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Drupal's admin interface: Content section

The Beginner's Drupal Administration Series

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I got a request for a tutorial that focuses on a very beginner introduction to the Drupal admin interface for non-technical webmasters. My tendency is definitely for the intermediate-to-advanced tutorials, since I've been working with Drupal for years now, and prefer to talk about the problems I face and fix. However, I loved the idea! So I'm including a beginner's introduction to the admin interface, since I remember being faced with figuring Drupal out at the beginning and feeling that the support online was hard to figure out! What better way to start than to introduce newcomers to the administration sections on the top admin menu? I will do one section per blog post. Now let's start at the very beginning. If, when you login to your Drupal 7 site as admin, you do not see drop-down menus like these:

Drupal's admin menu
that means you do not have the 'Administration menu' module installed and/or enabled, and before we move on, I think you should do just that. It will save you so much time in the long run.

Enabling the Administration module

  1. Go to /admin/modules on your site or click on the 'Modules' tab at the top.
  2. Find the module called 'Administration menu' in the modules list (it should be in a section called 'Administration'). Check the check box by it.
    1. If you don't see that module in the list, click the 'Install new module' link at the top of the screen
    2. Paste in the latest drupal 7 link from the module's project page
      Installing Drupal's admin menu
    3. Refresh the module's page and it'll be on the list!
  3. Uncheck the 'Toolbar' module that comes with Drupal core, because the two together are not necessary (that's the admin menu at the top - but without drop-downs).
  4. Save.
  5. Clear your cache and you should see the new drop-down admin menu.

Now let's go through its sections!

The Content tab

Administering Drupal's content section

You get the above screen by clicking on the 'Content' menu item directly. But if you hover over it and then hover over the 'Add content' drop down, you will see you can add new content to your site. You have to first select what content type you want to create -- different content types have different types of fields and display differently. For example, an article may have a field for 'Main image' or may display the author and date information, while a page may not. Your content editors (not admins) will only see the 'Add content' link if they have any content creation permissions, and they will only see the content types that they have permissions to create (you, as admin, see all of them).

If you click on the Content tab directly though, you can manage the content that has already been entered into the site (either using the 'Add content' link as described about or by imorting content through the Feeds or other modules).  On this content managing screen, you can find, edit, and delete existing site content!


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