Organising Content for a Drupal Charity Website
Most websites contain different types of content. Even a simple site, in addition to standard pages, is likely to deal with content such as news or events, case studies or job adverts. As this sort of content grows in quantity and complexity, organisation and presentation become increasingly important.
How Drupal organises content
It’s helpful to understand the basics of how Drupal organises content so that you can plan and prioritise in advance to create the best possibly experience for your users.
In Drupal, each item of content is called a ‘node’ (illustrated here as a pink ball!). A website may contain hundreds or thousands of nodes, all organized into various categories. A standard page of text is a node, a single blog article is a node, and so is a job advert. The main way that nodes are categorised by Drupal is by ‘content types’ (illustrated here as a bucket!).
If your website uses only one content type, every page would look the same, which would be a bit dull and restricting.
Giving your website more graphical distinction
Chances are you will want to draw distinction between types of content. You might want to promote and emphasise some over others or make use of custom layouts and graphical elements.
For example, if you have a ‘case study’ content type, the main purpose of which is to show off the services you’ve offered to existing clients, you may want to make a special feature of this. A custom content type can be used to promote and emphasise a list of services offered, problems solved or a testimonial from the client.
Here is an example:
Entering content for special content types is often very simple. Each content type has a set of separate fields to complete. For a staff member it might be:
The site will automatically format, arrange and style all the content without you having to worry about it.
Here is another example:
Another benefit of Drupal’s system of content types is that these nodes of content can then be sorted, filtered and searched based on various criteria. For example, if job advert nodes are entered as a custom content type with fields such as ‘date’, ‘salary’, ‘location’, ‘hours’ etc. these fields can all be used to refine the display of a list of content.
In summary, the key benefits of using custom content types are:
- Improves data validation, reducing content entry errors.
- Allows custom styling of content, making for a more compelling and appealing read.
- Custom fields can be sorted or filtered, making finding stuff really easy.
Just think of creating an item of content as adding one more ball into that content bucket. Easy.
For any more info on understanding content types, please get in contact.