Search Google Appliance


FAQs

How do I create and edit link blocks in my Drupal site?

On many sites on pdx.edu, you find blocks of links in the left sidebar that are separate from secondary navigation:

PSU Drupal | Link Blocks vs. Secondary Navigation

 

The secondary navigation appears automatically. In the example above the first block of links is that secondary menu, and the second block of links, Useful Links, is what this tutorial will cover. This block of links can be configured to appear on any page within your site. Think of it as a good place to collect important links to external sites or resources.

Conceptually, a link block is just a content item, like the familiar Page content type within Drupal. The link block is just a different content type, but we don't associate a menu item with it (we dont want to view it as a page), so we use another mechanism to indicate which pages the block will appear on. This means there are two distinct workflows we need to learn: (1) creating the block and defining which pages it appears on, and (2) updating/editing the links in the block. The two sections below cover those tasks; if you already have a link block on your site, then you don't need to create it. In that case, skip to the editing section.

Creating a Link Block

You only need to create the block if you don't already have one, or you wish to create another. You create the link block much the same way you create a page. From the admin toolbar, [1] click Content, then [2] Add content:

Portland State D7 Training Site T2 | Add Content

 

On the next screen, click Link Block:

Portland State D7 Training Site T2 | Add link block

 

You are now presented with the entry form for creating the link block: 

Portland State D7 Training Site T2 | Create Link Block

 

Notes on filling out this form: (1) the Title field is what the block title will display as (Useful Links in the Women's Resource Center example above). (2) The Title field associated with the link is the text that will display as a link in the block; (3) link destination is the URL of what you are linking to. Both local aliases and fully-qualified URLs--starting with "http://" will work here. You can link to whatever you like as long as you know the URL.

To add a link to the block after the first one, [4] click on the add another item button. When you are finished adding links to the block, click save. You will see a full-node view of the link block, with a message indicating the link block was created:

Portland State D7 Training Site T2 | Test Link Block

 

The block title shows as the page title, and the links appear as the page content. Note that the URL in the address bar is of the form

  • pdx.edu/{site_name}/node/{ID}

This view is not all that useful, other than to indicate to you the link block has been created. You would never link to this content item; visitors to your site could view this piece of content if they knew the URL. But, the intended use is in a block, so just know you are looking at a link block displayed as a page (node in Drupal-speak).

In the notification area, you see a message indicating that the block has been created, and there is a link to the block configuration page. If your user account is associated with a role that can access block configuration, you will land on the block config page where you can configure where the block appears. If not, (most cases) send a message to ucomm-support@pdx.edu, and we will configure where the block appears for you. Be sure to include the block title in the message, and a list of URLs you'd like to see the block appear on.

Once the block has been configured to appear, editing is easy...

Editing a Link Block

If your link block is already appearing on your site, find it and--while logged in--hover over the block, and a little gear icon will appear. Next [1] click the gear icon, and then [2] click edit:

Screen Shot 2011-09-21 at 12.48.44 PM

 

You will be presented with the link block edit form. There you can edit the block title, links, and their destinations--as in the Creating a Link Block section above. Save when done. Note that non-logged in users will not see the change for approximately one hour due to the caching menchanisms in place. If the edits do not show for more than two hours, let us know at ucomm-support@pdx.edu.

Questions?

Please direct comments and questions regarding this FAQ to ucomm-support@pdx.edu. Feedback is encouraged, and appreciated.