George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Creating, Saving, and Publishing Pages

Pages make up the structure of a website. Each has a template that defines which components can be used.

When you create a page, select your template, based on what functionality the page should provide.

You can create a page and save it in an unpublished state, and we often do that when starting a site. If your information architecture (IA) is fairly stable, you can create all your pages at once, which will make it easier to create links within your site.

To begin, go to the row of Drupal commands in the upper left corner of the page, and hover over Content. A selection of template pages should appear to the right. Select the one you want.

If you select Page, for example, you'll get a basic content page setup. What you'll see is the back end, with a place to fill in the name of the page. Note the red asterisk next to the Title field. You must fill this out to move ahead.

Give the name some thought; it will be a part of the URL, meaning it's something that search engines will record when they're indexing your pages for such sites as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The right name leads to good search engine optimization (SEO).

The name will also tell the user what they'll find on the page. It could be one word (Academics) or more (Photos and Videos). Try to limit the number of words, or you'll end up with a URL that's too long. It's best to be succinct and to the point.

Your next step is to tell the page where it's going to live on the site according to your information architecture. Select Provide a Menu Link, and it will expand to show more fields. Fill in the page name in the Menu Link Title field. This will provide a sub-navigation link.

Content pages can be the "children" of landing pages and of other content pages. Go to Parent Item, and select the down arrow. It will show you a list of existing pages. Select the page that will be immediately above your page in the IA hierarchy to be the new page's "parent."

If you're working on a pre-production site, you can save and publish the page now, as these sites are not officially public. If you're working on a live site, you'll only want to save it, so it will not be live to the public. We don't want incomplete, unapproved pages to pop into the site. Content should be as complete, correct, and polished as we can make it before we unveil it.

If you're only saving a page, select Publishing Options at the bottom left, and when it opens, make sure the publishing box is not checked. At this time, it's also a good idea to uncheck the Promoted to Front Page box, which is checked by default. It can cause problems if left checked.

Now you're ready to select Save in the upper right corner.

Once you save, you'll automatically be taken to the front of your new page, with the Customize this Page button at the bottom. You're now ready to fill your page with content.

If you need to adjust something on the back end — moving the page under another "parent," for example — select edit from the row of Drupal commands at the top left of the page.

Each page will have a node, or identifying number, that you'll use when hyperlinking within the site. This is important because when you're on a pre-production site, the URL will not be permanent. Using nodes to hyperlink means you won't have to go back and replace them all with their real URLs after the pages launch.

You can find the node in two ways when you're logged in to the Mason Drupal Platform:

  • Hover over the Customize this Page button at the bottom. A string of code will appear across the bottom of the page. The node number will be at the end of that string of code.
  • Hover over the Edit button at the top left. A string of code will appear across the bottom of the page. The node number will be at the end of that string of code.

Record the node number on the source page, whether it's in Gather Content, OneDrive, Google Drive, or wherever you're collecting your content. This will allow you to quickly add hyperlinks in Calls to Action, etc., without having to find and open the page to look it up every time.

Approving Content

Once a page has been populated or updated, changes must be approved before they go public.

Editors can see pending revisions by hovering over Content in the top menu, and selecting Pending Revisions. From there, they'll be able to approve pages, make changes, or contact someone about making updates to make the page acceptable for publication.

When the page is approved for public consumption, select the Edit button in the row of Drupal commands in the top left. It will take you to the back end of the page, where you'll select Publishing Options. Check the Publish box, and save the page.

No matter what level of permissions you have, we strongly advise that you get at least one set of fresh eyes on any new content before it goes live.

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