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Configuring Your Drupal Site Layout - DLC Theme

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In the first section in this Getting Started Guide, you read about the structure of a Drupal Cloud website and the default MIT DLC theme. In this article, you will see how Jack, a Content Manager for a Lab site, begins to customize a newly created Drupal Cloud website by changing the location of some blocks of content and adding others.

Like many applications, you can complete the same tasks in different ways in Drupal. You can modify your site’s layout by moving or removing blocks. You can access the options for a block directly from the current page. Or, you can click Structure, then Blocks in the Admin menu.

Our Content Manager Jack, will complete the following changes.

  • Work with blocks in two ways.
  • Move the Touchstone login to the top of the page.
  • Change title of “Recent News” to “Microbiology News”.
  • Add a block for contact information.
  • Place the block on a specific page.

Modifying Blocks via the Admin Menu

You can get a broader picture of the blocks included on your website by navigating to Structure -> Blocks on the Admin menu. The image below shows these steps in Drupal.

open blocks overview

On the Blocks screen, you will see all of the blocks included with the MIT DLC theme. From here, you can make a disabled block visible, move blocks from one region to another, or set the region to “None” to remove a block from your layout. You can also access other configuration settings. After customizing your blocks, click the button labeled “Save blocks” at the bottom of the screen to save your changes.

Jack wants to move the Touchstone login (Shibboleth authentication) link to the header so it’s easy to find. He locates the block in the Footer region, opens the drop-down menu, then selects the header region. After that, he clicks Save blocks and the X to close. The Touchstone Login link will move to the header region at the top of the page.

find touchstone block

find touchstone block

Jack also wants to place the Recent News block on the left sidebar. This block will display snippets of news articles. It is not visible now so Jack scrolls down to the list of Disabled blocks at the bottom. He selects “Sidebar second” from the list to place the News block to the right of the main content.

find touchstone block

Here’s the result of the last steps.

add news block

There are no news articles yet. We’ll add those in the next section when we deal with content. Jack wants to change the wording of the block title. On the Blocks page there is a configure link next to each block.

configure blocks

Access a Specific Block Configuration Screen Using the Gear Icon

If you are already looking at the blocks list you can click this link to open the page for a particular block. However, if you are viewing the web page there is way to go directly to a block’s page. Hover over the top right corner of a block to reveal a gear icon. Click the gear icon, then click Configure block.

gear icon

On the Configure screen for the Recent News block, Jack types a new name in the Block title box. This title will override the default “Recent News” block title.

edit block title

Creating a New Block

Jack wants to make one more adjustment to the layout before tackling the content. This site will not use the Contact page. Instead, contact information will be displayed in the footer but it will only be displayed on the Home page. To do this, a new block will need to be created and placed in the footer region.

On the Blocks overlay screen, Jack clicks + Add block. A new form opens and information about the new block is added.

configure contact block

Jack places the Contact Info block in the footer region. He also sets the block to appear only on the Home page.

configure contact block

Jack is now finished configuring his site’s layout. The image below provides a summary of the changes he made. Next, he will work on adding content to his site.

results after working with layout

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IS&T Contributions

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Last Modified:

April 26, 2016

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