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Other Considerations for Building a Drupal Site

More About Content Types

Drupal comes with two basic content types enabled, Page and Story. At face value they are the same—each has a Title and Body section. But pages are used for more static content and don’t typically allow comments. Other built-in content types that can be enabled include: Blog, Forum, and Book (Books facilitate grouping and organizing pages of content into a structured document form with it’s own navigation. It’s used for things like manuals, and resource guides.)

Any of these Content Types may be customized with additional fields to include specific types of data like location, categories, operating hours, or whatever you need. Further, additional custom Content Types can be created. These will almost always have the standard Title and Body, but can have very specific fields for data specific to the content to provide a consistent data set. (An example might be a Location content type for business locations, with custom fields for address, phone, business type, business size, etc.

Other Content Types with custom fields are created automatically with the addition of custom modules. Examples are: Calendar, with event pages, calendar views, and event listings; a Shopping Cart module, with a Product content type

Users, Roles, and Permissions

If your site is going to allow other users—whether they be customers, members, staff, or other—Drupal allows for the creation of multiple roles with specific permissions for access and abilities on the site.

Anonymous User: for users that don't have a user account or that are not authenticated. They have access to the basic site

Authenticated User: automatically granted to all logged in users who sign up for an account and complete email verification. This role can allow user to comment, access certain kinds of content, participate in polls and ratings, signup for newsletters, manage their own user profile, and possibly create specified kinds of content.

Site Administrator: This would be me... Administrator has complete access to everything in the site: content, setup & configuration, layout, user access, etc..

Other roles can be created with specific permissions to have access or not have access to create, view, or comment on content. They can be named any way you like. Some examples:

Editor: This role may have many of the permissions that the administrator has, but limited from technical configurations, administering modules and roles, or other complex functions that affect the database. Something like this is usually good for the manager/owner of the site who controls the content, but doesn’t want/need to manage the technology.

Staff: This role could be assigned to users who are members of the staff or website team. They might be able to contribute content, but not publish it without review by and editor. They could also be moderators of forums, or have access to data submitted by user forms.

Member: This role could be assigned to users who have paid or are granted special access to create or view specified content, access member forums, access downloads or classes (books?). It would have higher access than a simple authenticated user, but not as much as staff or editor.

Other: Think about the roles that you think you’ll need, and make a list those that aren’t listed here.

These roles represent some of the user types that you may want to consider. You can have as many user roles and permission levels as you need. But it bears careful consideration of what those needs are, as it would be very easy to create a myriad of roles and more management than is really needed.

View Types 

Your content can be displayed in any number of ways, and often the same content can be displayed in more than one way. Besides the normal page display with a title and body content, content can be displayed as lists, tables, grids, calendars, sidebar blocks, or as snippets that show up on specified pages or regions of the page.

Please think about your content and your audience and consider any specific needs you would have for displaying and organizing your content. Make any notes you have below.

Contact Categories

Every user who has been authenticated or assigned a role can have a user profile on the site. Access to the profiles may be limited by role, so that only specified roles can see specified user data. Authenticated Users (meaning anyone with a user account—but not anonymous users), may also be given the option of enabling a personal contact form that allows other users to contact them without revealing their email address.

There is also a site-wide contact form that users can use to send e-mail to the people in charge of your site.  You can set up "categories" of site-wide contact you'd like to receive. For example, one category might be "website feedback," and another might be "product information."

For each category, you can specify whom you'd like to have receive your user's e-mail. The mail could go to one person or many. You can also specify whether or not the user will receive an automatic reply.

Please make a list of any specific categories you would like set up for the site-wide Contact form, and the users and actions you would like connected with each category.

Taxonomy

Your Drupal site will have a built-in Search function to allow users to search the entire site’s content. There is also a Taxonomy module that allows us to create specific category list that can be applied to any or to specific content types (for example, a Location content type could have a specified list of cities or a restaurant content type could have a list of regional cuisines).

Category lists could be required to force a user to apply a category to content The list could also allow for multiple selections. Finally, you can also allow for a free-tagging type for any or all content. All of this provides for greater control and management of content and searches.

Please give some consideration to the kinds of categories and terms that you may want applied to your content and—if needed—what specific content types might need their own categories.

Menus Systems

Your Drupal site can have multiple menu systems. A top-level navigation that can be presented as dropdown menus, or as menus with sub-categories that display inline below the main menu by section in context. Or if you prefer, menus and sub-menus may be presented in a sidebar. Further, there can be very specific menu blocks that only appear on specified pages or in specific contexts.

The best way to consider your navigation and menus is to develop a hierarchical sitemap for your site, with the major sections and sub-sections that you will want to have. This is an important part of planning out your sites content and structure and informs more than just the navigation system (as some sections may be priority or premium access, and not be included as part of the main navigation.

Please give some consideration to the kind or kinds of menu display you want on your site, and what the menu structure/organization should be and list it below. (For example, there might be an About Us menu that has sub-menus of: Mission, Location, History, Staff, etc.)

I can help you with creating and organization chart if you need. It just starts with a simple list or outline. Let us know if you are stuck with this.