The Administration and Visitor Areas Explained
This chapter ends by showing you the difference between Drupal’s administration and visitor areas.
This is the final link on the right side of the Administration menu. Go ahead and click that link. Your site now appears as shown in Figure 4.36; although, with some Drupal installations, there may be different text on this homepage. Regardless, this is what people see if they visit your site without an administrator username and password.
Figure 4.36. The Visitor Area of Your Site
Now log in again. Use the User Login box on the left side, and enter the username and password that you created when installing the site. Your screen should now look like Figure 4.37.
Figure 4.37. The administrator area of your site
Notice how similar the images are in Figures 4.36 and 4.37. This similarity is an important point because it can be confusing to beginners. It is also different from many other types of website software.
When using other software, the visitor area and the administrator area of your site are completely different. Other software often provides a Control Panel that has a distinctive look and feel. This is not true in Drupal.
In Drupal, the visitor area and the administrator area are closely linked. Often, an ordinary user of your site will use the same login box as the administrator of your site. There are two infallible ways to tell that you are using the site as an administrator, not a visitor:
- You can see the black administrator menu..
- The main part of your screen appears in the pop-up/overlay that you’ve used several times already. You can see the overlay in Figure 4.38. The black X mark enables you to close this overlay. Also, you can still faintly see the site behind the overlay.
Figure 4.38. The overlay in administrator area of your site
When you start with Drupal, it’s sometimes confusing to understand what is visible to visitors and what is visible only to administrators. There are some ways around this.
The simplest solution is to have two browsers open. In one browser, you can log in as the administrator of your site. In the other browser, don’t log in and you can see your site as a visitor would.
Chapter 13 recommends a more advanced feature called Masquerade, which enables you to see your site through the eyes of any visitor.
You’ve now had a tour of Drupal’s administrator area. You’ve had a brief look inside all the important screens in your site. Now it’s time to start using Drupal.
As mentioned in Chapter 2, “Drupal Planning Explained,” we recommend that you use the workflow in Figure 4.39 to build your first Drupal sites. This workflow helps overcome much of the confusion that beginners face when building their first Drupal sites.
Figure 4.39. The Drupal workflow we use in this book
In Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, you covered the first steps in the Drupal workflow: planning and installation. In Chapter 5, you take the next step: content types.