Introduction to Nodes Tutorial

Introduction to nodes in Drupal 7

Introduction to Nodes

CMS starts with content. In this tutorial we'll review the big picture of how Drupal manages content. To get you creating content as quickly as possible, we're only going to look at the basics, and leave the more complex elements to later videos. This foundation is vital for orienting yourself for doing common adding and editing tasks.


Drupal divides a webpage up into static and dynamic areasThe static areas contain the general look of the website and is coded into the site theme. The theme also defines the placement of dynamic areas, where you can manage content via Drupal's admin. The primary dynamic areas are called regions. Themes often contain a dozen or so rectangular regions where various form of data can be added.

The primary region is the main page content block. In most websites, this is the large body of content in the middle of the page. There are many types of content Drupal can add to this main content area, such as web forms and lists of items. But the main thing to put into this area is authored content, such as an about us page or a blog post.


In Drupal, the pages you author via the back in admin are called nodes. Most of the pages on a Drupal site are nodes. And if you're a copywriter, you'll spend the majority of your time working with them. Every node on your site has a type. You'll likely have many different types of nodes, such as blog posts, product pages, or press releases.

Node types are a little like templates in a word processor. Many popular word processors offer templates such as letters, business cards, memos, invitations and so forth. Nodes are similar. They're a way of formatting content to better fit a specific role. Often you'll hear Drupal people use the term node type and content type interchangeably. For the most part, they convey the same concept, but be aware that technically they are different.

Content types are what create node types. We'll get more into the details of how content types work in the video Introduction to Content Types. For now, if you hear either term, know that they refer to the way nodes are configured for specific uses. Nodes are the primary means for building webpages in Drupal.


In this tutorial, we took a 20,000 foot look at what nodes are and how they get imbedded into a site. The best way to understand nodes though is to start working with them, so let's get started creating nodes.