Using your new Drupal Commons site

After you finish installing Drupal Commons on your server, Drupal Commons displays the user profile page for the administrative user.

Drupal Commons initial webpage

At this point, you're ready to start configuring and managing your site.

As you manage your site, you'll want to create the groups that will contain the content relevant to your expected community users. After this, you can contact your potential community users and invite them to sign up for an account at your Drupal Commons site and start creating content, including blog posts, discussions, and events.

If you're new to Drupal, here are several key concepts to help you as you use Drupal Commons:

How do I add information to my site?

Information that you want to present to your visitors is called content. Users can select from a set of content types when they create content, each of which has different attributes. Drupal Commons provides pre-defined content types for blog entries, documents, discussions, wiki pages, events, and polls. A specific instance of a content type is called a node, for example, a specific blog entry or a specific wiki page. Drupal Commons displays content in various places around your community site.

What can I use to organize similar content and users?

In Drupal Commons, content should be created in groups. Groups are places where a community of users interested in a topic can create content about that topic, and interact with each other using status messages. Community members join groups they wish to participate in. Administrators can make groups that are open to the public, or tightly restrict their membership and content.

How do I help visitors navigate my website?

Menus let your site visitors navigate to other web pages on your site. While Drupal allows any number of menus to be defined and displayed on your site, Drupal Commons primarily defines one menu, called Primary links. Drupal Commons displays the menu as a navigation bar in the header of your community site, and the menu content changes for different classes of users, such as administrators, logged in users, and anonymous site visitors.

Customizing your Drupal Commons site

Using these concepts, here are some ways you can customize your site to reflect your needs:

Changing the header graphic

The home page of your website and all of its subpages have the Drupal Commons logo by default. To replace the logo with your company or organization's logo, complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to the website as a user with administrative privileges.

  2. Click the tool icon in the upper-left corner of the web page.

    Commons_create_tool.png

    The admin menu appears as a black bar on the left of the page.

  3. From the admin menu, select Administer > Site building > Themes. The Themes page opens.

  4. Locate the theme with the "Default" option selected, and then click the configure link for that theme.

  5. Scroll down the page to the Logo image setting section, and then upload your logo in the Upload logo image field.

  6. After you upload your logo, click Save configuration.

Your website home page and all of its subpages now display your new logo to all site visitors.

Changing the home page introductory block

The default home page has a block at the top that says "Community Powered Innovation." It includes information about Drupal Commons for the site administrator. One of the first things you'll want to do is to modify the default content on the home page to reflect your own organization, or the purpose of your site.

To modify the text in the block that currently says "Community Powered Innovation," complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to the website as a user with administrative privileges.

  2. Hover the cursor over the "Community Powered Innovation" block. You'll notice that a gear icon appears in the upper-right corner of the block.

    Commons_gear.png

    Click the gear. The 'Homepage Commons information' block page opens.

  3. Scroll down the page to the Box body field, and then replace the content with the welcome message for your new website. You can format the content in this field using the formatting toolbar at the top of the field.

  4. After you change the content, click Save Block.

Your new welcome message is now on the home page for your vistors to see.

Adding a page to the website outside of a group

If you have a specific web page that you do not want to include in a group, such as an "About Us" page, administrative users can create a normal web page, and then add it to the navigation menu.

To create a web page, complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to the website as a user with administrative privileges.

  2. Click the tool icon in the upper-left corner of the web page.

    Commons_create_tool.png

    The admin menu appears as a black bar on the left of the page.

  3. From the admin menu, select Create content > Page. The Create Page page opens.

  4. In the Title field, enter the title of the page. This title appears in the page header and in the browser title bar.

  5. Create content for the page in the Body field. You can format the content in this field using the formatting toolbar at the top of the field.

  6. In the Menu link title field, enter the name that you want to appear in the menu.

  7. Examine the Parent item field. The default value is <Primary links>, which means that this menu item will appear on the top navigation menu.

  8. Click Save.

Drupal Commons displays your new menu entry in the main navigation menu. Notice that it is at the right-most position. To change the order of items in a navigation menu, complete the following steps:

  1. From the admin menu, select Administer > Site building > Menus. The Menus page opens.

  2. Click the Primary links link. The Primary links page opens.

  3. Your new menu item is at the top of the list of menu items for the main navigation menu. To move your menu entry to another location, grab the arrow icon to the left of the menu entry and drag it to the new location in the menu.

    Note that you can either make your menu entry a top-level entry for this menu, or you can make it an entry in a drop-down entry for one of the other menu entries.

  4. After you move your menu entry to the correct location, click Save configuration.

Your new page is now available to all of your visitors as a menu option on the main navigation menu in the position that you set.

You can customize your website in many other ways, including changing the overall visual appearance of your site, or changing the layout of individual website pages. To help you accomplish these more advanced actions, you could benefit from additional training. Acquia’s Drupal training program offers on-site classroom style courses that can meet your needs, regardless of your comfort level with Drupal Commons or Drupal.