Every SiteFarm site created comes bundled with a handful of default "directories" or Views to help make your site's content easier to find and peruse by both you and your visitors. They're usually presented in two different major forms: a View page and a View block. You'll find them throughout your site when you first receive it in the form of news listings, people directories, upcoming events, and photo gallery albums.
What is a View page?
A View itself doesn't not contain any content. Instead, it's a set of pre-created instructions that query the content already existing on your site and then filters and sorts the queried results based on the criteria set for its display. For example, your site includes a View that will list all published articles whose type is set to "News" and display them from newest to oldest in a teaser format with their title, primary image (if included), and a brief text introduction which is taken from either the Summary (if included) or Body (default) fields. If none of your content matches the criteria, then the View or directory remains empty but for a message indicating that no results were found.
What View pages are included in your SiteFarm site?
The following Views, or directories, come bundled in your SiteFarm site:
- News Article - /news
- Blog Article - /blog
- Photo Gallery - /galleries
- People - /people
- Events - /events
- Archived Events - /events-archive
The process of listing your content after it's published (assuming it meets the View's display criteria) is automatic and done dynamically on your behalf without any additional work from you once you click the Publish/Save button. This makes the process easy for you and consistent in its display in the View directory.
Each of these URLs are included by default in your site's main navigation. If you decide you don't need to use any or all of them because they're not relevant to your purposes, we recommend disabling them as opposed to deleting them in your Main Menu admin screen.
What is a View block?
View blocks work on the same principle as View pages, but are meant to be reusable and only show a limited number of results per block. Common examples include the Upcoming Events and the Recent Articles blocks; both are built off their respective Views and designed to act as teasers or gateways to the specific page of content or the full list of related content.
The majority of SiteFarm's System Blocks are based on Views and you can review the available blocks in our Training for Everyone page in the Blocks section.
Can you create your own custom View directories?
It's common for users to hit a wall when they realize they want everything a specific View includes, but they need to tweak it in some specific way that works better for their department. Or they want to expand and include not just News and Blogs, but also Campaigns and Magazines for their Article Types list.
Technically, yes, you can create your own Views, but it requires you to already know how to work with the Drupal Views system since SiteFarm doesn't provide any training or support for custom development. If you're curious and would like to know more, please thorough read our Should you be a Site Builder? article for the full details of the process.
"Can't I just tweak the View that's there?"
The Views we give you are locked on purpose. Doing so ensures their integrity when we patch our service, plan upgrades, and develop new features and solutions for these existing Views. If you were able to change the default Views, those very changes would take your version of the View out of our upgrade path and your site would not receive the updates or fixes for that piece of content. Far better to duplicate the original and work with your custom version if that's the direction you would like to go.