Creating an Article Directory with Drupal

Creating an Article Directory with Drupal

Drupal is hailed as a reliable, extensible content management system.  Its open source format means that if you need to perform a unique task, you can download a module extension or write one yourself.  This ability to adapt and grow gives Drupal a leg up over proprietary software such as Microsoft SharePoint.

Article directories are a popular web tool for storing content in the form of topic-based articles, usually between 400 and 1000 words.  Huge sites like get a lot of traffic and tend to dominate the market, but there is still room on the net for niche article categories. In other cases, people simply want a directory to organize and manage content articles for their personal or business websites.

Here is a method for creating a simple article directory, according to the Drupal website. 

Create your Main Categories

Begin by organizing your content into general themes.  Then log in to your Drupal system and access the administrator area.  Click on 'Content Types.'

Here, you can create as many main categories as you need.  These should be as abstract as possible.  Click 'Add Content Type' and proceed to enter a label for each category desired.  Use general terms like “Education,” “Entertainment,” “Technology,” or “Marketing.”

Enable the Taxonomy Module

The taxonomy module allows you to create a vocabulary and tags to go organize your content.

Enable this module by clicking on Administrator – then Site Building – then Modules.  Then click again on Administrator – then Content Management – then Taxonomy.  The taxonomy module is now enabled and ready for use.

Create a Taxonomy Vocabulary

Next, you must add a 'vocabulary' to let the Taxonomy module organize your content. From the Taxonomy menu, select the option to add a new vocabulary.

Add a new vocabulary for each category created in the first step (“Entertainment,” “Technology,” etc.)

Create Taxonomy Tags

Next, select each created vocabulary category and add additional descriptive terms according to your needs.  These should complement the original category and function as sub-categories.  For example, additional tags for “Entertainment” might be “TV shows,” “Movies,” or “Music.”

Tying It All Together

To complete the directory, link your content types together with your created taxonomy. Select the first category created (still within the Taxonomy module).  Click on “Edit Vocabulary.”

Click the appropriate box – if you initially selected “Technology,” select “Technology” again here.  You can then choose whether or not to force article authors to select a sub-category (this is often a good idea).

Repeat for each category.

Locking Up

Your article directory is finished, but there is one thing left to do - don't forget to edit the user permissions associated with the directory.

Click on Administrator – then User Management – then Permissions.  Different user permissions can be granted for each article category.

For additional taxonomy features and more options for displaying your content, check out the Taxonews Drupal module.