Drupal OLD/Core Concepts

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In this section, we would discuss nomenclature and common terms you would encounter while using Drupal. If you are a Drupal beginner, an understanding of these would be critical in ensuring success with your Drupal setup. You can skip it if you are already familiar with core Drupal concepts and move on to advanced topics below.

Anatomy of a Drupal page

Node - the basis of all Drupal content

A Drupal page is just like any other normal Html/Css web page. Officially a Drupal page is called a "Node" (although there are non-node pages also, but that is a advanced concept for later).

You can create any number of nodes (aka pages) on your Drupal site and Drupal would take care of organizing them, creating menus etc. for them.

Node type

You can categories your Drupal nodes (i.e. Drupal pages), where each category is called a Node type (i.e. page type). Node types are one of the most powerful and popular features of Drupal allowing you to customize content according to a node type.

Let us take an example to understand node types and nodes. Suppose, you work for a company who need to build their website. Now a company would have various types of pages on their site, let's say regular home page, about us page etc (i.e. pages about the company itself). Then there would be pages about the company's products. Further, you might need forum-like discussion pages to provide online support to your clients.

Now you would like only specific people to edit or add pages related to the company or its products. But you would like to have most of the people participate and post to your forums. You can create 3 node types here, let's say "Company page", "Product page" and "Forum page". When you would try to add a node (i.e. page) on your site, Drupal would ask you to select one of these node types. Thus every node (page) on a Drupal site has one and only one node type.

The beauty of this entire concept is that you can control the layout, permissions and many other things per node type on your site (you can go as far as customizing each node individually including its layout, but most Drupal administrators like to customize content per node type. You would continue to learn more about nodes and node types through out the Drupal tutorials.

Drupal comes with 2 node types pre-configured out-of-the-box, "Page" and "Story". The default settings for "Page" node type are suitable for use as Company page in the example above, whereas default "Story" node type settings are suitable for a "Forum page". You can easily change these settings for the pre-configured node types, or delete them altogether and create new node types. The pe-configured node type are provided as starting examples and are not required by Drupal in any way.


While browsing on web, you must have seen blogs with blog entries listed on a single page together with a short introduction to each entry, and a link to the full page for the blog entry. Alternatively, you must have seen such short introductions in RSS readers if you use one.

Drupal calls such introduction to any node as a Teaser. Drupal out-of-the-box can use Teasers for multiple purposes including for RSS feeds, etc. Each node in Drupal always has a single Teaser. As a node-editor, either you can explicitly mark-out the Teaser for the node, or Drupal would generate it automatically when you save the node from the opening paragraph or two of the node.


On most web-sites today, you would easily recognize clearly demarcated areas of the page. On most of the web-sites, you would notice that there is a main content region which is surrounded by small "blocks" like navigation menus, login boxes, Contact us or Footer sections etc. You would further notice that the main Content region changes per page, but the surrounding region remain almost same across pages.

Each such surrounding region is called a block in Drupal parlance. Blocks again are a powerful Drupal concept allowing you to organize your page content meaningfully.

For example in the image, you would see 3 blocks and the main content region for the default Drupal theme.






Taxonomy in Drupal is all about categorizing the content. It's a handy tool that tag,organize and manage your work in a proper manner. Taxonomy structure consists 'Vocabulary' and 'Term'. The 'Vocabulary' is the root of the tree and the 'Term' is its child in hierarchies.


Vocabulary - Country (India)

Term - State (Rajasthan)

sub-term - City (Bikaner)

and so on. You can access taxonomy going through Administer > Content management > Taxonomy > add vocabulary in D6

and Administer > Structure > Taxonomy in D7

Taxonomy is a powerful tool when you are working with a large pile of content and you want to present it in a beautiful manner.

Contributors and Content Editors

Gyan, Nancyvarkey