Glossary of Terms

  • Alias - The core software has a feature called "URL Alias" that allows you to provide a more understandable name to the content. So, if you have an "About Us" page with the path node/7, you can set up an alias so that your visitors will see it as http://www.example.com/AboutUs.
  • API - An application programming interface (API) is a particular set of rules (“code”) and specifications that software programs can follow to communicate with each other.
  • Article - One of two content types that are part of the basic, standard offering in Drupal. Articles are used for time-sensitive content like news, press releases and blog posts.
  • Basic page - One of the two content types that are part of the basic, standard offering in Drupal. Typically used for static content that can (but are not required) to be linked into the main navigation bar.
  • Block - The boxes visible in the regions of a Drupal website. Most blocks are generated on-the-fly by various Drupal modules, but they can be created in the administrator blocks area of a Drupal site.
  • Content - The text, images, and other information on a web site. Besides nodes there is more content on a typical Drupal site, such as comments and file attachments.
  • Content type - Every node belongs to a single “node type” or “content type”, which defines various default settings for nodes of that type, such as whether the node is published automatically and whether comments are permitted. Common “Content Types” that just about any website would have include: blog post and page. Content types can have different fields and modules can define their own content types. The core Drupal Book and Poll modules are two examples of moduels that define content types.
  • Core - The files and modules included with the Drupal project download.
  • Entity - Any defined chunk of data in Drupal. This includes things like nodes, users, taxonomy terms, files, etc. Contributed modules can define custom entities.
  • Field - Elements of data that can be attached to a node or other Drupal entities. Fields commonly contain text, images, or terms.
  • Machine name - The text string used by the software to identify a resource, as opposed to the human readable name shown in the user interface or on the published content.
  • Module - Software (usually PHP and CSS) that extends Drupal features and functionality. Drupal distinguishes between “core” and “contributed” modules.
  • Node - A piece of content in Drupal, typically corresponding to a single page on the site, that has a title, an optional body, and perhaps additional fields. Every node also belongs to a particular content type, and can additionally be classified using the taxonomy system. Examples of nodes are polls, Articles, Basic pages, and images.
  • Path - In Drupal terms, a unique, last part of the URL for a specific function or piece of content. For instance, a page whose full URL is http://example.com/?=node/7, the path is "node/7". 
  • Permission - In Drupal, a tool for controlling access to content creation, modification and site administration at the application level.
  • Published - The state of a node that can be viewed by visitors to the website. 
  • Reference field - A type of field that allows authors to create a relationship between an entity and one or more other entities. For example, authors might "tag" an article with taxonomy terms using a Term Reference field. Other reference fields can be used to define other kinds of relationship, for example, between one node and several other nodes, or nodes and users.
  • Region - Defined areas of a page where content can be placed. Basic regions include: Header, Footer, Content, Left sidebar, Right sidebar. Different themes can define different regions so the options are often varied from the base model offered in the Drupal Core download and what can be redefined by a programmer. Content is assigned to regions via blocks. They can be ordered by weight within regions to define the order in which they display.
  • Roles - Sets of permissions that can be applied to individual users. Users can belong to more than one role.
  • Sub-theme - On the surface, sub-themes behave just like any other theme. The only difference is that they inherit the resources from their parent themes.
  • Tag - An organizational keyword, known in other systems as categories or metadata. A term is a label that can be applied to a node. They are also known as tags.
  • Taxonomy - Taxonomy is the name of a powerful module that gives your sites use of terms. In Drupal, these terms are gathered within vocabularies which the Taxonomy module allows you to create, manage and apply.
  • Teaser/Summary - A short introductory sentence or paragraph about a piece of content that informs readers about the subject of the content. By default, the first paragraph or two of the content is used (there is a setting for how much), usually with a link to the complete node.
  • Template - A theme is a collection of files that define the presentation layer. You can also create one or more "sub-themes" or variations on a theme. Only the .info file is required, but most themes and sub-themes will use other files as well.
  • Theme - A file or collection of files (PHP, INFO, CSS, JPG, GIF, PNG), which together determine the look and feel of a site. A theme contains elements such as the header, icons, block layout, etc. Drupal modules define themeable functions which can be overridden by the theme file.
  • View mode - A view mode is a way to customize how an entity is rendered.
  • Views - A module which allows site developers a graphical interface for creating lists of various Drupal entities; most notably users and nodes. Views permits selection of specific fields to display, filtration against various attributes, choice of basic layout options, and other more advanced features. 
  • Vocabulary - A vocabulary is a collection of tags.
  • Weight - A term used by Drupal to define the priority or order in which a function is processed or a block / node is displayed. From Drupal 6, the weight field is adjusted dynamically using a drag-and-drop interface. Note: A lower weight value (-10) will float to the top of lists, while heavier (+10) weights will appear lower in lists.
  • WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get. An acronym used in computing to describe a method in which content is edited and formatted by interacting with an interface that closely resembles the final product.