more quickly. This article presents evidence that the difference is astounding:

  • Google with a sitemap: 14 minutes
  • Google without a sitemap: 1375 minutes
  • Google with a sitemap: 245 minutes
  • Google without a sitemap: 1773 minutes

How to Add a Sitemap to Your Drupal Site

  • Step 1: Click here to download the latest version of “XML Sitemap”. Choose the top link under “Recommended releases”.
  • Step 2: Extract the files into a folder on your desktop. The folder will be called “xmlsitemap”
  • Step 3: Login to your site’s files via FTP and navigate to /sites/default/. If there isn’t a folder called /modules/ here, create one.
  • Step 4: Upload the “xmlsitemap” folder to /sites/default/modules/
  • Step 5: Go to Administer >> Modules >> Administration menu and check the box next to “XML sitemap” and click “Save Configuration”.
  • Step 6: After saving you’ll presented with more options. Checking all the boxes would be a good choice.

Drupal Sitemap

Submitting the Sitemap to Search Engines

  • Step 7: Go to Administer >> Site Configuration >> XML Sitemap and you’ll have more options to choose from.
  • Step 8: Inside the screen on Step 7 you’ll see that XML Sitemap allows you’ll see a box entitled “Search engines”. This will allow you to submit your sitemap to Google, Yahoo and Bing (plus some others, if you care). Here is where you go to register and collect the data you’ll need:

Drupal Sitemap

{loadposition drupalnewsletter}

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