Some of Drupal’s greatest assets is that in the Drupal Community nobody gets left behind. From developers, designers and editors, everyone has a place under Drupal’s rays of open source. While talking with content managers using other platforms, we’ve identified a series of questions that the editors have when dealing with Drupal. After such a long time crafting platforms, this talk was a true wake-up call for us. So, we decided to ask them to help us find out how simple Drupal is to use.
Two test editors were chosen: one has never used a CMS and had no advanced computer knowledge. The other had Drupal-related experience.
The other editors have never used Drupal, but have used other content management systems. Completing our initial scenario without guidance was hard, but not impossible.
On a simple Drupal 8 website with the Bartik theme (the default theme) installed, create an Article. Then find a given already existing article, edit it and then delete it.
But let’s have a step-by-step approach:
Drupal how to login
Just as in the case of other content management system, there is a rather simple way to login to Drupal the platform.
Check for a login mention. This was the first step of the editors. CTRL+F and type “login”. Some already customized websites may have a login link in the menu or in the footer, which makes everything really easy.
If there is no login mention, just take the domain name (the site’s name) and add at the end of the URL, a user/login. In some cases, you may need to add ?q=user/login.
If, for example, you have a website called editors-united.com, your login will be editors-united.com/user/login or editors-united.com/?q=user/login.
For those of you currently working on Wordpress, this is the equivalent of /wp-admin
Type your username, and your password and click the Login button.
Start writing and editing
Drupal how to use
After login, the editors were asked to explore the platform, edit content or add content. This was maybe the hardest part. While Drupal 8 comes with a great in-line editing, Drupal 7 doesn’t have such thing. In-line editing means that an editor or the administrator of the website may edit the website’s content with a single click and then obtain real-time previews of the piece of content that is going to be published. This makes Drupal 8 a great tool for bloggers everywhere and not only.
Drupal comes with an extensive Administration menu, from where we can administrate (no pun intended) all the parts of the website. As this was only about editors, we’ve asked our friends to add an Article from the content section of the Administration Menu.
While some looked for an Article or Add content button, everyone managed to create an article….with a bit of guidance.
Drupal 8 also has some pretty cool shortcuts, which means that the editors may only have the Add content and All content buttons instead of all the administration menu. To enable this feature, just click the star-shaped icon in the main menu.
Drupal how to clear cache
One of our editors asked us how to delete eventual cache, a question that made us more than happy.
Cache is a storage space temporary assigned to access faster access to data. Long Story short, clearing your cache is a backup solution to have all your changes displayed faster, and almost all experienced editors are familiar with this function. Clearing cache is somehow different in the case of Drupal.
Some websites may have a clear cache section in the menu, but the default theme has no such easy access.
So, to clear the cache of a Drupal website:
Login to the platform as seen above
Click the Configuration section in the top Administration menu. You will be redirected to the Configuration page.
On the configuration page, go to the Development section and click Performance
On the performance page, you will find the mystical button of “Clear Cache”. Push it and all your cache will be cleaned.
More about Drupal cache in a future article.
Where Drupal stores content
We may have had the perfect editors because they had all the right questions.
Drupal stores content in the database, which is great. This means that the database can have a backup and that content can be restored in no-time. How great is that for a content editor? This means that no matter what happens to the website if the database has a back-up you can always save your content.
Anyhow. Drupal offers a comprising list with all the content pieces existing on the website and easy-to use filters to make content editing.
We have added ten pieces of content (blog posts and news) and we asked our editors to edit one of them, and then to delete it.
To our great surprise, the contents managed to do it without great problems
First of all, to have a real conclusion, we should do the same test with previous Drupal versions. We will try to do the same test with a Drupal 7 website to see just how much the platform has improved (again from the editor’s point of view).
Yet we cannot notice that the editors were quite at ease with our scenario. Great improvements have been brought to Drupal 8, making the life of content editors. From a UX point of view, Drupal 8 is a great tool. While we admit there is still room for improvement, we cannot deny the good job that the community has and continues to make with this latest version of Drupal.
Try it out to convince yourself!