12/04/2017

During this lecture we learned about how to administrate a site in regards to system backups, logging of errors and discrepancies, as well as the updating of various modules throughout the site.

To begin with, we learned how to go through the steps of backing up a version of the website in case of any errors or unwanted changes. Backing up allows the admin to roll back a version of the website in order to implement a previous version of the site when it was working or when it had a different look that the admin or users preferred.

In order to back up, the admin must click on modules and get the backup and migrate module, where upon configuration you are provided with a title of the backup (Website V1.0 for example) as well as where you would like the backup saved, normally hosted somewhere other than where the main site is located for security purposes. You are also provided with the option of automatically updating, such as once every 12 hours it’ll save the website and back up all the files somewhere the admin chose.

After that, we learned about log files and logging errors throughout the site. This is useful as a way of looking at where users might be trying to access, such as http://www.mysite.com/videos/test where /test might not exist, and that would be logged in the reports as a page-not-found error.

We then learned about updating and checking for updates for our modules. This is done simply by clicking reports, clicking status report, and then going through the list where the content is not in green.

 

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29/03/2017

During this lecture we covered Panels and what panel pages were.

We learned that there was a way of creating a new page with a specific layout, such as a single column, a 2 column, 3 column page, a page with a header, or a footer, or both, as well as many other choices and a way of creating a page consisting of panels that the user creates and places. This allows for much more customization in the web page from the admin’s point of view, and allows the readers of the site a more customized and possibly a better formatted view of the page.

The panels are created using a module called, conveniently, “Panels” and is a must-have for almost any website.

Panel pages are created by selecting add custom page, and then you click continue where you get shown a selection of different panels you can use in your website, as well as the flexible panel for custom pages.

Past that, you are shown a view of the page with “Top, Left, Bottom, Right, Center” depending on the panel type you chose, allowing you to place content in different sections of the page. You are also displayed a text box for content entry, as well as a titler, and other useful features that are needed for a page.

From this lecture we have learned that panel pages are a very useful commodity for website building and are almost required by many users as a way to more conveniently manage and browse the site’s pages.

22/03/2017

During this lecture we spoke more about content types and how to create them, along with how the content types can be customized to post specific content that you would like to on your site.

Drupal comes pre-installed with 2 content types, those being the Article type and the Basic Page type.

The Basic Page provides the user with the ability to create, as it implies, a new page, with (depending on the editor) a plain white box that allows the entry of text, HTML code, inline CSS, PHP and various other web-based coding that you can do to provide some extra functionality. It also just allows the user to create a page with a title, and write a post such as an About Me page.

The Article type provides the user with a heading, body of text, allows the user to upload a picture and allows the user to define a set of tags to define the article and allow it to be searched for on the site.

However, there will always be a time where you will want to create content other than these 2 types, which drupal modules allow you to do.

An example of one is a Review content type.

A user could create a new content type of a review that provides a Heading, Body of Text, the upload of a picture, and also provide 5 stars underneath for the user to select as a rating for the product they were reviewing.

You could also create a form, a poll, a video post, and pretty much anything else you can think of, and there will likely be a Drupal module available for you to use.

15/03/2017

This class we learned and communicated about interaction on a website.

More specifically we talked about how we can make a site interactive through the use of blog posts, blog entries and forums with subforums within them. We also spoke about creating web polls and forms that can be used to send and collect information about the users of the site.

Forums are one of the more well known and almost required part of community based websites, and have been around as one of the earliest forms of interaction online.

There are a variety of forum management modules on Drupal, as well as the core of Drupal 7 that has a forums module included.

Forums allow users to create topics under the various main topics, such as General, News, Gaming, etc, and posts that are related to those subtopics inside of them, allowing for other users to comment and post as well to interact with the other users of the website.

Blog entries are another way of creating interaction between users, allowing the user to create a post about a specific topic, push it to the site, and then for users to be able to click in and read that post, before commenting below or to the side with something other users can then see and interact with.

01/03/2017

Each of a set of standardized parts or independent units that can be used to construct a more complex structure, such as a review on a webpage.

In this class, we learned more about modules, and how they work.

We were also shown and instructed in how to create new content types with various different fields, such as a review that offers the user a title box, rating box, and a body box for the actual review to be placed. This allows us to create other things such as a guide on the site, or a video to be played, etc.

We were then given a list of 11 of the best and most-needed drupal modules that we were to choose and install a couple onto our site. I chose to install:

  • Views
  • Panels
  • ImageCache
  • NiceMenus
  • NodeQueues
  • WYSIWYG
  • PathAuto
  • WebForm

Using these, I was able to make my page much more satisfying to use and interact with, as it made it look cleaner than the default drupal form page.

Using what I learned, I decided to create a review section on my website, in order to use the website as a way to review different products and services that I used and tested.

22/02/2017

In this class we studied up more on Content Management Systems, mainly using Drupal through Pantheon.io hosting as the server.

We learned about blocks and structuring our page, as well as modules.

Blocks are the areas of the web page, consisting of the Header, Main Body and Footer, along with various other spots like Footer Right, Header Center, and so on. This allows you to display information such as a location on the bottom right of the page, the links at the top center, the content in the body middle, and various other things that you’d like to be seen by the visitor on the page.

The modules are then like little widgets that you can plug in to your page to do various different operations, and can consist of almost anything, resulting in a brand new UI for the developer to move files around and edit their page, or it can be something like where you enter the Konami Code (Up Up, Down Down, Left Right, Left Right, B, A) that would then cause some javascript actions to occur on the page.

I decided to use google maps, Tetris, Konami Code and a few other behind the scenes modules to make working with my website easier as well as more entertaining to the visitor.

We also installed our own themes, and I chose to go with Selecta as I thought it looked to be quite nice for what I wanted my page to do and act like.

08/02/2017

In this lecture we once again learned about how to use a Content Management System, but in a more thorough format.

We worked with Drupal again, before moving onto WordPress where we set up our own website and messed around with creating content, theming the page, and adding some plugins to the site, all on our localhost server again, before deleting.

 

When working with Drupal in this lecture, we did all of our management through the use of the Terminal, where we had to set up certain files to work only with a certain level of user, as well as to set read, write and execute permissions to certain users.

01/02/2017

“Content Management Systems”

In this week we learned about what makes a content management system.

We learned about how Drupal and WordPress worked, as well as where they came to be, and how we can use them to fit our own needs.

The major thing we learned from this class is that Content Management Systems are a viable way to create a website without having to start from scratch within a notepad file, thus saving ourselves a lot of time and resources on creating our website, or a client’s website.

We learned how to use Drupal to create a blog post, and we also learned how to select a theme, as well as adding and removing plugins or modules through the use of the UI provided.

We did all this through Linux on our own localhost server to get a better understanding of how servers work for serving web pages and websites.

We also learned and worked with Drupal on it’s base program, without any modules, plugins or themes to see what it looks like to use a Content Management System without any changes made to it yet.

Welcome to my blog

In this blog I will be documenting my learning experience throughout this semester of Content Management Systems.

 

  • My name is Dillon Barry.
  • This is my 3rd year at Griffith College Cork.
  • I am studying Computer Science.
  • My lecturer for CMS is Patrick Corrigan.

15/02/2017

Hello World

We recapped on our study of HTML and CSS, talking about how it all works, how to work with it, and why we use it.

 

In summary, HTML works with the use of tagging elements and adding values or attributes to these tags to place the content on the page, such as <h1>Heading</h1> to display a large piece of text that says Heading.

We then learned that CSS is used to style the page in whatever way you like, such as through colour, font, font-size and family, or the positioning of elements in relation to other elements through the use of floating, padding and margins.

 

Throughout the class we were given examples and working demonstrations of the changes each type of change that was made on the content with different attributes, and using deference, we saw how content would change based on various tags being used on the same element, such as {div p} as opposed to {p}

 

Some other information we went through were things like how to efficiently segment your code, as well as how to cleanly display the content on the page in a nicer format than simply plopping it all down onto the white page.

This effectively gave us a better understanding of how it all worked and how best to implement our own webpages with content that we desired.