The following information provides an introduction to content management in the Drupal content management system used at UNT. It is geared toward new/novice users. The overall goal of the course is to understand how to author and manage content in Drupal. No advanced experience in web development is assumed. Students are suggested to follow up with additional training sessions and online materials.
This section was written by William Hicks, Willis Library. • Handout
1. Content is the words and media managed through a series of web forms, often, but not always, mapping to the main body of a webpage on the site.
2. For this course, content management is most concerned with the day-to-day creation and editing of words-on-page and the larger organization patterns of content on the site.
3. We are most concerned with the “primary intellectual content” of the page, and somewhat less-so additional information that may also show up on page.
4. On this page, we are NOT addressing the basic site-configuration topics such as: Changing the site name, user info, or the visual layout of most pages. Similarly we are not covering best practices for designing images, permissions with users, or installing and configuring advanced modules.
• No two Drupal sites are exactly alike.
• You may share some/many of the same tools with other sites, but can’t always assume this is true
• A Drupal site typically makes use of many third party ‘modules’ for adding functionality.
Often there are multiple modules that let us accomplish similar goals, but may have different ways of going about it.
• If you are inheriting a site from someone else, you are getting his or her good/bad habits. The number of users touching the code multiplies the possible problems you will inherit. Take time to learn how they have organized content before adding your own materials in new/different ways.
• Where possible: Keep it Simple.
• You will get frustrated at times. Breath deep, we are all in this together!
Information about Content Strategy
There is a large amount of literature about how people read on the web. Good practices will have positive impacts on accessibility as well. A Google search for “Content strategy” is highly suggested.
Here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.
- Users will scan your text. Get to the point. Most important info at the top of the page.
- Break content into sections, divided by headings. Make sure headings form and outline (don’t skip heading levels), just like you learned in junior high/middle school.
- Use short sentences.
- Make paragraphs short, front load important info to the first few words of each.
- Employ bulleted lists with a limited # of options often.
- Use active voice, and drop jargon.
- Use formatting sparingly to make your point.
- Simplify text formatting and use special colors and formatting options sparingly. Consider how such things will age, or conform to brand.
- You are in charge of your links. If they break, it looks bad.
- Audit your content often.