Working with the Administration System
The Administration system provides access to all of the configurable modules and settings of PostNuke. Access to the system is achieved through the Administration link found in the Main Menu on the left in Figure 3.1. You can move or add additional links to access the Administration area, including incorporating them into your theme, which is covered in Chapter 15.
If you install additional modules, they automatically appear on the same Administration Menu page with all of the core modules. In the current version of PostNuke, modules are arranged in alphabetical order by module name (see Figure 3.1), but to make them easier to understand, you can group the modules into three main categories: System, Utility, and Content.
PostNuke version 0.8 will include the ability to create physical categories to group the modules for easier management.
Figure 3.1 Main PostNuke Administration Menu.
System modules are the sole domain of the site administrator and are used to directly change how PostNuke works and who can use it. The system modules from version 0.750 include
The following utility modules are grouped with the criteria that they enhance given content but do not themselves create content, or they are tools that are not related to the direct management of the site but are still useful to site managers. The utility modules are
Content modules allow the direct creation of additional content for a given site. Some of these modules require an administrator's approval for their content to go live, and others interact with site visitors immediately. PostNuke content modules include
All of these modules are explained in detail in the forthcoming chapters, and where applicable, various third-party modules you might find useful are also discussed. Main site configuration is done through the Settings module, discussed later in this chapter.
Displayed on the Administration Menu page beneath the list of modules are three sections. The Programmed Articles section lists any articles scheduled for future release on the site. The Last 20 Articles section shows the most recent postings and provides an easy edit form. The name of the Current Online Poll can be found in the last section at the bottom of the page.
Role of the Site Administrator
The primary job of a PostNuke site administrator is really little different from any website manager. Websites contain content, and users of the Internet access content. A site manager controls the connection between the users and the content leading them to visit the site.
But the relationship between sites and users is more complex than that. Users expect content to be current and relevant, but they also expect it to be of good quality and easy to find. If you are new to website management, consider these concepts carefully, and take them to heart. Understanding and accounting for the needs of your users is necessary to have a successful PostNuke site.
PostNuke provides tools to create content, but it also is a system that allows you as an administrator to customize the interface to the site information. You can perform simple editing functions, such as profanity reduction and keyword linkage. You can create custom content hierarchies for grouping articles and links. You can even design a unique theme with user-friendly navigation for immediate access to site content.
Users can be grouped using the permission system to allow access to specialized areas of the site. Some sections can be made dynamically visible only to a select group. A special group of users could be given partial administrative privileges to distribute the management of the site.
It's important to keep in mind what you are building with PostNuke. Remember your target visitors and what their needs are expected to be. A good PostNuke site administrator takes the system as only a beginning, a foundation on which to build a new, larger website.