AGNR Groups

Web Groups for the College of Agriculture &
Natural Resources and Affiliates

How Drupal is different

If you are coming from Cascade Server, you are familiar with how a content management system works. You edit your page content in a Web-based interface, then the system takes your content, plugs it into a template, and makes it live on the site. But don’t expect Drupal to work exactly like Cascade. Drupal has its own quirks and ways of doing things that may be a little unfamiliar.

Editing in Drupal is done right on the site.

Desktop publishing systems and Cascade have you making your edits in one place, and then publishing them to another. But in Drupal, there is only one place you have to go—the site itself. When you want to make a change, just navigate in your browser to the page you want to edit, and click “edit!” (Note: You will need to be logged into the secure version of the site to accomplish this: See "Security in the AGNR Sites")

Drupal does not have folders.

Everyone who’s worked with a computer is familiar with the folder-based system of organization—a system that was also used by Cascade. Folders are great when content is very structured and everything belongs in a specific place. But they can make it hard to keep track of things that fit in multiple categories. In Drupal, however, all the content is stored together in the database, and you organize it by tagging and placing it into menus. In this way, one piece of content can easily be found from several areas of the site.

Drupal is Data Driven

If you’ve ever made your own website, you’ve probably built each page from scratch, copying and pasting the parts that are the same from page to page. You might have even done that on AGNR’s site in the past. One of Drupal’s major benefits is the ability to minimize that kind of tedious work by collecting only the data that’s variable, and automating the processes that are the same. Thus, in Drupal you will probably be filling out more forms and creating fewer static pages. Each form is tied to a specific type of content , which can be reused in many places and many ways.

The AGNR home page is a good example of how content from all sorts of sources are gathered up by the system and arranged automatically.