beginners

In Drupal 7, you can create a catchy slideshow with virtually any content type or even field, from images to text, to video, and to do this you will need Views Slideshow module (http://drupal.org/project/views_slideshow).

The most common type of slideshow is with images, and in this tutorial we will focus on exactly this type.

We assume that you already know how to create a content type and/or fields. If you need to see how it is done go to: http://nood.org/support/faq/how-work-fields-drupal-7

When you have all the content you want to use in your slideshow, go to administration menu: Structure → Views and click “Add new view”.

In the appearing screen you see number of fields and settings. Let’s review them focusing on the crucial ones. We will not review each and every setting, because some of them are obvious, and the other ones are too advanced or irrelevant for our purposes.

View name: Give your view a logical name, and add a description (optionally) to help other people working on your site.

In Show field choose “content” and the name of the content type you want to use in your slideshow (in our case it is “Slideshow”, the content type we created specifically for the slideshow). Then choose how you want your content be sorted: newest/oldest first, by title, etc.

In Create a page you see that “Page title” and “Path” are the same as the “View name” (and this is exactly why you should give your view a logical and SEO-friendly name).

In Display format choose “Slideshow of fields” to display a certain field containing images. Or you can choose teaser or full post, but note that page generation in this case will be slower comparing to displaying just a field.

Select number of items to display; un-check “Use a pager” (unless you want to have a standard Drupal pager in your slideshow) and check “Create a menu link” to include this slideshow page in a menu.

If you want to use your slideshow in a block region, create a block instead of page.

When done click "Continue & edit” to get to the settings screen.

  1. You may want to save your changes in top of the screen before proceeding to the settings.
  2. Start with Fields. By default, Views setup wizard adds only Title field, but you need to add an image field: click “add”, search for this field, check the box and “Apply.”
  3. Now you can choose either to hide Content: Title (Exclude from display) or remove it completely.

    Click the image field, in the appearing screen un-check “Create label”, choose “Image” in Formatter and set image style to the one you prefer. You may also link your image to its node. Click “Apply”.

  4. Move to Sort Criteria. By default, the content is sorted by post date, but we prefer random, and therefore we first remove the default setting, and then add Global: Random.
  5. In Pager, choose “Display a specified number of items” and set the number of images to be displayed in your slideshow.
  6. At the bottom of the page you can see the preview of your slideshow, and if needed make changes before you click “Save.”

Now, let’s review the slideshow settings in Format section. In Cycle Options below choose the effect for your slides and also check “view transition advanced options” to see how fast they change (1000 milisec = 1 sec).

Use Widgets to show pager, controls and/or counters. TIP: You can use the smaller version of the image as a pager. To do that, go to Fields in the views main screen and add the same image one more time, but this time choose smaller image style and make it hidden. Then go to Format - Slideshow settings - Widgets - Pager and select the second instance of your added image field.

To have your slideshow as front page go to the administration menu: Configuration → Site information and type in the URL for front page.

Following the release of Drupal 7 we update our documentation and introduce our new tutorial: Drupal 7.X for Content Managers.

Just like the previous edition, this Drupal tutorial is also intended mostly for content managers, editors and maintainers of websites based on Drupal 7.X. and focuses on working with content, from adding news to dealing with spam comments.

Written in lay language, this manual includes chapters on relevant changes in Drupal 7.X, such as fields and adding images and downloadable files, and also lists some useful Drupal modules recommended for SEO and to facilitate the site content management.

This easy to read 18-pages Drupal manual contains plenty of screenshots for major processes and also offers some useful tips and troubleshooting suggestions to help you maintain and promote your site.

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Blocks are the boxes of content (for example, 'Recent comments', 'Latest news', Search form, etc) that can be displayed on the page in different regions (header, footer, sidebar, etc) according to your settings.

Different blocks become available when you enable certain Drupal modules. For example, with Forum module you have 'New forum topic', with Blog module - 'Recent blog posts' and so on.

When you enabled a block, you can assign pages on which the block will be appearing, and also set its position on the page (header, footer, sidebar, etc). You can also create and configure new blocks.

In Drupal 7, in the Administration menu go to Structure > Blocks. Click 'Add block' to create a new block or go to the list of available blocks below, where the disabled ones are located at the bottom.

Blocks

The 'configure' link takes you to screen where you can customize the appearance of your block, add title and content. After you've finished with settings click 'Save block' at the bottom of the page.

You can assign a few blocks to the same region, and define the higher/lower position of each by moving them in the list of blocks. When done, click the 'Save blocks' button at the bottom of the page.

You can see the examples of various blocks in various regions on the page of our free Drupal theme.

TIP:

To save time and not to do things twice when modifying a disabled block, you can click 'configure' in the list of blocks and assign the block a region while adding content and making other changes to the block.

There is a number of Drupal modules to help you optimize your Drupal-based site for search engines and improve its visibility.

Some of them are more important than others, and below we recommend the actively maintained ones that have already been tested with proven results:

Path Auto - automatically generates keyword-rich URLs for various kinds of content (nodes, categories, users) without requiring the user to manually specify the path alias. This allows you to get meaningful URLs like shop/dog/toys/freesbie.html instead of /node/123.

Page Title - gives you control over the page title. This is a useful module when you need title of your page (in the browser bar) be different from title of your content (a blog post, an about page, etc.). This module also automatically generates a page title different from Drupal default one.

Redirect - allows you to properly redirect the old URLs to new ones when migrating from your old site. The module also monitors active redirects and automatically cleans up any inactive ones, removes not SEO-friendly trailing slash from the URL (node/123 vs node/123/), and much more.

Meta Tags - is used to add meta tags to Drupal pages. Paying attention to meta tags, such as keywords, description and canonical URLs, may help obtain better search engine positioning.

XML Sitemap - creates a sitemap that conforms to the sitemaps.org specification. This helps search engines to more intelligently crawl a website and keep their results up to date. The sitemap created by the module can be automatically submitted to major search engines.

Our new Drupal 6.X for Content Managers E-book is an efficient tool for maintaining your Drupal-based site.

It contains basic information to help you understand the logic and how-tos behind Drupal engine. With detailed yet simple descriptions, screenshots and cross-links you will learn how to update your site fast and easily.

The inspiration behind this tutorial is daily experience of Drupal users who have troubles understanding Drupal terms and technologies. It is based on their questions and needs.

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