Task Based Navigation

Regardless of the type of Web site you have created, there will be some tasks that you need to perform on a regular basis. These tasks may range from creating a simple blog entry to undertaking a more complex series of tasks, such as editing, reviewing, and publishing content submitted by multiple Web site authors. Drupal provides a navigation block for users who are logged into the Web site that contains links to "Create Content," "Administer" the site, and "Logout" from the site. This block features the user's name as the title of the block and typically appears on the left side of the page in a default Drupal installation as shown in Figure 8.5.

While the Administer menu does contain a number of useful links, it is long and somewhat overwhelming for new Web site administrators. Using the "Site building" and "Site configuration" features requires the administrator to memorize each of the

admin

Administer L By module

° My account 1 Create content

Welcome to the administration section. Here you may control how your site functions.

Administer

Hide descriptions

k Content management & Site building

Content management

Manage your site's content.

Site building

Control how your site looks and feels.

o Site configuration D User management D Reports

Comments

List and edit site comments and the comment moderation queue.

Blocks

Configure what block content appears in your site's sidebars and other regions.

View, edit, and delete your site's content.

Content types

Manage posts by content type , including default status, front page promotion, etc,

Post settings

Control posting behavior, such as teaser length, requiring previews before posting,

Menus

Control your site's navigation menu, primary links and secondary links, as well as rename and reorganize menu items.

Modules

Enable or disable add-on modules for your site i

Themes

FIGURE 8.5 The default navigation block lists the Administer menu option; however, only those people who are very familiar with each of the sections will be able to effectively use this menu.

FIGURE 8.5 The default navigation block lists the Administer menu option; however, only those people who are very familiar with each of the sections will be able to effectively use this menu.

options contained within them. In many cases it is easier to go to the main "Administer" page and choose from the detailed list of all options found there.

To overcome the problems of having a too-long administrative menu, you may create your own custom menus for frequently performed administrative tasks within your site. For example, Web site administrators, content managers, and basic users have different sets of tasks that they need to accomplish. Customized menus for each of these groups can be placed into a specific region on your page by enabling the block for that menu. You will also be able to limit the access to each of these blocks according to the user's role.

When developing these menus, first list the common tasks that are needed by each different type of user. Consider the order in which these tasks should appear on the menu. In most cases it will be appropriate to put the most frequently performed tasks at the top of the list. You will be able to change the order of the menu items at any time. You may also use links to external Web sites for your menus—an ability that can prove especially useful if you use an external service, such as mailman, to administer the mailing lists for your Web site.

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